DesignOps

At its core, DesignOps is about people — making processes and complexities easier for the people working within the system.

Hi! Fancy seeing you here! 👋

I'm a senior experience and product designer based in Singapore/Southeast Asia, with more than a decade's worth of stories and experience with digital products.

I spend a lot of time asking why and why not, a lot (not, however, a poet!).

As with a lot of things in my career, I realize that I have been practicing and executing DesignOps since before the term was popularized. I'm grateful for all the fumbling and rapid learning I had to do while trying to figure things out. Here are some opportunities and processes in place that I either own, or had partial ownership and influence in.

👥 Collaboration

Or: Ways we work together

Organization

  • Creation and development of a skill matrix so that there is a framework for progression
  • Defined and aligned measurements (OKRs) for the team, and helped team members in crafting their own OKRs
  • Drove hiring processes such as a scoring rubric for interviews (and fighting against take-home assignments!), and defining a general interview flow for questions to reduce bias in the process
  • Organizing full-day offsites for planning and strategic thinking

Ways of Working

  • Established weekly and monthly meet-ups for a distributed team
  • Adjusting rituals and meetings based on team feedback (increasing and dialing down as projects go through peak and trough periods)
  • Bridging gaps between project teams and the design team, and keeping everyone updated

Processes

  • Established a better onboarding process by facilitating customer journey workshops with the acquisition, people operations, and staffing teams, by identifying gaps and opportunities, and co-creating solutions (hey, exactly like we do for our clients!)
  • Introduced a feedback process in projects for iterative learning and continuous improvements
  • Infused pre-mortem and post-mortem rituals to allow the team to anticipate and reflect
  • Created a framework and templates to allow managers to ask for probation-related feedback for direct reports

✏️ Contribution + Craft

Or: Ways we get the work done

Principles & Frameworks

  • Expanding and upskilling team members in a heuristic evalution framework, by introducing both quantitative and qualititative scoring, measures, and analysis guidelines
  • Introducing the concept and framework of inclusive design, and upskilling the team in making that a consideration and priority when we design
  • Established a framework for getting a pulse-check on the team's well-being while on a project

Tools

  • Evaluating and assessing design and research tools, including running surveys on team's usage and preferences, helping the team to familiarity and mastery of the tools
  • Led a team to the creation of a product design accelerator (design system + frameworks + out-of-the-box journeys and flows), with outcomes of speedier response times to proposals and project work, and a future roadmap of accelerators for the other pillars that make up our capability
  • Championed the use of Notion to house team documentation, like a shared 'second brain' and having a space where culture is documented

Resourcing

  • Aligning and estimating resources from the team to projects and work steams
  • Heavy involvement in sprint planning to allow each team member to grow in strengths and development areas
  • Rolling out pair design by identifying pairs based on strengths and interests

 

🎉 Culture

Or: Ways we build a sense of safety and belonging

Community

  • Introduced a Team Directory where everybody gets to know each other a little deeper than the skills we have
  • Celebrating recognitions in unique ways that each team member would enjoy, whether it's curated coffee delivered, or a nice team meal out

Training & Learning

  • Organizing group training around essential topics like design thinking and accessibility 
  • Facilitating playbacks of learnings for the wider team, to ensure that the team learns together
  • Identifying relevant courses and classes for teammates and direct reports, based on their areas of improvements and interests
  • Organizing books in a shared library (hosted on Notion), ensuring that these self-paced learnings are accessible to everyone in the team

Communications

  • Establishing a regular cadence of 1:1s with direct reports and teammates
  • Created a framework to focus 1:1s around authenticity, honesty and openness