My leadership approach

Practicing mission-driven UX

My mission is to ensure that user experience empowers the people it serves, all while optimizing the business's bottom line. I follow three principles that let me uphold this mission.

Pragmatic research and design
Research and design are never done; they are due. Utilize fast and scrappy methods for research planning and execution. Prioritize generative research that helps product discovery, validates the product roadmap, and complex problems and workflows. Utilize usability testing for untested design patterns and user interfaces. Utilize personas for problem-framing.  Low-fidelity wireframes help designers clarify workflow without getting bogged down with interface details. Unlike high-fidelity designs, these are fast and scrappy iterations. Note: barring a few exceptions, most low-fidelity designs are best as a tool for designers, not cross-functional teams.

Mission and metrics do not need to be mutually exclusive
Measure the success of UX through analytics and a continual feedback loop of user research and testing; deploy easy cycles of define, design, and test.

Structured creativity
Utility and usability are critical drivers for success. Balance usability, usefulness, and aesthetics, and strike a balance between UX, product management timelines, and engineering constraints. Design needs to be outcome-based with a clear goal/objective.  

6 Things I learned in order to be a successful design leader

1. T.J.Watson, IBM President, said "“Good design is good business.” Designer should ensure their work is outcome driven executed as a high quality output.

2. Designers' superpower is talking to humans and understanding their problems,  attitudes and behaviors. Our core strength lies in framing customer problems, articulating ideas, iterating based on feedback and testing when needed. Never stop talking to people you are designing for.

3. Cultivate what you believe is your core strength.  Research, information design, interaction and visual design, UX provides a unique opportunity to specialize in a particular area or be a generalist. The world is our oyster.

4. Uphold design as a core business competency. Build design maturity within an organization around 4 key pillars: people, process, product, and culture.

5. Hire people who are better than you. If you continue learning, you’ll continue growing.

6. Be an effective delegator. Enable your team to be autonomous, remove their roadblocks, get out of their way.

My keywords for success for designers starting their professional journey: accountability, collaboration, allyship, listen, learn, speak up, be comfortable with being uncomfortable, be fearless and lead by empathy. 

Is there such a thing as an ideal design process?

There is genuinely no one-size-fits-all when it comes to processes. Even best practices can become unwieldy and ineffective if you don't contextualize the organization, process maturity, team expertise, dynamic, and the business problem at hand. I use generic frameworks at a high level then craft processes and recommend tools tailored to a particular organization.  

Timely research, focused problem definition followed by open-ended ideation
Write watertight and specific goals - for the business, customers, product, and user experience.
Utilize scrappy and nimble user research methods.
Spend time ideating on workflows and journey maps.
Test ideas early and often; know what to test.
Be both outcome and output-driven; uphold the user's voice, all while balancing the business bottom line. Thrive on accountability. Collaborate with cross-functional teams and be excellent with each other.
Apply economical and quick research methodologies. Listen and learn.
My mission is to ensure that user experience empowers the people it serves, all while optimizing the business's bottom line. I follow three principles that let me uphold this mission.