Understanding DesignOps, and How to Implement It : Aalpha
The design field is among the top career choice facing stiff competition. As a result, getting a top-notch designer in the market isn’t an easy process. While you will always want the best for your design industry, how do you ensure you choose the perfect talent? Well, many will opt to bring different talents with adverse experiences in the design industry to enhance success. However, have you tried investing in DesignOps? It is high time you gave your design tasks a new beginning through DesignOps. If you are wondering what the concept is all about, keep reading through this article, and you will get all the responses to your burning questions.
Well, there are higher chances that you know DevOps. In the same case, can you comprehend what DesignOps is? Let’s find out below
Simply, DesignOps means design operations which is the use of advanced technology and optimization of the whole process to improve the overall design and increase business value. The key elements revolving around DesignOps include:
- Creating a smooth design workflow
- Minimizing operational downfalls like silos or miscommunication
- Creating a team with people having the required skillset and common objectives.
While DesignOps is a word that is new in the market ad the whole field of design, you may be wondering how it emerged.
Well, designers in the past used to do a lot, including doing UX research, frontend coding, wireframing, and writing UX stories, among many others. Although this strategy used to work effectively and still works for some people, it is quite unproductive when scaled. That is when DesignOps came into being as a design-team-only. It is meant to handle all the design tasks specifically for that organization.
Since it is a team, the information must be shared across the team, including the developers, to ensure quality results. The advantage of DesignOps working as a team is that they incorporate their efforts to bring out desirable results within a short time, then focus on other useful tasks.
What is the role of DesignOps?
The DesignOps team has one major role; to protect the time of the design team as they only focus on their respective task without distractions. The roles of the team include:
The team plans and manages the whole process by creating the design system and putting in place the tools needed for the task, and creating a strategy of how the team will collaborate with other organizations to bring out a high-quality product.
The team creates a roadmap of the long-term goals of the design team and how to achieve the desired objectives. They also determine any skillset missing and how to fill up the gap.
Budget allocation and control
The DesignOps team is responsible for approximating the costs required to run the whole process. After approval, they determine the allocation throughout the team.
DesignOps controls the whole workflow in terms of setting deadlines and assigning projects to ensure timely delivery.
Onboarding new hires
The DesignOps understand better the required talents and skillset missing in the team. They, therefore, hire the appropriate staff for efficiency and productivity.
Creating a communication strategy
The whole design process requires collaboration with other teams within the organization. That is why the DesignOps is in charge of ensuring effective communication.
IT and Security
During product design, developers and top designers must incorporate the latest technologies and enhance security for effectiveness. That is why the IT section is responsible for ensuring maximum use of secure design tools that are compatible with the technology being used.
Building the culture of the design team
For a design team to be effective, the people involved should establish a set of cultures to follow to deliver the desired results. Therefore, the DesignOps team is in charge of providing emotional and professional support to the employees and the whole team. This strategy and arrangements give the team a sense of unique culture.
In design, there should be agreements signed between the parties involved to ensure openness and transparency. Therefore, the legal team should be involved as part of the process, which is the responsibility of the DesignOps team.
Managing the procurement process
The DesignOps team is in charge of communicating with the procurement team whenever they need to make purchasing decisions.
How to Implement the DesignOps to enhance productivity
Now, you know what DesignOps is and its roles. The next element is to determine how to ensure the team is effective, and you can always apply the following concepts.
The designer team should focus on designing
Make sure your DesignOps team only has a pre-defined task to handle. Avoid burdening the designers with other tasks like UX writing, UI, and conducting other research.
Be updated on the efficiency of the design process
While one approach might work for another organization, it might not be the same case with your organization. So, ensure whichever method you choose is productive by eliminating ineffectiveness during the process of design. This will also eliminate unnecessary hiring, which can be costly.
Encourage collaboration and team-building routines
Meetings and daily standups usually make the team working together more productive. So, make sure you have a plan where your DesignOps team can meet, express their interests, and air out useful concerns relating to the design project.
Put in place clear goals for the design team
The design team needs to have that motivating factor or that main goal they need to achieve. So, make sure you let the team understand clearly the objectives of your organization. In each project, have a set of guidelines the designing team needs to follow.
Again, that is not all; set measures to track the progress towards achieving the organization’s goals. As a team leader, you should clearly track the steps and weigh if the progress is on the right track or not!
Encourage collaboration among the designers
Just like how the programming field pairs programmers s a way to reduce errors and bugs, you can as well implement a similar approach in DesignOps to also improve efficiency through the design process.
For instance, you can apply the following pairing models in design projects:
This approach is applicable to designers who are experts in different sections. It is applicable to both designers and non-designers. For instance, a domain expert with a designer paired to create useful insights for the whole design process or a frontend engineer paired with a designer for better results.
This model requires the pairing of two designers to exchange ideas and create as many designs as possible. In the end, they analyze the designs and settle on the best one.
Here, the designers use the pair sketching approach to develop wireframes together, where one designer creates the sketches after the other designer has described the concept.
Ensure the designers have a clear career path for progression
Yes, hiring talents with the right skill set is significant, though it is not a simple task, especially when you want to keep them. However, with DesignOps, this shouldn’t be an issue because you can always create a clear career development path where your designers get to acquire new skills and ideas to improve on their talent. This makes it possible for seniors with more experience to get the promotion while encouraging beginners to keep striving for improvements.
If you have been struggling with your design team, it is high time you considered implementing the above approaches to enhance productivity in your design team.
Finally, connect with DevOps consulting firm to know more about DesignOps.
Originally published at https://www.aalpha.net on September 27, 2022.