A book by Yury Vetrov

Design Management Patterns & DesignOps

Companies want to have a mature design practice, but many organizations are still far from it.

32 Design Management Patterns

Design Maturity

The book helps to speed up changes in product and organizational design or start these changes.

Yury Vetrov

I lead several design teams at Raiffeisen Bank Russia. Before that I did the same at Mail.ru Group, one of the largest internet companies in Europe with ~150 mln monthly users. I had a UX consultancy before (UI Modeling Company). I run a blog on design management in Russian at jvetrau.com, one of the most popular UX communities here, publish on Smashing Magazine, UXmatters and UX Collective, curate Future London Academy course in London, and run one of the biggest design conferences in Russia.

Overview Presentation

I presented this overview in Prague at UXCited conference.

Part 1: Maturity Models

In a perfect world companies take a systematic approach to product design right from their first days. But in reality it happens in spot due to various reasons. Based on our experience at Mail.ru Group and looking at other companies, plus learning about existing UX maturity models, I’be defined three levels of UX maturity — operational, tactical, and strategic.

Part 2: The Product Designer

Each level of UX maturity has its own challenges, goals, and limitations. These change as an organization matures. We need strong UX leaders with the clear vision and passion that are necessary to drive change and realize their goals, ensuring that their company’s design culture can grow rather than falling into decline because of real-world limitations. However, UX maturity is impossible without great product designers and a strong UX design team — a great leader alone is not enough.

Part 3: Platform Thinking

Guidelines and pattern libraries are classic solutions for systematic product design. However, a guideline is yet another static artifact that designers should create and support. It adds one more step into the process, so we get a "guidelines → design mockup → front-end code → implementation" workflow and this workflow loses a lot of design details on every transaction and generates bug hordes along the way. Only if we move reference design from static documents onto implementation level, we can shorten the production cycle to "guidelines = design mockup = front-end code → implementation". A lot of troubles with the design implementation, enhancement and support will go away then.

Part 4.1: From Design Team to Design Culture (see part 4.2)

For design to be an integral part of a dynamic production process, with fast updates and new product launches, and make a company successful in a highly competitive market, we have to focus on three things: teams, leaders, and culture. While design process is still important, it’s now more like a hygienic requirement. It’s necessary, but not sufficient to ensure a strong design team. We need an effective design process, but to achieve great experience outcomes, a team must have shared values.

Part 5.1: Outcome-Driven Design (see part 5.2)

Product designers fight for users every day, but they often use arguments that do not speak effectively to product managers, citing design best practices and guidelines, case studies from other companies, or even aesthetic principles. Most product managers are not capable of applying such knowledge to their products. Everybody would be happier if product designers could translate user painpoints into the language of business instead of arguing endlessly. Strategic designers influence the what and the why at their company.

Part 6.1: UX Strategy Implementation (see part 6.2)

The final part in this series covers overall UX strategy implementation plan. I’ve compiled a checklist of organizational enhancements, or design-management patterns, that I hope will help you begin making changes within your own company — or, if your journey is already underway, to accelerate those changes. As your organization adopts these patterns, you’ll achieve the UX maturity levels.

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