Workplace and Career

December 31st, 2013

Evolving a Creative Workplace: Step 5

Tilling and Experimenting

In this ongoing discussion about growing creative teams organically, I’ve shared how to prepare your organization for successful expansion, how to plant the right elements into the mix, how to “water” for sustainable growth, and then how adding fertilizer can take your group’s motivation to the next level. Tilling and experimenting follow once everything’s been…

December 19th, 2013

Building the In-house Design Agency

Getting the best of both worlds

The first article discussed the pros and cons of different UX team structures. For companies that depend on user experience for business success, a strong internal team is essential. But how do you get there from here? Having built one UX group from scratch and managed another 230+ person internal UX groups, I’ve learned a…

December 17th, 2013

Evolving a Creative Workplace: Step 4

Adding fertilizer

So far in this series I’ve discussed how to prepare your team or organization for successful expansion, how to plant the right elements into the mix, and then how to ensure sustainable growth by “watering.” Adding fertilizer comes next. Think of this step as finding ways to spark excitement, provide motivational guidance, or even remedy…

In my last two installments, I shared how Greg, Tim, and I prepared Intuitive Company for success by creating an open work environment and then “planting” the right people into our culture. Watering is next—and it’s critical. After a team of senior professionals were in place and had formed a strong foundation for Intuitive Company,…

November 26th, 2013

Soldiers & Hessians, Ronin & Ninja

UX team organization can make or break a company's design strategy

When UX’ers talk, they tend to talk about process, but the ability to deliver an innovative user experience starts before kickoff and lasts after the launch. Repeatable success in UX depends on the right culture. This is particularly important in enterprise scale organizations, with long-lasting relationships. Having worked as a consultant, at an agency and…

In my last installment, I shared how Greg, Tim, and I prepared Intuitive Company for success by focusing on creating an open work environment in every sense of the term. Planting, or placing the right elements into the mix, was our next step. We wanted every aspect of our environment to be a positive influence…

November 5th, 2013

Evolving a Creative Workplace: Step 1

Introduction and preparation

When a company or team experiences rapid growth, it’s exciting. But more often than not, that success comes with a price. Behind the scenes, leadership is faced with the challenge of frantically filling positions to meet the escalating client demand, teams are asked to gel quickly and work around the clock to hit client deadlines,…

This past June, I stood on the brink of achieving a major professional goal. The UX apprenticeship program I’d been working so hard on was going to begin on Monday. It was Thursday. On my desk lay a curious stack of paper labeled “Manager’s Onboarding Kit.” Of all the things I’d planned for and anticipated…

When was the last time you read your resume? Go ahead and give it a look. Read your last job description. It’s impressive, right? Chances are, you emphasize your accomplishments, your ability to create stunning deliverables, and your extensive knowledge of the user experience practice. Now, think back to your last project. But, ignore the…

“A perfection of means, and confusion of aims, seems to be our main problem” – Albert Einstein My work involves helping people to understand how to best plan circumstances in which users are engaged and satisfied with their experience. Yet, I do not call myself a user experience designer. I am an information architect. I…

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