When it come to design leadership I consider myself a hands-on leader who still actively designs and researches. My leadership style is equal parts doing and managing. I believe that the best way to inspire my team is to be involved in the work.
This quote sums up my approach well.
The most powerful leadership tool you have is your own personal example.
As a design leader, I believe in creating a professional environment that allows everyone to do their best work. It is my job to share my vision and guide and direct my team(s) to produce outstanding products that meet or exceed the goals of the company.
My success is measured by the positive impact my work has on people using the products I design, always enhancing the user experience. The essential components of my work are people and technology. When both work together successfully, the results empower people with technology, resulting in greater efficiency and effectiveness and a successful user experience.
Our best work is achieved when we have the resources we need and are allowed to find personal solutions to the tasks at hand. Success occurs over multiple axes—time, place, method, and approach. It is important for everyone to find the way that resonates with them and then to move forward.
As individuals and professionals, we all strive for constant growth—the opportunity to learn and create new things. Discovering new skills and methods keeps us excited and engaged. Our work is fresh and our contribution to our team continues to grow.
When the larger team or organization has a purpose that we believe in and are committed to, each of our roles has value. I believe that our profession directly contributes to the success and well-being of those we serve as well as to the larger social good. This manifests in greater productivity, achievement, and even delight.
Strengthen the design culture
I strive to lead a productive, proficient and coordinated design team and do so accordingly.
Define a clear set of team and individual objectives—a North Star we all can follow
Embrace transparency to empower my team(s) to make informed decisions
Offer clear lines of communication at all levels of the organization, including frequent team and one-on-one communication
Support creativity, innovation and problem-solving
Foster constant curiosity and a “quest for the best”
Increase my team’s skillsets and proficiency by providing the needed tools, training and resources
Maximize the adoption of process best practices, including design, research, and agile/scrum methodologies
Encourage critical thinking—there are no wrong questions
Understand that failure is only a step towards success
Provide a clear path to individual career advancement & growth
Build deeper relationships with our communities
My work feeds into the larger world that I belong to. This includes the company, industry and design community. To realize this understanding, I do the following.
Build a unified/collaborative design culture within my team(s)
Foster the exchange of ideas with close collaboration
Strengthen relationships with my non-UX stakeholders on the product teams I support
Engage in constant outreach to the constituents that I design for and who use my products
Outreach to customers to bring them into the design/decision-making process
Let the data that I collect, whether qualitative or quantitative, be the basis upon which I make design and product decisions
Involve all product stakeholders in the collection and analysis of that User Research data
Amplify the UX leadership reputation of my teams in the larger design community within and outside the company through constant engagement and support
Move towards a global perspective on design, realizing that my products serve an international community
Expand interaction with my off-shore teams, partners, and vendors
Design and deliver highly usable products
The primary focus of my teams is to shape experiences that will support and delight users. I think of the following while focusing on this mission.
Amplify the role UX plays in shaping the products I work on
Customers demand intuitive and usable experiences and it is my job to deliver such
Rely upon User Research as a key component in my process
The frequency of research activities should match the cadence of design cycles
Introduce innovations into my products—the state of interactive design and UX is ripe for change
There is an abundance of acronyms that hint at our future—including AI, ML, VR, and AR and one phrase—conversational interfaces. Let's discover the next set.
Cloud-based products convey their own set of user expectations that are much more fluid and turn-key than ever
Address areas where increased product integration and a consistent UX will provide a more unified experience
Move from tactical to strategic UX, or at least equally support both
Well-designed products not only offer marketing and strategic value but equally human value