The design process is multi-staged, complicated, and involves numerous professionals working on the same project. Therefore, it can be quite challenging to get everyone on the same page and make that process productive. This is when DesignOps comes to the rescue. So, let’s discover how DevOps can enhance the design process, how to build DesignOps culture, and how major companies do that themselves.
If DesignOps is new for you, let us make a little intro. Basically, DesignOps helps to improve the efficiency of the design team and overall quality of the design output by optimizing process and team. DesignOps was created as a means to operationalize design. DesignOps has a form of a dedicated team that manages the design process within a company.
DesignOps can be a solution to a lot of challenges like growing and evolving design teams, building and maintaining efficient workflows, improving the quality and impact of the design process output.
So, it’s obvious why companies want to implement DesignOps into their design process. But it may be still unclear why it’s becoming popular right now. The answer is quite simple – the teams are growing, the whole process becomes more and more complex, and the workload is increasing. Also, we shouldn’t forget modern circumstances when the majority of team members work remotely. This creates an environment where the team’s efficiency and speed are the key to success and where DesignOps can help to achieve the desired level of productivity.
To begin with, if you want to implement DevOps to your design process you need to create an appropriate environment for this goal. The first step would be to invest some time in investigating bottlenecks and major productivity-killers. Then, you can move forward and build your DevOps strategy around issues you’ve discovered. The main areas that should be considered are:
Okay, so we figured out the essentials of Design Operations. Now it’s time to learn how to implement them into your design workflow. The trick is to take essential DesignOps values and turn them into your design process strategy. So, let’s take a look at how to achieve DesignOps culture in your organization:
It’s great to know the theory but in order to understand something completely, you should see it in action. For this reason, let’s take a sneak peek of how successful companies manage design operations. In this case, we have chosen Spotify and Airbnb.
The DesignOps team at Spotify has a clear vision of the design process and confidence to build an efficient and to-the-point design strategy. From the beginning, they had a determination to create a well-established design workflow and set the priorities straight to keep focused on the important things. They created a mission statement to inspire the team: “DesignOps aims to turn down the pain and dial up the joy for design.” Their main goal as the DesignOps team is to make sense out of complex things and direct the design team to the solution.
Also, they quickly understood that the human part of the design process is as crucial as the technical one. So, it’s essential to check in how everyone feels about the whole process and to keep the team spirit on point. Moreover, they figured out that design works best within the cross-discipline team. But it can be especially challenging in the modern decentralized environment. Meaning that the bond between team members should be especially strong.
Finally, the DesignOps team at Spotify distinguishes three parts of design operations:
The goal of the Airbnb DesignOps team was to unify the design language across platforms. Also, they aimed at empowering designers and engineers to build solutions as parts of a greater picture; and, in parallel, speeding up the design and development process. They also see cross-functionality as a key to the successful design workflow and strive to create a highly integrated and effective design process. Moreover, one of the issues that the design operations design team is trying to solve is how to avoid team members working in silo.
To accomplish all these goals and create an efficient and smooth design process they created 5 distinct teams:
To sum up, design operation is a strategy that can help you create an efficient design workflow that will bring you high-quality design output and make your design team use their maximum potential. Moreover, it can help you to fix the issues with the existing design team and the design process in general. You can create your own DesignOps team, or to outsource one. All you need is the willingness to have a highly motivated design team and the aspiration to achieve the best results with your design.
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