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Proven strategies backed by science for success.

Scaling Design Organizations

Different situations call for different styles of leadership. I focus on scaling design teams to mature design organizations that impact business success by utilizing user-centered design.

Marvin Olukayode Hassan - Daddy first UX Design Manager second

How I Build UX Design Teams

Analyze the Situation

Design organizations are more than one size fits all, and while there are many different models, centralized, embedded, or hybrid depends on the needs of the company and its maturity. The proper design organization will change and grow with company development and scale. Before making any changes to the setup, I conduct a thorough analysis of the status quo, the design maturity at hand, the capabilities of the designers on board, and how design can contribute to business success at the current stage.

Apply the Appropriate Process

Even the best designers can only thrive with the required tools in place. A design process that moves design work beyond visuals and towards business impact is such a tool. I align design processes with agile practices and ensure that both discovery and delivery get sufficient attention to be impactful. After all, successful companies build the right things and deliver them to their audience quickly.

Measure Impact

For years designers have fought to have a seat at the table. Only to realize that even in that seat, your voice only gets heard if you speak the language of business. Once a design practice has reached a sufficient level of maturity, I look to develop early indicator metrics derived from individual customer use cases and business goals.

Hire and Retain the Right Talent

Great design depends on great talent. Designers and researchers need to be able to execute their crafts at an expert level and collaborate with and integrate into the rest of the organization.

Design teams are no place for solo rockstars.

Unfortunately, our field is much too broad for one person to cover fully. To provide the team with the necessary skills to create valuable design solutions, I look to hire team members with complementary profiles. With diverse skill sets and backgrounds, the scope of capability becomes broader, and individuals can learn from each other.

Play Nice With Others

The best products are built when product management, design, and engineering work hand in hand to complement each other. When designers don't fence off design practices, many disciplines can profit from being involved in the design and becoming more customer-focused. As a design leader, I facilitate customer understanding across disciplines and fences throughout the business.

Particularly UX and product management frequently find themselves in overlapping areas of responsibility. My role as a design leader includes balancing this tension to ensure both practices can work well together and deliver sustainable solutions to customer needs.

Foster Continuous Growth

Designing development plans and enabling professional growth through mentoring and coaching individual team members secures high retention and make the design team more efficient and impactful.

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