How to Create a Kickass Design Team with: Jon Wiley- Google, Lisa Anderson– Intuit, Irene Au– Google, Edward Garana- Hoover’s Inc,Tjeerd Hoek – Microsoft
How measure success?
- Happy clients, designers, product success
- Your designers sometimes make clients nervous (ask hard questions, push the envelope)
- How often and early clients WANT to bring your team in
Desired skill set?
- Ability to draw people in
- People who “go all the way” and do what’s necessary, as opposed to just strictly what’s in their job description
- People who can handle constraints
- People who can accept feature cutting
How manage to “create” kick ass designers
- Direct mentorship and coaching (don’t get too far from the product that you can’t give real and constant feedback)
- Design reviews
- Build a community- share best practices, makes sure teams work together
How deal with competing priorities of being tactical and strategic?
- Must allocate part of your team to thinking ahead
- One strategy is to put junior people on “production team” that deals with fast, less strategic projects that are still learning opportunities
How communicate success & value of team to rest of company?
- Bottoms up- “google tech talks”, toilet ads, build user-focused culture
- Top down- product reviews, feed execs good UE questions to ask
- Need inspirational UE leaders
- Show execs users using the product
- Create usability metrics and define what happens if you don’t meet them
What behaviors to avoid?
- Telling people we “own” the design
- Whining/ complaining
- Never stop innovating & challenging
How attract & keep top talent?
- First make sure you hire top designers AND employees
- Identifying who you want is 50-60% of it
- Learn to sell, understand what motivates someone and offer it
- Share the glory- big/ good projects
- Build a team from great junior people (hire from universities)
- Get really good at interviewing- build a great interview team that is well trained at identifying the characteristics you’re looking for (and not looking for) & recruiting
- Check references- people are usually quite honest about strengths and weaknesses
- Know the behavioral skills you’re after-
- Look for passion, intellect, relationship management skills