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Avoiding the "Oh S***" Moment Through Purposeful Team Building

UX Y'all
September 28, 2021

Avoiding the "Oh S***" Moment Through Purposeful Team Building

UX Y'all 2021 Session with Matt Rogers

UX Y'all

September 28, 2021
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  1. Avoiding the Oh S*** Moment Through Purposeful Team Building WillowTree

    | Matthew Rogers UX Y’all | 2021 www.willowtreeapps.com
  2. How many pink circles do you see on this screen?

    01
  3. Horse How many pink circles do you see on this

    screen? 02
  4. Chameleon How many pink circles do you see on this

    screen? 03
  5. Dog 04 How many pink circles do you see on

    this screen?
  6. Snail 05 How many pink circles do you see on

    this screen?
  7. Giant Clam 06 How many pink circles do you see

    on this screen?
  8. 07

  9. Pandemic Portals 08

  10. Tech Industry Pandemic Portals 08

  11. Tech Industry Pandemic Portals Healthcare Workers 08

  12. Tech Industry Pandemic Portals Healthcare Workers General Public 08

  13. Tech Industry Pandemic Portals Healthcare Workers General Public Offline Users

    08
  14. An “oh S***,” moment means 
 there is a blindspot.

    09
  15. But, where do blindspots 
 come from? 10

  16. 11

  17. 12

  18. This is a problem space. It’s where your problems, questions,

    and unknowns live. 13
  19. This is you (and me). Look at us, taking on

    this problem all 
 by ourselves. 14
  20. This is what you can do. All our knowledge, education,

    expertise, skills, and perspective represented in a cute little slice. Individual Contribution 15
  21. This is what your team 
 can do together. Bring

    in the developers, product architects, project managers, and the dancing lobsters. Collaborative Contributions 16
  22. This is what your team 


  23. What happens when problems arise? 17

  24. What happens when problems arise? 17

  25. What happens when problems arise? 17

  26. So, how do we stop them? Blindspots are a problem.

    18
  27. New mentorship programs. More meetings. Require Talk to the stakeholder

    more frequently. Make tea ake teams bigger. Encourage further education for Hire more testers. Focus on quality assurance. Take Run more user interviews. Spend more time on rese ve team check-ins. Sit down with users more freque old workshops. Focus on team bonding. Try to emp 19
  28. New mentorship programs. More meetings. Require Talk to the stakeholder

    more frequently. Make tea ake teams bigger. Encourage further education for Hire more testers. Focus on quality assurance. Take Run more user interviews. Spend more time on rese ve team check-ins. Sit down with users more freque old workshops. Focus on team bonding. Try to emp 19
  29. New mentorship programs. More meetings. Require Talk to the stakeholder

    more frequently. Make tea ake teams bigger. Encourage further education for Hire more testers. Focus on quality assurance. Take Run more user interviews. Spend more time on rese ve team check-ins. Sit down with users more freque old workshops. Focus on team bonding. Try to emp 19
  30. New mentorship programs. More meetings. Require Talk to the stakeholder

    more frequently. Make tea ake teams bigger. Encourage further education for Hire more testers. Focus on quality assurance. Take Run more user interviews. Spend more time on rese ve team check-ins. Sit down with users more freque old workshops. Focus on team bonding. Try to emp 19
  31. New mentorship programs. More meetings. Require Talk to the stakeholder

    more frequently. Make tea ake teams bigger. Encourage further education for Hire more testers. Focus on quality assurance. Take Run more user interviews. Spend more time on rese ve team check-ins. Sit down with users more freque old workshops. Focus on team bonding. Try to emp 19
  32. Diverse, Inclusive + Interdisciplinary Team Building UX Y’all 2021 20

  33. What does a 
 non-diverse 
 team look like? 21

  34. What does a 
 non-diverse 
 team look like? If

    you put together a team that all 
 looks the same, thinks the same, and works the same, you end up with a lot 
 of overlap. In this circumstance, large swaths of the problem space can go unnoticed. 
 
 Privilege, perspective, and experience leave lots of stones unturned. 21
  35. What does a 
 non-diverse 
 team look like? At

    this point, most of us have heard about issues around Facial Recognition. Because of a lack of diversity on the teams building facial recognition software, it only worked for a subset of the population - which wasn’t caught until after the launch. Facial ID Very Big Blindspot Oops, our bad Try Again 22
  36. Because of all of our implicit biases, our lived experiences,

    and the identities we hold, we can never truly understand and anticipate how those different than us will interact with the products we make. It’s beneficial to have teams that may better reflect the diverse pools of users that interact with the things we create. Facial ID Very Big Blindspot Oops, our bad Try Again 23
  37. What does a 
 diverse team 
 look like? Diverse

    teams see problem spaces from more angles, with more perspectives. They’re way more likely to understand and empathize with your user base. They create dialogue, critique, and conversation around how to make our products work for more people. 24
  38. Non-Diverse Team: Diverse Team: Majority Uncovered Majority Covered 25

  39. Diversity is the what. Inclusion is the how. So you’ve

    brought all these diverse perspectives to the table. Now what? You have to make sure there’s space for everyone to speak and be heard. 26
  40. Education Training Perspective Work Experience Lived Experience Identities Biases What

    you have to offer: 27
  41. Education Training Perspective Work Experience Lived Experience Identities Biases Lack

    of Inclusion: What you have to offer: What is received: 27
  42. Education Training Perspective Work Experience Lived Experience Identities Biases Lack

    of Inclusion: What you have to offer: What is received: 27
  43. Our users need our 
 teams to be inclusive 


    (Meet Bill). Bill (my grandfather) was given a rebate on his house, but is forced to access an online form to receive those funds. He can’t do that on his own, so relies on his children 
 to help him. If someone on the team in charge of the rebates was caring for an aging parent and felt safe to share their experience at work, the solution might be different. 28
  44. What does an 
 inclusive team 
 look like? Inclusive

    spaces champion openness and collaboration. They allow each team member a safe space to express, experiment, and critique. 
 They encourage everyone - leadership and team members alike - to interrogate their own biases, privileges, and areas for growth. 29
  45. Lack of Inclusion: Inclusive Environment: Limited Contribution Expanded Contribution 30

  46. What about building 
 interdisciplinary teams? I’m sure a lot

    of you are thinking, “Check, I already do that!” and to be fair, most digital teams nowadays already are doing this! Designers work shoulder to shoulder with developers, developers with researchers, researchers with PMs, and so on and so forth. 31
  47. What does an 
 interdisciplinary 
 team look like? But

    you can get more out of your interdisciplinary teams if you don’t restrict them to specific lanes. Invite your developers to critique your designs. Let your researchers weigh in on statements of work. We all work in tech. We all consume digital products. By letting all team members express thoughts and views across disciplines, you double check and triple check your work. 31
  48. Interdisciplinary Team: Dynamic Contributions 32

  49. Negative Outcome: Positive Outcome: 33

  50. Negative Outcome: Positive Outcome: 33

  51. Cohesive 
 Teams Advocating for inclusive and diverse teams will

    make them more pleasant places to be. 34
  52. Cohesive 
 Teams Lower Risk of Blindspots Because more of

    the problem space is being covered, there will be fewer missteps, 
 fewer crashes, and fewer missed users. Advocating for inclusive and diverse teams will make them more pleasant places to be. 34
  53. Cohesive 
 Teams When problems do arise, you’re more likely

    to have a team member who has faced this problem before or has valuable insight. Lower Risk of Blindspots Problem Preparedness Because more of the problem space is being covered, there will be fewer missteps, 
 fewer crashes, and fewer missed users. Advocating for inclusive and diverse teams will make them more pleasant places to be. 34
  54. This effort is critically important for marginalized peoples, but benefits

    everyone. Big Note 01: 35
  55. It can’t just be a company goal. It has to

    be team-centric. Big Note 02: 36
  56. Team building is everyone’s job. But how can I help?

    37
  57. What can I do to help in building better teams?

    • Challenge your own biases and privileges. 
 • Be attentive to the language you use. Apologize and own up to any mistakes you make. 
 • Prioritize psychological safety and open communication. “Safe Space,” isn’t a joke, it’s the goal. 
 • Bring yourself to work. It makes it easier for others to do the same. (For Everyone) 38
  58. What can I do to help in building better teams?

    • Take a critical look at your teams. 
 Can you classify them as diverse, inclusive, and interdisciplinary? If not, how can you help? 
 • Take a critical look at leadership and the teams you belong to. At this level, team composition is important to the whole company. Can you classify them as diverse, inclusive, and interdisciplinary? 
 If not, how can you help? 
 • Bring yourself to work. It’s especially important that managers and mentors set the tone for authenticity, openness, and transparency. (For those who 
 build/manage teams) 39
  59. Diverse, inclusive, and 
 interdisciplinary teams 
 make your company

    
 & products better. 40
  60. How many pink circles do you see on this screen?

    41
  61. What about now? 42

  62. Thank you! WillowTree | Matthew Rogers UX Y’all | 2021

    matthew.rogers@willowtreeapps.com willowtreeapps.com mattrogersdesigns