Often designers are leaned heavily upon for the "success" of the business since they are at the front lines when communicating with web users but are not involved on the front lines of the "business". When a user does or doesn't do what the business intended, it often times is reflected on the way it was "designed". We designers spend our time undercover until a piece of work is set into the wild. Most of that time we spend worrying about the way it looks and not enough about the way its used (or could be used). If we're expected to be a part of driving the success and not just aesthetics we need to spend less time trying to BE RIGHT and more time GETTING IT RIGHT. That requires us to spend less time undercover. We'll discuss ways designers can get involved earlier in the business decision process to allow them to have a good balance between business and user needs to foster more delightful experiences for all.
The business of design & the undercover user experience agent.
Who is this guy? You probably haven’t heard of me.
That’s ok, right?
a person (or their activities) involved in or involving
secret work within a community or organization.
Can you work Undercover?
is trying to make a difference possible while being an
undercover ux designer?
Why, you ask? Well, lets discuss.
“good design arises as much from the internal
structure of a company as from whether or not it’s a
priority” - Hartmut Esslinger
“I explained that to make design a core element of
Apple’s corporate strategy, it would have to be seen
as a leadership issue; world-class design can’t work
its way up from the bottom, watered down by the
motivations and egos of every layer of management it
passes through.” - Hartmut Esslinger
“…bottom-up design never succeeds, because even
good efforts by departments within such systems
remain insulated within the layers of the company’s
organizational structure and everything really
new, courageous and potentially game-changing
is destroyed by its passage through ‘the gates of
rejection.’” - Hartmut Esslinger
“Designers couldn’t simply be at the table: They had
to be in charge. Beautiful design requires designers in
charge.” - Hartmut Esslinger
Being “In Charge”
In Charge: What I first thought
an “in charge” designer has to win awards
In Charge: What I thought next
an “in charge” designer has to tell the internet who’s in
In Charge: What I thought next
an “in charge” designer doesn’t need help, or to be told what to do
In Charge: What I think now
its not about me. it’s not about control. its about the people
who use what I help make. its about being part of something,
something bigger than me. Lead, don’t control.
“Leadership is about encouraging acts of greatness...
Don’t take control, give control”
- David Marquet
The Business of Design
Lead Generation: What I think now
i think we’re afraid. i think we fear speaking up when we feel low on
the totem pole. we say “how can I lead when no one gives me the
“We need to fear the consequences of our work more
than we fear speaking up” - Mike Moneiro
people struggle with feeling creatively satified. what they truely
want is to make a difference. to do that we need to be surrounded
by our tribe, people that have similar goals and vision. if you don’t
have that now, find one, make one, join one.
my experticity leadership experience. i’m trying to make less
started as a front-developer/designer. messed up and made a
name for myself.
Leadership Journey: Internal developer tribe
did I start a mini tribe? kinda, in a way. a tribe of developers that
would watch the logs every time something was released to make
sure I didn’t mess up again.
Leadership Journey: Dev to UX
moved from front-end dev into user experience over the years.
asked for support and recieved it openly. i’ve been able to make
great things with great people because we work together.
Leadership Journey: Promotive
Leadership Journey: 3point5
Leadership Journey: Store
wireframes (14 screens)
design theming (4 brand designs)
admin integration strategy
Leadership Journey: Admin
design patterns, standards
Leadership Journey: Expert Profiles
prototype (client roadshow, user test)
user interviews, interaction testing
interaction rules / usability
long term roadmap strategy
Leadership Journey: Come out from under the covers
do I know everything about leadership. no. i’m just getting started.
i’m grateful for what i’ve learned so far and hope to continue to
share it with you in the future.
Creatively Inspired: The Great Discontent
strive to be creatively inspired and lead.