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Building the User Experience Community at SDL

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This presentation describes how we built an in-house user experience community at SDL. We started small, with the literal UX team of one, but grew and expanded the team and the discipline over the last 6 years.

In this presentation, we summarize what worked for us and share experiences and best practices. Not only to inspire other user experience teams, but any discipline in a large scale software development organization that intends to grow from a handful of disconnected experts into a strong internal community.

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Building the User Experience Community at SDL

  1. 1. Building the UX Community at SDL Best Practices and Recommendations Philipp Engel, UX Director, SDL
  2. 2. This presentation describes how we built an in-house user experience community at SDL. We started small, with the literal UX team of one, but grew and expanded the team and the discipline over the last 6 years. In this presentation, we summarize what worked for us and share experiences and best practices. Not only to inspire other user experience teams, but any discipline in a large scale software development organization that intends to grow from a handful of disconnected experts into a strong internal community.
  3. 3. Our  Journey Establish the Community Enable Collaboration Nurture Community Formulate a Mission Statement Set up a Communication Plan Define a Default Process Provide a Digital Space for Collaboration Provide a Physical Space for Collaboration Provide a Space to Hang Out Together Visit Conferences and Meetups Join the Larger Professional Community Define Your Values Create a Culture Establish a Vision Identify Members Define Your Discipline 1 2 3
  4. 4. 1) Establish the Community Establish the Community Enable Collaboration Nurture Community Formulate a Mission Statement Set up a Communication Plan Define a Default Process Provide a Digital Space for Collaboration Provide a Physical Space for Collaboration Provide a Space to Hang Out Together Visit Conferences and Meetups Join the Larger Professional Community Define Your Values Create a Culture Establish a Vision Identify Members Define Your Discipline 1 2 3
  5. 5. Define Your Discipline
  6. 6. External Definitions for Your Discipline… What we learned: There is no point in arguing what is the right definition for your discipline. Create one that works for you and your organization.
  7. 7. Create Your Own Definition UX at SDL in 2010
  8. 8. Establish an Maturity & Growth Model UX at SDL in 2010
  9. 9. Identify Members
  10. 10. Look for “go-to persons”, trusted thought leaders for a specific discipline Identify a Community Leader UXI
  11. 11. Find folks that care about your discipline or area of expertise and get them together. At SDL we started the UX community with a mixed group of technical writers, UI developers, product managers, and testers. Identify and Invite Members UXI Customer Support Product Manager UX Designer Technical Writer Developer
  12. 12. SDL UX Community 2015 Catalin  Timofti UX  Designer,  Cluj Nikki  Veldhuis UX  Designer,  Amsterdam Adela  Muresan UX  Designer,  Cluj Elske  Schrauwen UX  Designer,  Amsterdam Peter  Boersma UX  Strategist,  Amsterdam Ariel  Vargas UX  Designer,  Amsterdam Fernando  Quiros UX  &  Visual  Designer,  Amsterdam Philipp  Engel UX  Director,  Amsterdam Arne  de  Booij UX  Strategist,  Amsterdam Hristo  Spasunin Visual  Designer  &  Developer,  Sofia Riccardo  Russomanno Visual  Designer,  Amsterdam Carrie  Kim UX  Strategist,  Seattle Joao  Lopes UX  Strategist,  Mechelen Scott  Darcy UX  Designer,  Wakefield Brian  Shurtleff UX  Designer,  Cluj/LA Jaap  Jan  van  den  Bosch UX  Designer,  Amsterdam Sander  Viegers UX  Strategist,  Amsterdam Today the UX Community at SDL is comprised of UX strategists, user researchers, interaction designers, and visual UI designers.
  13. 13. Establish a Vision
  14. 14. What is happening out There? We researched trends and developments disrupting our industry. The Social Enterprise People, not files, are the center of activity Touch & Gesture Interaction as a primary input method Generation C Connected all the time Consumerization & Software as a Service Mobile Computing The rise of mobile PCs over desktop PCs
  15. 15. Develop a Vision and Tell a Story We demonstrated opportunities those trends and developments hold for us if mapped to our products and services…
  16. 16. Make Your Vision Concrete 2Username 3 2Username 3 Community Social Media Targeting Online Campaigns Mailings 38 Workflow Tasks Welcome Username Domainusername 9 Customer Engagement User Preferences Audience Web Sites Web Content Content Management Multimedia Content 245 Engage your community, spread ownership, take them on a journey!
  17. 17. Cross Silos and Build Bridges in the Organization SDL  Customer  Ecosystem   Design  Strategy  &  Touchpoints SDL  Channels Campaign  &   Microsites Social  Media Apps DISCOVER SDL.com (Corporate  Web   Site) Translationzone (Market  specific   Web  Site) Language  Cloud   (Offering  specific   Web  Site) Online  Store (embedded) EXPLORE  &  BUY Support  &   Training Developer   Space Documentation Video   Channel Blogs,  Forums,   Groups,  Ideas ASK  &  ENGAGE App  Marketplace SINGLE  ID My  SDL  ID   Account Data,  Analytics,   Insights Carbon  2.0  Product  UI  Guidelines Lucia  Navigation,  Screen  Templates,  Catalina  Controls “Espresso”  Web  Design  Guidelines Page  types  for  Landing  pages,  content  pages,  etc. “Espresso”  Web  Design  Guidelines Page  types  for  My  SDL  &  Community “Espresso”  Web  Design  Guidelines  (less  strict) General  page  layouts,  footer USE Products Plans Trials Public/Private Job  Marketplace Collaboration CXC/LC  -­‐  ENTERPRISES USE Collaboration Public  Job   Marketplace Trials Plans Products LC  -­‐  TRANSLATORS  &  LSP’s Embed your vision in a larger context.
  18. 18. Formulate a Mission Statement
  19. 19. Formulate a Mission Statement At SDL we create user experiences that are: Unified SDL product suite with a unified user interface and a harmonized user experience Integrated SDL products are integrated in a way in that they share common components, enrich each other by providing functionality in- context, have optimized flows between applications Personalized Key elements of the user interface can be personalized such as notifications, view settings, information dashboards, and navigation Collaborative Embedded social features allow users to connect, stay informed, communicate, and by these means collaborate Relevant Bring relevant functionality and information to the user when she needs them and avoid information overload Context aware Optimized for the context (online/offline, location, etc.) and the device the user is using, including desktop, tablet, and mobile devices Touch enabled SDL products are optimized for touch input as well as traditional input methods such as keyboard and pointing devices. User can use these methods in combination, based on personal preference or individually based on device capabilities
  20. 20. Define Your Values
  21. 21. Communication, sharing, transparency Team over the individual Focus on goals and results, not just process Curious open minds driving change and innovation Diversity, equality, respect in the community Ambitions to make the world a better place What We Value in SDL’s UX Community
  22. 22. Create a Culture
  23. 23. We are a democracy, not a dictatorship • We have multiple distributed teams • It is all about teams iterating together and sharing information • Design decisions are de-centralized • Independent product UX teams for each product/development project • Centralized UX group for coordinating design decisions, vision and strategy development We agree on the same values and goals • We create transparency, we share our work, and collaborate We share UX concepts, designs, research results, and final deliverables with the internal UX community • We collaborate across the organization, work closely together with other product teams • We aim to understand what other teams did and why they did it like this • We provide regular design workshops, give demos, and seek for feedback • We ensure improved and updated designs are properly documented and communicated to all teams allowing them to adopt new designs across teams there too We get together and collaborate • When new projects start – we get multiple relevant product UX teams together in ”design war rooms" and discuss the design direction (What design patterns, screens, controls, etc. are available in other products that can be reused?) • We only leave the room with a common understanding of the design direction forward • We test our assumptions and iterate Some Principles
  24. 24. UX Community Culture Who  we  are 17 Designers, 9 Nationalities Diverse  global  group  of  design   researchers,  data  nerds,  user   advocates,  micro-­‐interaction  lovers   &  pixel-­‐perfect  UI  designers Hungry  for  innovation,  creative   processes,  strive  for  intuitive   interactions  &  beautiful  interfaces Our  focus  on  service  experience   make  us  connect,  collaborate,   bridge  teams,  and  connect  with   individuals throughout    SDL,   always  with  the  customer  in  mind. What we do User  Experience  Strategy Research,  innovation,  experience   architecture,  service  design,  design   process User  Experience  Guidelines Design  guideline  development,   documentation,  distribution User  Experience  Design Interaction  design,  prototyping,   UI  design  &  guidelines,  UI  controls &  documentation,  and  usability testing with product/project focus. How  we  work 5  Timezones,  7  Offices • UX  Community  Meeting   (Weekly) • UX  Strategy  Meetings  (Weekly) • UI  Alignment  Meetings  (tbd.) • UX  Summit  (Yearly) • “UX  Walls”  in  Team  Spaces • All  Designs  on  UX  WIKI • UX  Facebook  Hangout • Dribbble  Space
  25. 25. 2) Enable Collaboration Establish the Community Enable Collaboration Nurture Community Formulate a Mission Statement Set up a Communication Plan Define a Default Process Provide a Digital Space for Collaboration Provide a Physical Space for Collaboration Provide a Space to Hang Out Together Visit Conferences and Meetups Join the Larger Professional Community Define Your Values Create a Culture Establish a Vision Identify Members Define Your Discipline 1 2 3
  26. 26. Set up a Communication Plan
  27. 27. UX Community Call (Weekly) UX Strategy Meeting (Weekly) UX Summit (Yearly) Product Line Meetings (On-demand) Individual One2Ones (Bi-Weekly) Design Deep Dives (SDL focus, on-demand) Design Critique Sessions (Outside world focus, on-demand) SDL UX Communication Plan
  28. 28. Weekly UX Community Calls What we learned: Don’t do standup meetings… better have someone present their current work every week. Keeps meetings interesting and encourages sharing and regular feedback.
  29. 29. Yearly UX Summit What we learned: Get distributed teams together in a room at least ones a year (for 2-3 days) is invaluable. Face time and actually getting to know each other is is the foundation for remote collaboration.
  30. 30. Yearly UX Summit What we learned: Circulate offices. Hosting a UX Summit and gathering the entire community helped increasing visibility for the UX discipline in several offices.
  31. 31. Yearly UX Summit What we learned: Get stuff on the walls! Make it physical and tangible. Post-it’s rock! Invite related disciplines too (we invited other designers from Marketing which improved collaboration across departments).
  32. 32. Yearly UX Summit What we learned: Organize workshops (e.g. around design thinking and service design) and avoid long presentations. People get to know each other when working in groups, and get inspired when solving design problems together.
  33. 33. Design Critique Sessions (Outside World Focus) What we learned: Collect and bring awesome product and service design examples and explain what you love about them. Fosters discussions about design quality and recent trends.
  34. 34. Design Deep-Dives (SDL Focus) What we learned: Print major screens and get them all on the wall. Helps aligning interaction flows and visual UI design details.
  35. 35. Define a Default Process
  36. 36. Product Management (PM’s, PO’s, Business Analysts, Market Researchers) Engineering (Architects, Developers, Testers, Ops) User Experience (User Researchers, Designers, Design Strategists) Bring Disciplines Together Business (viability) Technology (feasibility) People (desirability) Innovation Happens Here!
  37. 37. Define Overall Process Customer Ecosystem Product Line Product LineProduct Line Product LineProduct Line Product LineProduct Line DevOps Leadership Experience Design & Guidelines Teams Focus on Design, Details, Execution, Guidelines, Documentation, Distribution SCRUM Teams (Dev/Doc/QA) Code, Consistency, Efficiency (Reusability) & Compliancy Experience Strategy Team Focus on Research, Innovation, Data, Strategy Product Management Team Focus on Market, Direction & Roadmaps
  38. 38. Define Actors, Actions, and Deliverables Action Deliverable Actor Feedback Experience Strategist ProductM anager Input User& M arket Research Document DocumentResearch D ata and Insights ProductBrief,Goals,Epics ProductRoadm ap UX Strategy UX Strategy Review UX Strategy Draft Reject Experience Strategist ProductM anager UX Strategy (Personas,Scenarios,Goals,Functional Specification,Prototypes) Present Update Document Interaction & UID esign (perstory) Review (perstory) Interaction & UID esign Draft Interaction & VisualUID esign (ProductspecificScreens,UIControls& UIControlLibraryControls,Docum entation) Start Project Experience D esigner Experience Strategist ProductO w ner/UID eveloper Reject Present Update Document Experience Guidelines Im plem entation (perstory) Functional& Usability Testing (perstory) Im plem ented Story Approved Story Approve Approve UID eveloper Tester Experience D esigner Reject Demo Implement Update / Fix
  39. 39. Align Actors & Actions ProductStrategy / ProductRoadm aps Experience Strategy Experience Design UIDevelopm ent/ Testing § Product Objectives (Business Goals, Success Metrics) § Functional Specification (Prioritized list of requirements) § User Needs (Research, Personas, Journeys, Service Blueprints, etc.) § UX Strategy (Goals, Experience Metrics, IA, Design Concepts, Prototypes) § Interaction Design (Conceptual Models, Metaphors, Flows) § Interface Design (Wireframes) § Visual Design (Colors, Icons, Typography, Grids, etc.) § Design Guidelines (Screen Templates, UI Controls, Rules, Documentation) § UI Controls & Example Code (Catalina Controls, Reusable Code, Documentation) PM / UX / Architects UX / PO / DEV Prior to Project During Project Experience Guidelines
  40. 40. Integrate with Existing Processes (e.g. UX & SCRUM) Input SupportInput Support Feedback  &   Input Support Support Product  Release Dev  Story Dev  Story Dev  Story Dev  Story Dev  Story Dev  Story Dev  Story Dev  Story Product   Backlog Sprint  Backlog Sprint  Planning Backlog   Grooming Daily   Scrum Potentially  shippable   product  increment Acceptance  /  Demo Retrospective Sprint (2-­4  weeks) Development Testing Documentation Sprint UX:  Detailed  Design  within   Sprints • Interface  Design  (Wireframes)  /   Information  Design   (Wayfinding)  /  Visual  Design   (Colors,  Icons,  Typography,   Grids,  etc.) • Terminology  (Tech  writers) • Design  Specification  /   Documentation UX:  Usability  Testing • User  Testing  (Users) • Usability  Inspections  (Testers/Other  Designers) • Cognitive  Walkthroughs • Heuristic  Evaluations • Conceptual  Evaluation  (Expert  reviews) Document   Designs Document   Designs Document   Designs Dev  Story Dev  Story UX:   Design  for   Sprint  3 UX:   Design  for   Sprint  2 UX:  Test  /   validate   completed   stories  Sprint  2 UX:   Design  for   Sprint  4 UX:  Test  /   validate   completed   stories  Sprint  3 UX:  Test  /   validate   completed   stories  Sprint  4 DEV:  Stories   not  requiring   desing DEV:  Review Designs DEV:   Implement   Stories DEV:  Review Designs DEV:   Implement   Stories DEV:  Review Designs DEV:   Implement   Stories DEV:  Review Designs DEV:   Bug  Fixing DEV:  System Architecture DEV:  Proof  of   Concepts Design  Documentation Completed   Stories Documented   Designs Completed   Stories Documented   Designs Documented   Designs C Completed   Stories C Release   Stories C Sprint  1 Sprint  2 Sprint  3 Sprint  4 Stabilization Product/Service  -­  Detailed  Designs Per  Story:  Interface  Design  (Wireframes)  /  Information  Design  (Wayfinding)  /  Visual  Design  (Colors,  Icons,  Typography,  Grids,  etc.) UI  Control  Library Product/Service  -­  UX  Strategy UX:  Evaluation • Beta  Feedback  (Internal/ External) • Feedback  (PS  /  Partners/   Customer  Support) • User  Testing  (Customers) • Collection  of  Metrics Post-­‐Release UX:  High  Level  Design   § UX  Strategy  (Goals) § UX  Research  (Personas,  Scenarios) § Interaction  Design  (Conceptual  Models,   Metaphors,  Navigation  Design) § Concept  evaluation Document   Strategy New/enhanced    UI  Control                                            UX:  User  Needs § Site  visits § Interviews § Questionnaires § Observations § Background  research § Competitor  studies Pre-­‐Project Input Technical   Feasability   Validation PM:  Product  Strategy § Product  Objectives  (Business   Goals,  Success  Metrics) § Functional  Specification   (Prioritized  List  of   Requirements) Sprint  0 reference  to Design  Story Design  Story This  sprint Next  sprint
  41. 41. Provide a Digital Space for Collaboration
  42. 42. Setup a WIKI for Collaboration What works for us: We maintain a separate space in our development WIKI
  43. 43. Encourage discussions What we learned: Tagging content, setting up “smart” lists (e.g. for discussions), activity streams, and notifications allow for high level of transparency and provide visibility on what everybody is working on.
  44. 44. Provide a Digital Space for Collaboration What we learned: Provide version information and status for all pages containing design concepts or UI specs. Provides clarity to stakeholders (e.g. PM & Dev) if they looking at a draft or final version of a page.
  45. 45. Experiment and pick what works for you…
  46. 46. Provide Physical Space for Collaboration
  47. 47. Allow for creativity
  48. 48. We had unused space…
  49. 49. We came up with a concept Creative  Spaces Town  Hall   Meetings Social  Spaces
  50. 50. So we got a “Creative Space” Colors Stimulate creative processes Whiteboard covering the whole wall Flexible movable furniture for various use cases (design workshops, hackathons, townhall meetings, product demos, etc.) More:  Google  Ventures:  Your  Design  Team  Needs  A  War  Room.  Here's  How  To  Set  One  Up
  51. 51. Creative Spaces Write with whiteboard markers on tables Helps every discussion
  52. 52. Design War Rooms / Walls Design Books Inspiration Personas Design Printouts
  53. 53. Design War Rooms / Walls
  54. 54. If Possible, Get the Community to Sit Together Decorate for soccer world cups! Get stuff on the walls!
  55. 55. 3) Nurture Community Establish the Community Enable Collaboration Nurture Community Formulate a Mission Statement Set up a Communication Plan Define a Default Process Provide a Digital Space for Collaboration Provide a Physical Space for Collaboration Provide a Space to Hang Out Together Visit Conferences and Meetups Join the Larger Professional Community Define Your Values Create a Culture Establish a Vision Identify Members Define Your Discipline 1 2 3
  56. 56. Provide a Space to Hang Out Together
  57. 57. SDL UX Community Hangout What works for us: (Almost) everybody is on Facebook and knows how it works. So we set up a private Facebook group for SDL’s UX community where we exchange articles, photos, talk about events, trends, share cat videos… everything except of actual discussions about work. Works great to create a sense of “closeness” with teams that are distributed over offices and time zone.
  58. 58. SDL UX Community Hangout What works for us: When anybody goes to a conference or meetup we share some pictures and what was discussed – keeps everybody in the loop and triggers our own discussions.
  59. 59. Participate in the Larger Professional Community
  60. 60. Gain Visibility in Existing Communities We are on Dribble! Visit our Dribbble Space and follow us: www.dribbble.com/sdl
  61. 61. Set up a Community Site, Blog, or Forum Shortly we will be launching a UX group in the public SDL Community. Join us there and participate in discussions around UX and design at SDL in general!
  62. 62. Conferences and Meetups
  63. 63. If You Do Cool Stuff Then Talk About It Speak on Conferences
  64. 64. Visit Conferences, Workshops, and Meetups
  65. 65. Host a Meetup, Un-conference, etc.
  66. 66. Host a Meetup, Un-conference, etc.
  67. 67. Summary Establish the Community Enable Collaboration Nurture Community Formulate a Mission Statement Set up a Communication Plan Define a Default Process Provide a Digital Space for Collaboration Provide a Physical Space for Collaboration Provide a Space to Hang Out Together Visit Conferences and Meetups Join the Larger Professional Community Define Your Values Create a Culture Establish a Vision Identify Members Define Your Discipline 1 2 3
  68. 68. Thank You! Questions,  Feedback?  Mail or  Follow me!

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