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The latest from Rosenfeld Media

The latest from Rosenfeld Media

  • Interview with Christian Crumlish, Curator of our new conference, Design in Product

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    Lou sits down with Christian Crumlish, a product and UX leadership consultant at Design in Product, where he also hosts a product/UX community. Together they discuss the challenges that Design and Product traditionally have faced. They explore the intersection of these two functions and the need for a long overdue conversation: how Design and Product can be better partners. Christian is named as the curator of the newly announced Design in Product conference, hosted by Rosenfeld Media on December 6, 2022. They go on to discuss how this event will help designers and researchers better understand the challenges that product people face in order to improve their working relationship.

    Accessible voting information: If you can’t find it, is it really there?

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    Sometimes the problem with accessible voting information is that you simply can’t find it While more people with disabilities are voting, there is still a stubbornly persistent voting participation gap between people with and without disabilities, according to Doug Kruse and Lisa Shur’s research for the U.S. Election Assistance Commission in 2020.

    Graph illustrating the participation gap between 2016 and 2020. Details in text below

    Between 2016 and 2020, the percentage of voters with a disability grew from 55.9% to 61.8%. But for voters with no disability it was 62.2% to 67.5% — still a 5.7% difference. Learn more about this research on the EAC website.

    The team at the Center for Civic Design wondered how hard it was to find information about independent and private voting across the country. Read their findings on Medium.com.

    Meet the Teachers Series: The Content Strategy Practice Blueprint

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    work·shop /ˈwərkˌSHäp/ noun: a meeting at which a group of people engage in intensive discussion and activity on a particular subject or project.

    Instructor: Natalie Dunbar, Senior Manager, Design – UX Content Strategy, Walmart  [bio]

    Natalie will be leading this workshop, The Content Strategy Practice Blueprint: Building from the Ground Up, starting Monday, September 14, 2022.  She is also the author of the recently-published book, From Solo to Scaled: Building a Sustainable Content Strategy Practice.  We asked Natalie to tell us a bit more about the curriculum beyond the standard website blurb (full description below).  Here’s what she told us.

    In a nutshell, what problem are you helping people solve at your workshop? 

    Using the five components that comprise what I call “The Content Strategy Practice Blueprint”, my workshop will help guide attendees through building a successful user-experience-focused content strategy practice from the ground up—one that brings great value to agency or in-house UX teams.

    Who are those people, and why is it so important to them to solve it? 

    Content strategy is clearly critical to brands and organizations, but it can be difficult to know where to start, or how to grow it into a successful and scalable practice. My workshop will be useful for those who may be the only content person in an organization, leaders of small content teams that are looking to grow, or UX or DesignOps leaders.

    Does your approach represent a departure from previous approaches to addressing the challenge? 

    Many great books have been written on the “how to” of content strategy. As well, there are just as many great resources that address specializations within the discipline, such as content design and content modeling. There are even a few resources that address the types of content professionals that are important to hire. But there really isn’t a resource that teaches how to build a practice. My workshop—and the book it’s based upon—fills that void.

    Can you provide a brief anecdote/story about the problem/topic that illustrates it, and, ideally, your approach to solving it? 

    After being hired at a small agency as the first-ever content strategist on a single client project and demonstrating the value of the discipline, I was given an opportunity to build a small practice to meet demand as more and more clients came to understand that content can make or break a user’s experience with a brand, product, or service.

    A few years later, I moved to a larger organization and ended up leading an in-house team. Suddenly I was faced with figuring out how to approach the painstaking work of integrating our processes with other disciplines in the company’s sizeable experience design team, with the ultimate goal of building a content strategy practice that was both scalable and sustainable.

    All I had to go on was my experience building that small practice at the ad agency and the rough practice-building blueprint and process framework I’d sketched out with the help of my agency colleagues. The big question was: Could I scale it?

    Using and refining the approach I developed while at the agency, called the Content Strategy Practice Blueprint, we were able to establish, grow, and sustain a larger user experience-focused content strategy practice at the healthcare company.

     

    Workshop Description

    The Content Strategy Practice Blueprint: Building from the Ground Up

    3 day virtual workshop

    September 14-16, 2022, 12-3:30pm PT

     

    Whether you’re the only content person in your organization, the leader of a small content team that you’re looking to grow, or a UX or DesignOps leader, if you’ve been tasked with creating a content strategy practice, Natalie Dunbar’s workshop will help guide you through building a successful content strategy practice from the ground up that brings great value to your agency or in-house projects.

    You’ll learn the five components to the practice building process that comprise the Content Strategy Practice Blueprint, detailed in Natalie’s new Rosenfeld Media book, From Solo to Scaled: Building a Sustainable Content Strategy Practice:

     

    • Making the business case for a content strategy practice
    • Building strong relationships with cross-functional teams
    • Creating a foundation of frameworks and tools
    • Rightsizing the practice to meet client or project demand
    • Establishing meaningful success measures

     

    Learn to use this blueprint to create a practice that’s both sustainable and scalable, either as a part of, or as a service to, a digital or user experience focused department or team.

    Learn more and register here>>

    Meet the Teachers Series: Taking your DesignOps to the Next Level

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    work·shop /ˈwərkˌSHäp/ noun: a meeting at which a group of people engage in intensive discussion and activity on a particular subject or project.

     

    Instructors:

    Kristine Berry, IBM Z DesignOps Program Director [bio]

    Jenny Price, DesignOps Lead and Manager, IBM [bio]

     

    Kristine and Jenny will be leading this workshop, Taking your DesignOps to the Next Level, starting Monday, August 29, 2022.  We asked them to tell us a bit more about the curriculum beyond the standard website blurb (full description below).  Here’s what they told us.


    In a nutshell, what problem are you helping people solve at your workshop?

     

    We’re focused on uncovering how we might bridge the gap for teams who understand that DesignOps can increase the impact and effectiveness of their design teams but need to figure out how and where to focus those DesignOps resources for maximum benefit for the team and return for the business, and wider organization.

     

    Who are those people, and why is it so important to them to solve it?

     

    This workshop is for any DesignOps practitioner or manager who invests in design teams, whether they are just getting started or already have a dedicated team, whether they have a large or small design team, whether their design practice is emerging or mature, and whether they are looking to scale their capabilities at the organizational level. Understanding their biggest DesignOps gaps and pain points, finding solutions and creating a prioritized roadmap to bring back to their teams will help them take their DesignOps practice to the next level.

     

    Does your approach represent a departure from previous approaches to addressing the challenge?

     

    Our approach is unique in that we offer a quantitative and qualitative way to measure DesignOps strengths and weaknesses, and then we bring great DesignOps minds together to brainstorm ideas, opportunities, experiments and refine solutions while applying Enterprise Design Thinking practices. 

     

    Can you provide a brief anecdote/story about the problem/topic that illustrates it, and, ideally, your approach to solving it?

     

    As one example, a design team set forth in defining performance goals for the year. The DesignOps practitioner had a “gut feeling” of where the DesignOps practice should focus but wanted to share data with the leadership team to validate this direction. They used the DesignOps assessment to generate a score for each of the four pillars we’ll be diving into during the workshop. Sure enough, one area of focus was validated (Yes, the team needs to work on defining better metrics) and a secondary one was highlighted (the role of design) that they hadn’t considered a priority before taking the assessment. This data was shared with the leadership team, who brainstormed solutions that they are executing together to address the biggest DesignOps needs of the organization.

     

    Workshop Description

     

    In this workshop, you will explore how you might build and scale essential areas of DesignOps to support sustainable design teams – whether you’re just getting started with DesignOps or already have a mature practice. Jenny Price and Kristine Berry, two IBM DesignOps leaders, will lead you through a framework (based on IBM Design Thinking) to assess your DesignOps capabilities and identify opportunities for growth. You will walk away with a customized, actionable roadmap for your team and organization’s path forward towards a sustainable and scalable DesignOps program.

     

    During hands-on, team-based activities, you will assess and identify ways to improve your team’s DesignOps strategy by:

     

    • Exploring strategies for advancing DesignOps within your team
    • Assessing DesignOps opportunities and gaps for your team using IBM’s DesignOps framework
    • Engaging with other DesignOps and Design leaders who are interested in solving for pain-points
    • Developing a 30-60-90 day roadmap to share with your team
    • Learning more about DesignOps resources, methodologies, and applications

     

    Learn more and register here>>

     

    Podcast: ADHD—A DesignOps Superpower

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    The following article is based on a recent interview conducted by Lou Rosenfeld, Publisher of Rosenfeld Media from his podcast, The Rosenfeld Review.  In this episode, Lou speaks with Jessica Norris, Design Enablement Coordinator.  The interview has been edited for clarity and length.

     

    [Lou] My guest today is Jess Norris, Atlassian’s design enablement coordinator. Is that the same as design ops?

    [Jessica] It’s part of design ops.  At Atlassian, it’s one of our pillars regarding design ops. So enablement is really about programs focused on growth development and community. Something that we’re planning to look at first is onboarding. So how do we set up our new starters that are designers for success by aligning them with our best practices, the tool sets, and to what the expectation for what design quality really is?

    [Lou] At the Design Ops Conference, you’re talking about ADHD and how it’s a design ops superpower. I’m really glad to hear this because I’m the dad of two kids who’ve been diagnosed with ADHD. There are a lot of different perceptions about what ADHD is in terms of, is it about hyperactivity? Is it about executive function? Is it about something else? Can you explain what ADHD is and then jump into how it impacts design and design ops?

    [Jessica] Yes, definitely. So, going back to basics, ADHD is attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. There are actually three different types of ADHD. The first type is primarily hyperactive and impulsive. That tends to be the stigma around ADHD, it causes hyperactivity. The second type is predominantly inattentive. So this is where I sit. And this kind of ADHD revolves around the trouble of regulating attention. So distractibility, or the difficulty of processing information quickly. And the third kind of ADHD is a hybrid of the two. 

    [Lou] Is there any correlation with gender? I certainly heard that boys tend to have ADHD of the hyperactive type, and girls are more likely to have the inattentive type.

    [Jessica] I don’t know if there is a real correlation from a biological point of view, but ADHD goes severely underdiagnosed in women, and it’s because every single person with ADHD can present completely differently. Women also are very good at masking that they have ADHD. What I found is that in males, it can be more obvious, especially in children, if someone’s hyperactive. But for women, it can be seen as girls just being chatty, which is not as obvious. And apparently, the majority of studies on ADHD have been done on cisgender men. So that’s why a lot of what we know about ADHD is really skewed towards men as well.

    [Lou] So, now that we have a general understanding of ADHD, let’s talk about your own experience. When you are hyper-focused, what do you tend to hyper-focus on? 

    [Jessica] I tend to focus on very detailed tasks. My background is in service design as well as product design. So working on journey maps, tasks that are really about problem solving and more detailed where it’s clear what you have to do. I just want to sit down and get it done already. That’s when I tend to be really focused. 

    [Lou] So let’s take service design. It sounds like you’re able to dig deeply into journeys, but do you have to step back to have the big picture of the journey, or a real broad understanding of the systems involved? Is that something you’re able to do despite the fact that it may not be at that level of detail? Or do you pair with someone who is able to sort of see that bigger picture, but may not be as strong at a detailed level?

    [Jessica] I think everyone has their own strengths and so it’s very good to work in a type team because you really get to balance out those strengths and weaknesses. I do think that I can work at that high level picture. It’s just that I get more interested in the details. But I have a strong understanding of my ADHD. I’ve been lucky enough to go to therapy for it. So, I know how to pull myself out of hyper focus and how to have a really good baseline and regulate my attention more so I can be attentive to the stuff that is more high level that might not interest me as much. But it’s always good to be working within a team where you do have different needs and different strengths to balance each other out.

    [Lou] On your journey to being diagnosed with ADHD, how did you find out you had ADHD and did it change the way you worked?

    [Jessica] My journey to finding out that I had ADHD was quite long. I actually only found out that I had ADHD a year and a half ago. I had previous diagnoses of depression and anxiety and it’s so common in women to not get a diagnosis until adulthood. It definitely changed the way that I think about myself and helped me to really understand what my real strengths and weaknesses are. I know that there’s a lot of skepticism around ADHD. I had someone that I know say to me, “I don’t know why you’re talking about ADHD. It’s just putting a label on your problem.” And I think that’s partially true. But that label can really help you. If that helps you understand more about yourself and can help you really take control of your brain, why not? Why not add a label if it helps?

    [Lou] Let’s talk about the design team setting and how you’ve been able to work with teammates in a way that plays well to your ADHD.

    [Jessica] Yes, for my talk as well I was talking to lots of different people on my team and in my organization and the more that I opened up and spoke about my own experience with ADHD, the more I found that a lot of designers and a lot of people in design have ADHD or are neurodivergent in some way. So that could mean autistic or dyslexic as well. Some people can be a combination of all those things. For me, it was really clear to see design is an industry where people with ADHD can thrive. And that whole idea of neurodivergence actually means that we’re offering a unique perspective into design and into the world.

    Every single person is different and has different needs. And I think that, whether you are neurodivergent or not, everyone brings a different perspective. I think one of the biggest things about the perspectives of people who are neurodivergent is there’s always going to be that empathy there, because anyone who’s ever been considered different from the norm, tends to really understand what it’s like to think and act differently. So they are able to really empathize with people who have diverse needs and diverse skills.

    [Lou] So if empathy is one of the critical superpowers that ADHD people have, what else is a superpower when it comes to design ops? What perspective do you bring?

    [Jessica] For me, I hyper focus under pressure. So, there’s a lot of times working in design ops where you need to quickly solve a problem and when you’re under that immense amount of pressure, people with ADHD tend to be able to go into hyper focus mode. I find that if someone sends me a message that says that something is urgent, I will drop everything, and put all my brain power into doing that urgent task. 

    [Lou] Let’s talk a bit about that one, because I can imagine that hyper focus is really valuable. But you could get 10 emails a day where the first word in the subject line is urgent. Does ADHD for you help you with prioritization so you can figure out which of those urgent tasks truly are the most urgent?

    [Jessica] I think going to therapy as a result of ADHD has helped with prioritization. There, you are learning skills and strategies to really be better at work and in life. 

    [Lou] Anything else that you think ADHD people bring to design ops or could bring to it?

    [Jessica] One of the biggest things that I’ve found with ADHD is it’s very commonly associated with a lack of dopamine, which is all about the pleasure and reward center of your brain. So, one really great way to get a hit of dopamine is to complete a task. So, if someone gives me a task, especially if it’s small and it’s something that I can do very quickly, chances are I’m going to do it straight away. I’m not going to wait around, because I really want that dopamine to hit. I want to feel a sense of accomplishment. I think that we’re very driven to actually complete something.

    [Lou] So if someone is managing a designer or specifically a design ops person with ADHD, what should they know? What would you like them to keep in mind, with the caveat, that everyone is different with ADHD. And if they are a teammate of a designer with ADHD, would your advice be any different than for a manager?

    [Jessica] Something that I’ve learned is that the things that help people with ADHD can actually help everyone in the team. I think that we always talk about the needs of the one and the needs of the many, but a lot of the time, if you address the needs of the one, it can address the needs of the many. One of the biggest things that has helped me is really giving timeframes to things to remove that ambiguity. If someone labels something as urgent, my brain goes into fight mode and wants to do it straight away. But if someone says to me, “this is due by the end of the day,” that’s a lot clearer for me and allows me to prioritize it within the scheme of everything else. We know that there’s always ambiguity in design ops, so you’re not going to have a specific detailed timeframe at all times but giving a rough guide can really help as opposed to just labeling something as ASAP.

    [Lou] Thank you Jessica and good luck in that new job at Atlassian. We’ll see you in September. Thanks for listening to the Rosenfeld review, brought to you by Rosenfeld media. 

     

    Rosenfeld Media’s next conference is the DesignOps Summit, a virtual conference scheduled for September 8-9.  Learn more at https://rosenfeldmedia.com/designopssummit2022/ 

     

    The Rosenfeld Review podcast is brought to you by Rosenfeld Media. Please subscribe and listen to it on iTunes, Stitcher, or your favorite podcast platform. Tell a friend to have a listen and check out our website for over 100 podcast interviews with other interesting people. You’ll find them all at RosenfeldReview.com.

    Podcast: Standardizing Design at Scale with Candace Myers

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    When it comes to design operations, it can be challenging to find the best method to provide the creative team with the tools they need that will eliminate some of their more mundane tasks to allow them more time to focus on their ideas and innovative work. Here, Lou talks with Candace Myers, design operations leader with Netflix StudiosXD, about how she integrates technology and practices to optimize her efficiency in the creative and design fields. Candace will be speaking at the DesignOps Summit 2022 virtual conference, September 8-9.

    Candace recommends: Pivot Podcast with Kara Swisher and Scott Galloway. It has EVERYTHING that ops professionals needs to consider- human intent & emotion, business conditions, what good and poor leadership looks like, and brand strategy. It’s a must listen for anyone in tech, but especially generalists.

    Read this podcast in interview form at Medium.com.

    Podcast: Scale Your Organization and Grow Your Designers

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    Lou sits down with the Head of Design for the Data Team at Amplitude, Courtney George, to discuss her talk “Scale Your Organization and Grow Your Designers” that she’s presenting at this year’s DesignOps Summit. What is a Design Leader’s role in providing stability for their team? How has that role changed over the course of the pandemic? Over the past few years, the security levels employees feel at their jobs have fluctuated drastically. Are there tools we are already using that can help our teams feel more confident in these uncertain times? Listen as Courtney and Lou touch on these topics, and more.

    Courtney Recommends:
    The Coaching Habit by Michael Bungay Stanier

    Courtney Maya George is a design leader, mentor, mom of two, and a sketchnote hobbyist. She is currently the Head of Design for the Data team at Amplitude, where she’s building up a new product offering and growing the design organization. Prior to Amplitude, she spent nearly eight years at Adobe, where she built a design team from the ground up focused on the Developer Ecosystem.

    She believes in creating an inclusive design culture and thrives on building relationships, solving complex and ambiguous problems, and coaching designers to take control of their own career growth.

    Follow her on Twitter @courtneymaya and LinkedIn