Day 2 – Remote, Together: Craft and Collaboration Across Disciplines, Borders, Time Zones, and a Design Org of 170+

Closer look at practices and rituals as the design team grew, during the pandemic times.

Team —

    • 180+ global experience design team members
    • 3 disciplines: product design, content strategy, and user research; serving 5 end-user groups
    • 6 tech centers, 2 continents and remote


  • Speak 27 languages!


How we interact, behave and seek connection? No choice, but to adapt

Disruptions, changes & growth

  • One day office, and the other day all remote
  • Collaboration challenges in terms of new digital alternatives to stickies and whiteboards, figuring out access and unmuting, etc
  • New team members (including pets & children); onboarding remotely

Stranded on an island, working all by yourself; knowing there were other people in other islands doing the same…

Challenges faced —

  • Lack of human connection
    • Networking and coming together
  • Lack of craft experience
    • Are we learning the right thing?
  • Lack of community and engagement
    • Practicing and doing things, being with like-minded people

Building Rituals:

Sharing is central to supporting each other: embracing the uncertainty and bringing to the team the vulnerability, being transparent about challenges, and baking in a rich feedback culture.

Collaboration at individual level: interest in particular topic — have collectives; deepen the craft and reduce skill gaps — growth programs by designers for designers; bot connects two people for informal networking — coffee chats!

Collaboration at immediate team level: embedded in teams, accountable for cohesive vision of end-user — driving vision & empathy; working together in pairs, two brains are better than one brain — cross collaboration; gives autonomy as well as guidance.

Collaboration at end-user level: not critique, but about where you’re currently to get alignment — bi-weekly show & tell; formal once-a-month hour long meeting to celebrate together — an all-hands; design review session of smaller design groups weekly — XD collabs.

Collaboration at functional level: GXD quarterly; internal mobility — GXD career fairs; formal six month long program based on mentor-mentee — GXD mentorship; once a year, internal conference like thing, all virtual — GXD connect.

How did we reach these heights?

  • Intentionality
  • Mindfulness
    • Not adding to screen-fatigue
  • Inclusion
    • Make sure to include other teams in different timezones

Constantly looking and tweaking, taking feedback, and not afraid to scrap and redo, refine.