Design Management, A talk at InfoCamp Seattle, 2012

Session 6, Lorelei Kelly @ielarol

Sunday at InfoCamp, Lorelei Kelly, an interactive designer led the discussion of the problems and solutions that comes with managing designers.

Coordinating and Tracking Work– Use post-it notes, or a chart. Consider multiple purposes for these systems. Who are you trying to communicate with? Clients? Bosses? Team members? Consider weekly print outs of your process so you can quickly see the weekly transformation of your design. There’s also plenty of project management tools. (Freshdesk, Basecamp)

Especially if you’re working with other people, consider making regular events of some kind of checkpoint, either review, sign-off, documentation, etc. Use a short template and do it often. If you’re the one setting up the budget, add 20% to the amount for management tasks such as these.

Book to Read: Getting Things Done by David Allen

Consistency in the Face of ambiguous requisites- Consider “Agile” or Lean UX practices. What is Lean UX? It is basically the practices of working more together, instead of checking back with the boss and waiting for the okay, its a side by side agree and continue kind of workflow so you get feedback sooner and can plow through.

If that’s not an option, Have effective meetings.  Share your to-do lists. Have a change log and issues list. Find a way to manage documents as a team, If you’re leading ask what your team needs. If you’re not, don’t be afraid to let your leader know what you need to be successful.

Know your battles. Whether it’s with a client or a colleague, explain your design decisions. As a teammate or a leader, sometimes your preference seems like a requirement, but it’s not. People construct their documents differently, but still achieve the end goal. Be understanding when something is done in a way that you wouldn’t have done it, but it’s okay.


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