Day 1 – You Need Your Own Definition of Design Maturity

Design Maturity Gap Analysis — redefine the definition, based on various circumstances in the last few years. Your understanding of your team, easier to find the direction you need to be taking to create a design-led org.

Design Maturity — a measure of how well a business uses design capabilities to create value.

Started with the model (Early 2021):

  • Not evenly distributed – leaders knew the importance while some didn’t know UX function existed.
  • 75 design and tech docs team; >1200 engineers.

Own definition of design maturity —

  • Secondary research like: Design maturity models, reading reports, glimpse into history of finance.
  • Listen to podcasts from thought leaders: talking about what they thought.
  • Interviews with teammates: The heart of it? Getting to know the team.
    • Starts off with a focus on the process side.
    • But then, conversations became heartfelt:
      • Feels researchers are second-class citizens
      • Not brought into early conversations on projects to figure out problems
      • Having admiration and regard for teammates talents

Design maturity capability models impress business execs — 

  • Looking for reliable and repeatable processes.

Design is not what it looks like.

Needed to add other layers; It has to be delivering value to business and customers, but it has to also be for team members too!

Design function changes as business changes: Inclusiveness, Ethics, Social Justice, Sustainability.

The pillars — 

  • Clearly defined mission, vision and principles.
  • Elevate people
  • Common methodologies consistently used
  • Design mindsets and skills integrated across functions

Putting it to play: Present to leaders, socialize with the team, reflection at all-hands. The outcomes —

    • We have our why
    • OKR Planning
    • Decision to pause team-wide design critiques


  • Feeling seen!


Why rethink design maturity now?

  1. Collective and personal traumas
  2. Foregrounding care
  3. Adapting to awkwardness and discomfort

Only you know your experiences. Only you know where your team has been. Only you know you team’s aspirations.