UX Lisbon - Things I've Learned (and Am Still Learning) from Leading (UX Designers)

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I’ve worked for a lot of idiot managers in my career. And then, one day, after I had become a manager, it dawned on me: Now I’m the idiot! You see, most of my career has been an exercise in “trial by fire.” This process worked well when I was a designer and was trying to master the art of the task flow, site map, wireframe, prototype, persona, and so on. In leadership positions, the option to go back to the drawing board or to iterate hasn’t always been readily available—nor as painless to my pride and potentially my pocketbook.

Many of these lessons haven’t been easy for me to learn. It’s been tough to simultaneously remove obstacles without becoming one, or learning how to say “no” (and the flavors of yes and no!) when I’ve also wanted people to be satisfied with me and the work I’m doing. However, these lessons have all helped me become better at managing to some degree, while instilling a strong sense of empathy for those people who either report to me, or bless their souls, manage me in one way or another.

If you’re interested in learning from some of the hard lessons I’ve learned, or in just laughing at my folly, there will be plenty of material to provide you with either opportunity.

UX Lisbon - Things I've Learned (and Am Still Learning) from Leading (UX Designers)

  1. RussUnger | @russu|GECapitalAmericas Things I’ve Learned from Leading & Am Still Learning! Russ Unger | @russu | GE Capital Americas UX Designers The Top 2-3
  2. Russ Unger | @russu | GE Capital Americas Source: Justice League War
  3. RussUnger | @russu|GECapitalAmericas you’ll EVERY NEW LEADER, EVER: Russ Unger | @russu | GE Capital Americas Where’s the Manual? (Almost)
  4. RussUnger | @russu|GECapitalAmericas
  5. Russ Unger | @russu | GE Capital Americas Source: Justice League War
  6. Russ Unger | @russu | GE Capital Americas Therearenogrown-ups.We suspect thiswhen weare younger,butcanconfirmitonlyonce wearetheoneswriting booksandattendingparent-teacher conferences. Everyoneiswingingit,some just do it moreconfidently. “ Pamela Druckerman Source: NY Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/01/opinion/sunday/what-you-learn-in-your-40s.html
  7. Russ Unger | @russu | GE Capital Americas Therearenomanagers.Wesuspect this whenwe are younger,butcanconfirmitonlyonce wearetheoneswriting reviews,SOWs,slide decksandattendingleadershipretreats. Everyoneiswingingit,some just do it moreconfidently.Everyoneiswingingit,some just do it moreconfidently. Source: NY Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/01/opinion/sunday/what-you-learn-in-your-40s.html “ Pamela Druckerman
  8. RussUnger | @russu|GECapitalAmericas THE TEAM CHARTER
  9. Russ Unger | @russu | GE Capital Americas What is a Team Charter? Aunifyingplanthat a team agrees toas its rulesof engagement andgoalsandobjectives. “
  10. Russ Unger | @russu | GE Capital Americas OUR UX TEAM You can count on me. No matter what you do. You can count on me. No matter where you go. I'm standing by your side. I'll be right behind. No one loves you more than I do, Put your hand in mine. I can see a part of me in you. A little something special that comes shining through. I hear it in your laughter, And I feel it when you cry, I will be right there for you, Until the day I die. You can count on me. No matter what you do. You can count on me. No matter where you go. You can count on me. TEAM PURPOSE COMMITMENTS TEAM FOCUS •User Research •Interaction Design •Information Architecture •Information Design •Prototyping •Usability Testing AREAS OF GROWTH You can count on me. No matter what you do. You can count on me. No matter where you go. I'm standing by your side. I'll be right behind. No one loves you more than I do, Put your hand in mine. PERCEPTION OF TEAM You can count on me. No matter what you do. You can count on me. No matter where you go. I'm standing by your side. I'll be right behind. No one loves you more than I do, Put your hand in mine. Image Source © Time Inc. It’s Like a Persona. For Your Team.
  11. Russ Unger | @russu | GE Capital Americas Team Purpose • Whatdoesthisteamdo? • Whatarewegoodat? • Whatshouldwebeknownfor? The UX team works with our customers to create useful and usable designs that meets the needs of our users and serves the business goals and objectives. We understand our users--their needs, behaviors and motivations and provide insight into how they use the products that we design. OUR UX TEAM
  12. Russ Unger | @russu | GE Capital Americas Team Commitment to Each Other • HowDoWeWanttoWork Together? • WhatAreOurExpectationsof EachOther? The UX team works with our customers to create useful and usable designs that meets the needs of our users and serves the business goals and objectives. We understand our users--their needs, behaviors and motivations and provide insight into how they use the products that we design. We work with each other to share our knowledge and grow and strengthen the team in all aspects of UX, and beyond. We acknowledge and respect our peers, their opinions, and the value of their work and will be critical of work product, but not the person doing the work. OUR UX TEAM
  13. Russ Unger | @russu | GE Capital Americas Focus Areas • WhataretheTypesof Work We Do? • User Research • Interaction Design • Information Architecture • Information Design • Prototyping • Usability Testing WHAT WE DO
  14. Russ Unger | @russu | GE Capital Americas Areas of Growth / Improvement • Where DoWeNeedMore Experience? • Whatis theRationaleforthe Need? • HowWillWeKnowWhen We’veAchievedtheGrowth? Experience Mapping GROWTH AREA RATIONALE ACHIEVED BY •Gets everyone involved in identifying touchpoints •Visually describes what the user’s journey looks like •Tell stories and craft narratives from the user’s point of view •Orient teams around a shared understanding of the journey •Expand on scenarios, personas, and mental models •Engaging in 1-3 Experience Mapping activities this year •Proving value through the activities by stakeholder approvals
  15. Russ Unger | @russu | GE Capital Americas Perception of the Team by Others • HowDoWeWantOthersto ViewOurTeam? • HowDoWeBuildthis Perception? • HowDoWeKnowWe’re There? Experts About Our Users PERCEPTION HOW TO CREATE ACHIEVED BY •Increase research activities •Identify opportunities to build usability testing awareness and activities •Including clients in the user- related activities to show them our process and expose them to users more frequently •Increase the amount of client collaboration that includes user discussions •Common theme/voice for UX team •Colleagues request our expertise in speaking to customers •Colleagues and customers recommend the UX Team’s expertise to our colleagues and customers
  16. Russ Unger | @russu | GE Capital Americas Signatures • WeAllAgreetoAllofThis! AGREED UPON BY
  17. Russ Unger | @russu | GE Capital Americas OUR UX TEAM You can count on me. No matter what you do. You can count on me. No matter where you go. I'm standing by your side. I'll be right behind. No one loves you more than I do, Put your hand in mine. I can see a part of me in you. A little something special that comes shining through. I hear it in your laughter, And I feel it when you cry, I will be right there for you, Until the day I die. You can count on me. No matter what you do. You can count on me. No matter where you go. You can count on me. TEAM PURPOSE COMMITMENTS TEAM FOCUS •User Research •Interaction Design •Information Architecture •Information Design •Prototyping •Usability Testing AREAS OF GROWTH You can count on me. No matter what you do. You can count on me. No matter where you go. I'm standing by your side. I'll be right behind. No one loves you more than I do, Put your hand in mine. PERCEPTION OF TEAM You can count on me. No matter what you do. You can count on me. No matter where you go. I'm standing by your side. I'll be right behind. No one loves you more than I do, Put your hand in mine. Image Source © Time Inc. It’s Like a Persona. For Your Team.
  18. Russ Unger | @russu | GE Capital Americas Benefits of A Team Charter • IdentifiesYourTeam’s Purpose • Defines theTeamCommitmenttoEachOther • ClearlyArticulatesAreasof Focus&Expertise • AcknowledgesAreasof Growth/Improvement • Explains HowtheTeamWants tobePerceived • ProvidesUnifiedAgreement UX ^
  19. RussUnger | @russu|GECapitalAmericas CRITIQUE Image Source © Time Inc.
  20. Russ Unger | @russu | GE Capital Americas New to Critique? Start Here. Aaron Irizarry & Adam Connor DiscussingDesign.com Source: SlideShare: http://www.slideshare.net/adamconnor/discussing-design-the-art-of-critique
  21. Russ Unger | @russu | GE Capital Americas The Problem Me HowdoImakecritiqueapartof our culture,asaformalizedprocess?
  22. Russ Unger | @russu | GE Capital Americas Eachoneteachone. “ Kim Goodwin many
  23. Russ Unger | @russu | GE Capital AmericasRuss Unger | @russu | GE Capital Americas Critique Buddies WTF are ?
  24. Russ Unger | @russu | GE Capital Americas The Setup L BBB L BBB M • Select“Critique Leads” • ManagerassignsCritiqueLeads • SelectTeamsof 3-4Buddies • Manager&LeadsAssign
  25. Russ Unger | @russu | GE Capital Americas How It Works • Weekly30minutemeetingswithCritiqueLeads & Buddies • Ad hoc meetingsasneededandas available • Can’t miss2weeks in a row • Critiquecanworkboth ways • Weekly30minuteCritiqueLeads& Manager • Reviewthecritiques • Critique&tweaktheprocess B B B L B B B L B B B L
  26. Russ Unger | @russu | GE Capital Americas Buddy Meetings • Startsveryinformally • Getto knoweachother • Reviewof what’sbeing worked on,etc. • Driven bytheCritiqueLead
  27. Russ Unger | @russu | GE Capital Americas Buddy Meetings • Shifts to (slightly)formal • Agendas,morestructured pitch/ presentation • LedbytheCritiqueBuddy
  28. Russ Unger | @russu | GE Capital Americas Leader Meetings • Reports onprogressof theteam • Creates &updates“CritiqueManual / Guide” forteam • ModifiestheCritiqueBuddyprogram based uponlearning • Selects nextCritiqueLeads(Quarterly)
  29. Russ Unger | @russu | GE Capital AmericasRuss Unger | @russu | GE Capital Americas That’s It! Image Source © Time Inc.
  30. Russ Unger | @russu | GE Capital Americas Benefits • Freesyour timeasprimaryreviewerof all design • Identifiesleadersand leadershipinyourteam • Uncoversgrowthandtraining /learning needs • Strengthenscritiqueabilitiesacrosstheteam • Increasesdistributed teamcommunication&interaction • Improvesfacilitation& presentationskills • Improvesdesignacrosstheteam
  31. RussUnger | @russu|GECapitalAmericas MASTERING TIME
  32. Russ Unger | @russu | GE Capital Americas We Don’t Need Another Hero
  33. Russ Unger | @russu | GE Capital Americas S l o w D o w n .
  34. Russ Unger | @russu | GE Capital Americas Big,GrandReveals areforAmateurs. And advertising agencies.“ Mitigate Design Surprises
  35. Russ Unger | @russu | GE Capital Americas Lighten Up
  36. Russ Unger | @russu | GE Capital Americas Work Hard. Play Hard. Bull Crap. Source: http://gsh.tumblr.com/post/60206622542/everyone-plays-harder-i-dont-want-to-play
  37. Russ Unger | @russu | GE Capital AmericasSource: https://signalvnoise.com/posts/3124-give-it-five-minutes Give It 5 Minutes
  38. Russ Unger | @russu | GE Capital Americas 5 Years When youfindyourself stressed,ask yourself onequestion: Willthismatterfiveyears fromnow? If yes,thendo something aboutthe situation. If no,then letit go. “ Catherine Pulsifer
  39. RussUnger | @russu|GECapitalAmericas SO WHAT?
  40. Russ Unger | @russu | GE Capital Americas • Team Charter • Facilitation • Collaboration • Critique • TimeisWorthYourTime My 5 Key Take Aways Non-Technical Skills!
  41. Russ Unger | @russu | GE Capital Americas Source: Justice League War
  42. Russ Unger | @russu | GE Capital Americas Everyone Else Aleaderisbestwhen people barely knowshe exists,whenher workisdone,her aim fulfilled,they willsay: Wedid itourselves. “ Lao Tzu
  43. Russ Unger | @russu | GE Capital Americas • Team Charter • Facilitation • Collaboration • Critique • TimeisWorthYourTime My 5 Key Take Aways Non-Technical Skills! • Bonus #1:LeadershipisMoreAboutYourTeamthanAboutYou • Bonus #2:Keeponwingingit.Confidently.
  44. Russ Unger | @russu | GE Capital Americas Thank You!

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