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1. Set up your team for success
2. Increase the value of your
Goals of Design Operations:
•Workflow / Design API
people in your
How does/can HR support people?
• Humane and intentional recruitment, hiring, &
onboarding (and offboarding)
• Personal & Team professional development
• Career path, feedback protocols, etc.
• Recognition & reward
• Org structure
“Now where should I put
my design organization this
year … ok, this week.?”
•Scaling over time
If you aren’t working to
get your top design
leader to be a peer with
both engineering and
product you are doing it
design practice to
create the most
value, not based on
who pays for it.
Designing Your Organization
• Requires the whole team across functions.
• Based on understanding the value of design
contribution to your organization.
• Guided by a “roadmap” towards a strategic
• Focus on balancing required skills.
The golden ratio
What is the ideal ratio for designers to
IBM is working towards 1:8.
Gartner suggests 1:3
Ideal ratio for number of
is >1 per product mngr.
— Kaaren Hansen
Ratios are bad
- Leisa Reichelt
Head of Research and Insights
Developing your team
• Keep team’s skills balanced.
• Move from generalists to specialists as your
• Invest in your people; they deserve it and
you need it.
A team that knows who they are and where they can go runs smoothest
• Acceptance to first day
• First day
• Equipment, desk
• Team Lunch
• Benefits & other bureaucracy
• Buddy System
• Knowledge Transfer
Inside and outside of
Developing a Community of Practice
• Share and learn from each other and beyond.
• Increase total design quality.
• Develop & maintain values, principles, and
• Create an environment that drives
engagement and connection.
the core method of
Knowledge is both
power and stability.
Issues in Communication
• Maintaining a history
• Change management
• Knowledge transfer
• Visibility cross-functionally
• Visibility into and from the executive team(s)
• Visibility across the design organization
The largest obstacle
to design success is
the misalignment of
the value proposition
that design itself
• Off-sites & team training
• Critiques & Reviews
• Ticketing and tracking
Craft starts and
ends with the tools
available and used.
Issues in Tools selection
• Boring stuff: Price, Legal, Security, Performance,
• Interoperability of formats
• Enabling remote & collaborative experiences
• To SaaS or not to SaaS
• Workflow with other designers and non-designers.
Partner with IT &
Decisions are made
in the workflow
and team API
•The connections and
processes that move to go.
continuous delivery &
•Connecting tools to make
a post-modern factory.
Pieces of workflow
What questions do you need answered?
What questions do you need to answer?
How does someone achieve answers?
What tools are need and how do they
What deliverables and where/how are
What are and who evaluates the
success/acceptance criteria for activity?
Trust vs. Control
What is needed outside of the activity to
make sure the activity can take place?
Governance is the basis
for decision making.
The rules you choose to
make and how you make
them will be your culture.
Design Systems &
What problem are you
trying to solve?
• Who is it for?
• Who set out the
requirements for it?
• What are the
Why Design Systems?
• They help scale your design team throughout the
• They help maintain consistency and coherency
throughout a complex application suite.
• They increase efficiencies in both design and
• They can aid in connecting design to the CI/CD workflow.
Parts is Parts
• Style & Voice Guide
(assets & docs)
• Pattern Library
(assets & docs)
• Component library
(Code & docs)
Issues in Design Systems
• It can’t be seen as a bottleneck
• It has to flow through stages of
• Version & Deployment Management.
Design Systems can act as governance
• Implement responsive (mobile friendly)
• Implement accessibility
Once a design system
needs to support
multiple teams it
starts to become a
product of its own.
Not all are full-time
• Product Manager
• Dev Lead
• FE Engineer
• Lead IxD
• Visual Designer
• Usability Engineer
Put a bow on it
Take the culture of
learning, and infuse it
inclusion, and vision.
Culture broken down
Moral and ethical code. Talks about our
relationships between humans, planet,
Helps us evaluate what we’ve made.
Is it good? Does it set us apart?
Are we improving quality?
What do we want to achieve as a
design team? As a complete
If we reach our mission how will we
know we go there? What does
success look like? What measures
does it have?
Where is it found?
What are we empowered to do?
What are we kept from doing?
How do we make decisions?
What rituals do we have?
How do we recognize and reward?
•The role needs to start
•1st by the head of design,
•Then a part-time role of a
•Finally a full-time
The role includes
Team project mngt
Team culture mngt
Team wide critiques
Design system owner
Team IT Administration
Qualifications for a Design Operations Leader
Systems: can map flows, relationships, and goals to
understand complexity and communicate it clearly.
Design depth: Community depth to gain insights. Plus
personal experience to extrapolate solutions.
Relationships: Needs to be able to build a wide net around
themselves to align and influence.
Understanding & Alignment: facilitate differing view
points to drive organizations towards action.
How are we structured?What constrains us?
What do we do? How do we communicate?Who are we?
Making it happen
• Boil bays > sounds > gulfs > seas > oceans
• Be sure to include and collaborate
• Drill hard into aligning value and meaning
• Measure continuously, adjust accordingly
• Imagine success and work to make it happen
DesignOps on WeChat
Contact Yushi Wang
For more info: