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Design Management Patterns

Yury Vetrov
October 12, 2019

Design Management Patterns

My company took a long way to become mature in design, starting from a pretty sad state. I want to share our approach with you, so you can speed up changes in product and organizational design or start these changes. It's a long-term strategy based on repeatable design management methods.

The concept is a part of an upcoming "Design Management Patterns" book — http://dmpatterns.com/.

Yury Vetrov

October 12, 2019
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  1. DESIGN MANAGEMENT
    PATTERNS
    How to make your company more mature in design
    YURY VETROV
    EX-MAIL.RU GROUP

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  2. 275
    NEW LAUNCHES & REDESIGNS
    25
    PRODUCTS
    30
    DESIGNERS
    YEARS

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  3. FROM REACTIVE TO PROACTIVE
    2011: Survival
    2012: All is set up, performance time
    2013-2015: Dozens of redesigns
    2016: Finding new long-term goals
    2017-2019: Long-term strategy

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  4. DESIGN MATURITY FRAMEWORK

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  5. LONG-TERM STRATEGY
    VALUES
    MISSION
    VISION
    STRATEGY
    TACTICS
    ALL YOUR LIFE
    20 YEARS
    5-10 YEARS
    1-2 YEARS
    3 MONTHS – 1 YEAR

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  6. A BOOK
    An upcoming book
    based on UXmatters article series.
    http://dmpatterns.com/

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  7. AN ONLINE COURSE
    3-month online course.
    Homework included.
    https://bangbangeducation.ru/course/dmpatterns

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  8. REDESIGN YOUR COMPANY
    The most common reason for bad products is that dysfunctional
    organizations have created them, so your first goal should be to
    fix your company.

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  9. DESIGN MATURITY
    FRAMEWORK

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  10. OTHER DESIGN MATURITY MODELS

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  11. COMPANY MATURITY
    ❑ Resources: budget, people, time, credibility
    ❑ Processes: from new feature initiation and development to
    distribution and support
    ❑ Priorities: business lifecycle stage: from product-market fit
    search to growth to crisis

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  12. LONG-TERM STRATEGY

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  13. 2015: SIMPLE LIST OF IDEAS
    Listed key product design & process enhancements.
    A simple list broken down by quarters. The idea to scale methods.

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  14. 2017: FUTURE WALL
    Depicts the backlog of UX and organizational debt,
    as well as the OKRs, in the form of a Kanban board.

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  15. STRATEGY PYRAMID (2018)
    The best way to choose what problems to solve first.
    We go from long-term vision and mission to methods.
    VALUES
    MISSION
    VISION
    STRATEGY
    TACTICS
    ALL YOUR LIFE
    20 YEARS
    5-10 YEARS
    1-2 YEARS
    3 MONTHS – 1 YEAR

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  16. VALUES
    ❑ Users
    ❑ Business
    ❑ Designers
    ❑ A healthy product team

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  17. MISSION
    Mail.ru Group is one of the biggest and most successful Internet
    companies in Russia (and Europe overall) with a total monthly
    audience of 150 mln users. Design of our products should match
    this status and be a key market differentiator for a company,
    strengthening the brand.

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  18. VISION
    ❑ Form a positive preconception for the brand.
    ❑ Scale best practices.
    ❑ Efficient.
    ❑ Proactive.

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  19. 1.
    FORM A POSITIVE PRECONCEPTION
    FOR THE BRAND
    Consider the whole customer journey for a product: user
    interface, marketing communications, ads, support.
    Improve employer image too.

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  20. 2.
    SCALE BEST PRACTICES
    Help products to be more mature in design and their teams to be
    more mature in design process.
    Consider diversity of their current situations.

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  21. 3.
    EFFICIENT
    Can solve product tasks quickly and in high quality, thanks to
    professional competence, tools and methods.

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  22. 4.
    PROACTIVE
    Initiate product updates when its design health gets worse.
    Can spot underserved user value that a product can solve to grow
    as a business. Sometimes it could lead to become a visionary of a
    new product.

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  23. STRATEGY
    Ideas, methods, or problems defined in a broad way.
    ❑ Bring value to products and business.
    ❑ Help to deliver products with decent design faster.
    ❑ All employees understand the value of design.
    ❑ Strong product and employer brand.

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  24. HELP TO DELIVER
    PRODUCTS WITH DECENT
    DESIGN FASTER

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  25. PREDICTABLE TIME
    FOR TASK DELIVERY
    ❑ Short-term: Sprint planning
    ❑ Short-term: Jira board for
    every subteam
    ❑ Mid-term: Meet product OKR
    ❑ Mid-term: Retrospective
    efficiency tracking
    ❑ Long-term: Strategy pyramid
    HELP TO DELIVER PRODUCTS WITH DECENT DESIGN FASTER

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  26. SOLVE PRODUCT TASKS
    QUICKLY AND EFFECTIVELY
    ❑ Paradigm design system.
    ❑ Constructors (landing pages,
    newsletters, etc).
    ❑ Repeatable design methods.
    ❑ Guidelines for static graphics
    (ads, marketing assets,
    illustrations, etc).
    HELP TO DELIVER PRODUCTS WITH DECENT DESIGN FASTER

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  27. FACILITATE HEALTHY
    AND EFFICIENT
    COLLABORATION WITH DESIGNERS
    ❑ Involve designers in backlog
    grooming sessions
    ❑ Newsletters on product
    launches with stats
    HELP TO DELIVER PRODUCTS WITH DECENT DESIGN FASTER

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  28. HIRE MORE STRONG DESIGNERS
    (IN-HOUSE & OUTSOURCE)
    ❑ Candidate database
    ❑ A tried-and-tested pool of
    outsourcers
    HELP TO DELIVER PRODUCTS WITH DECENT DESIGN FASTER

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  29. months
    TACTICS: NEXT OKRS
    (OBJECTIVE & KEY RESULTS)
    We choose 3-5 key themes for each quarter, then describe each
    of them as a goal (objective). Next, we plan concrete actions (key
    results) and define metrics that will tell us whether we’ve
    succeeded.
    We choose new OKRs in the end of a quarter, then track their
    progress every week.

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  30. OKR EXAMPLE: THEORY
    Objective: Put a man on the moon by the end of the decade.
    Key result: Build a lunar module weighing under 40,000 pounds
    by December 1965.

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  31. ALWAYS CREATE
    CUSTOMER JOURNEY MAPS
    Improve designer engagement into product work and impact of
    their work because they see whole customer journey for key job
    stories. Talk to product managers using a shared language.
    ❑ A common format for job stories and CJM is defined.
    ❑ Pilot products have key job stories and CJMs are described.
    ❑ At least one product meeting about CJM optimization was
    held for each pilot product.
    BRING VALUE TO PRODUCTS AND BUSINESS →
    DESIGNERS PROVIDE PRODUCT INSIGHTS

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  32. A COMMON FORMAT FOR
    JOB STORIES AND CJM IS DEFINED
    ❑ CJM: Choose a tool.
    ❑ CJM: Create a template.
    ❑ Job stories: Gather examples of Job stories about process and
    progress.
    ❑ Templates are synced with UX researchers.
    ALWAYS CREATE CUSTOMER JOURNEY MAPS

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  33. PILOT PRODUCTS HAVE KEY JOB
    STORIES AND CJMS ARE DESCRIBED
    ❑ Product X: Provisional job stories.
    ❑ Product X: Provisional CJM.
    ❑ Provisional job stories and CJMs are synced with UX
    researchers to validate or correct them.
    ALWAYS CREATE CUSTOMER JOURNEY MAPS

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  34. AT LEAST ONE PRODUCT MEETING
    ABOUT CJM OPTIMIZATION WAS
    HELD FOR EACH PILOT PRODUCT
    ❑ Product X: A workshop with a PM (barriers, motivators).
    ❑ Product X: Problem solution hypotheses with mockups.
    ❑ Product X: Problem solutions are implemented.
    ❑ Product X: We got metrics that prove or contradict
    hypotheses; another meeting with a PM to discuss results.
    ALWAYS CREATE CUSTOMER JOURNEY MAPS

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  35. The idea is simple –
    we turn an abstract idea
    into an obvious project plan.

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  36. WORKGROUPS AS AN
    IMPLEMENTATION ENGINE
    Each OKR has a workgroup (3-5 in a quarter). Designers can join
    them (1-2 max).
    I was a sole facilitator at the beginning. After the process was
    polished designers started to initiate and facilitate workgroups
    themselves. I’m here just to be sure they’re fine. We can do more
    and the team is more engaged.

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  37. 1.
    UNDERSTAND WHAT WE WANT
    Kick-off meeting helps workgroup to understand why and what
    for do we need this method. How it applies to our real tasks, how
    it’s useful for the team.
    Next, we describe an OKR – objective and measurable key results.
    After that we create a todo list for each key result and assignees
    for each item.

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  38. 2.
    GO THROUGH TODO LIST
    REGULARLY
    Workgroups meet every 2 weeks and distribute closest todo
    items. It drives the team towards the objective.
    It’s important to learn how to add these “infrastructure” tasks into
    a product roadmap. It allows enough time to get to the future
    faster, so designers don’t have to do it after work.

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  39. PILOT → EVANGELIZE → SCALE
    Our key approach in implementing any methods.
    First, we try a method on several test tasks and projects. If they
    show great results – we tell colleagues about this success and get
    partners for new implementations.

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  40. DESIGN MANAGEMENT
    PATTERNS BOOK

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  41. PRODUCT
    DESIGNER
    UX STRATEGY
    FRAMEWORK
    PLATFORM
    THINKING
    UX STRATEGY
    IMPLEMENTATION
    OUTCOME-DRIVEN
    DESIGN
    FROM DESIGN TEAM
    TO DESIGN CULTURE

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  42. DESIGN MANAGEMENT PATTERNS
    A checklist of organizational enhancements will help you begin
    making changes within your own company – or, if your journey is
    already underway, to accelerate those changes.

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  43. WHY PATTERNS?
    Methods are reusable.
    Many companies solve the same problems.
    ARCHITECTURE
    (1977)
    SOFTWARE
    (1995)
    USER INTERFACES
    (1997)
    DESIGN MANAGEMENT
    (2020)
    Design Management Patterns
    Yury Vetrov

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  44. OPERATIONAL PATTERNS
    O: A design leader
    O: Credibility
    O: Quick wins
    O: Т-shaped designers
    O: Hiring
    O: Short- and mid-term planning
    O: A common toolset
    O: Design critique sessions
    O: A tried-and-tested pool of outsourcers

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  45. TACTICAL PATTERNS
    T: Design team integration
    T: Team-work skills
    T: Stakeholder map
    T: A skill-knowledge matrix
    T: Internal marketing of design successes
    T: A design system
    T: Design debt
    T: UX design checklists
    T: Repeatable design methods
    T: Evaluating the quality of a solution for a problem
    T: Discovering problem solutions space
    T: Prototyping

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  46. STRATEGIC PATTERNS
    S: Company-wide design literacy
    S: Co-design
    S: A design leaders' club
    S: Long-term planning
    S: Influence over product roadmaps
    S: Design metrics that connect to business KPIs
    S: Discovering unsolved user problems and opportunity gaps
    S: Customer journey maps
    S: UX insights knowledge base
    S: Connecting a brand and user interface
    S: An employer brand

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  47. HOW DOES IT FILLS?

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  48. EVALUATION EXAMPLE:
    O: DESIGN CRITIQUE SESSIONS
    Minimum (1/3): Designers meet regularly.
    Partially (2/3): Meeting is constructive, every designer presents.
    Perfect (3/3): Product managers are involved in design critique
    sessions.

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  49. CALCULATE MATURITY
    1. Evaluate maturity for each pattern (e.g., 2/3).
    2. Calculate average maturity for all patterns in a level (2/3, 1/3,
    3/3, etc. – 70% in average).
    3. We get maturity for each level (e.g., operational at 70%,
    tactical at 50%, strategic at 30%).
    4. Fill a maturity level according to that percentage.

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  50. CURRENT MATURITY LEVEL

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  51. DESIGN MATURITY CORRIDOR

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  52. Value
    Improving product quality
    Accelerating time to market
    Reducing the risks of product launches
    Increasing products’ customer base and profit
    Strengthening your brand
    Hiring and developing product designers
    Recognizing the value of design
    BUSINESS VALUE OF DESIGN

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  53. Value now in a year
    Improving product quality good enough critical
    Accelerating time to market critical good enough
    Reducing the risks of product launches good enough good enough
    Increasing products’ customer base and profit critical good enough
    Strengthening your brand unimportant good enough
    Hiring and developing product designers good enough good enough
    Recognizing the value of design good enough good enough
    BUSINESS VALUE OF DESIGN

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  54. IMPROVING
    PRODUCT QUALITY
    When you improve the quality of shipped
    products, users receive greater value and
    development costs decrease.

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  55. MEASURES OF SUCCESS
    ❑ Shipped products are high quality, not just the mockups.
    ❑ The growth of key product metrics reflects users’ better
    opinion of a product.
    ❑ Fewer resources are necessary to sustain a decent level of
    quality.

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  56. SYMPTOMS OF THE PROBLEM:
    PRODUCT
    ❑ The visual design is inconsistent or incoherent.
    ❑ Features don’t work properly.
    ❑ It is unclear how features work, so users can’t use them.
    ❑ Products that the company has just acquired or launched are
    worse than older products.

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  57. SYMPTOMS OF THE PROBLEM:
    ORGANISATION
    ❑ Engineers implement mockups carelessly.
    ❑ Design implementations ship before designers have had a
    chance to review them.
    ❑ Designers provide inconsistent or half-baked mockups, so
    engineers must solve design problems during implementation
    – even though they’re not design experts.

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  58. SOLUTION:
    PRACTICES THAT ENSURE THE
    QUALITY OF DESIGN DELIVERABLES
    O: T-shaped designers
    O: Design critique sessions
    O: A common toolset
    T: A skill-knowledge matrix
    T: Repeatable design methods

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  59. SOLUTION:
    PRACTICES THAT ENSURE
    HIGH-QUALITY IMPLEMENTATION
    T: A design system
    T: Design debt
    T: UX design checklists
    T: Evaluating the quality of a solution for a problem
    S: Company-wide design culture
    S: Influence over product roadmaps

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  60. SOLUTION:
    PRACTICES THAT ENSURE QUALITY
    ACROSS THE COMPANY’S
    PRODUCT PORTFOLIO
    S: A design leaders’ club
    S: Long-term planning
    S: Design metrics that connect to business KPIs

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  61. Problem or idea
    Company-wide design literacy and training for managers and engineers
    Media kit for ads
    Description of UX debt
    Knowledge base for design trends
    Designers’ participation in product-roadmap meetings
    A standard format for mini-hackathons
    File-naming conventions
    SVG icon generator
    Benchmarking your products versus competitors’ products
    ORGANIZATIONAL DEBT

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  62. Problem or idea Value Level Complexity
    Company-wide design literacy and training
    for managers and engineers
    quality, risks, brand S quarter
    Media kit for ads quality, speed, growth T month
    Description of UX debt quality, risks, growth T month
    Knowledge base for design trends risks, growth S month
    Designers’ participation in product-roadmap
    meetings
    speed, risks, growth T month
    A standard format for mini-hackathons speed, growth, brand T week
    File-naming conventions quality, speed O week
    SVG icon generator quality, speed O quarter
    Benchmarking your products versus
    competitors’ products
    quality, growth S quarter
    ORGANIZATIONAL DEBT

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  63. DESIGN MANAGEMENT CANVAS

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  64. DESIGN MANAGEMENT CANVAS

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  65. FROM VISION TO ACTION
    You choose patterns according to long-term goals.
    It’s the most advanced approach.
    VALUES
    MISSION
    VISION
    STRATEGY
    TACTICS
    ALL YOUR LIFE
    20 YEARS
    5-10 YEARS
    1-2 YEARS
    3 MONTHS – 1 YEAR

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  66. A GROWING DEMAND
    FOR DESIGN MANAGERS
    More and more classic businesses like banks and telecoms are
    creating in-house design teams instead of turning to outsourcers.
    When there’s more designers, a company needs to integrate them
    into a product team and maximize value for both sides. A design
    manager helps designers to perform better and stay motivated;
    they also help product managers to work with designers better.

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  67. WHERE WE ARE? HOW TO GET BETTER?
    O: A design leader
    O: Quick wins
    T: Design team integration
    T: Stakeholder map
    S: Co-design
    S: A design leaders' club

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  68. WHAT TO DO FIRST?
    ORG DEBT CANVAS PYRAMID
    Basic design training
    Media kit for ads
    UX debt
    Mini-hackathons
    File-naming conventions

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  69. P.S.
    Think of your job as rebuilding a socio-technical system, not just
    redesigning some screens.
    The most common reason for bad products is a bad machine that
    created them, so your first goal should be to fix your company.

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  70. DMPATTERNS.COM
    The goal is to publish the book in 2020.
    Stay tuned :)
    http://dmpatterns.com/

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  71. THANK YOU!
    YURY VETROV
    linkedin.com/in/jvetrau twitter.com/jvetrau
    cover photo © Nick van den Berg

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