At a glance
NPS uplift in key products
Soon after accepting the permanent position of Design Lead at Officeworks, we had got to a brilliant position within the team. This meant we were able to start reaping the rewards across the org with renewed passion and excitement.
To see what I did to set the team up for success, you can take a look at this project.
I was able to build on some of the previous success to increase the design standing within the organisation, fostering greater relationships across stakeholder groups. I managed to get things off the ground that had been sitting in the to do list for years.
I attribute the success of this to 3 things:
Empowering the team created the environment to get good design work to happen. I'll outline below several key initiatives that have really got the team humming. But first, how and why has this been successful?
Elaborating on the attributes above:
By reducing complexity and approval processes, I was able to foster greater trust in the individual contributors. The former processes necessitated approvals and lots of back and forth between the designers and the lead. This meant that the team weren't confident in making decisions and resorted to checking in for many of the project questions. This was time consuming and meant they were actually losing trust with stakeholders.
With the step away from individual approvals, new ways of working were necessary to ensure decisions weren't being made in a vacuum. I setup several new collaboration sessions to ensure design decisions were being made with everyones knowledge. This not only keeps people across each others work (previously no one designer could tell you what another designer was working on), but also helps solve other queries from across the team.
Inspiring the team to achieve greater outcomes was key to getting them thinking different and being comfortable with ambiguity or making difficult decisions. This was achieved through a mix of learning opportunities, new collaborative sessions, sharing of external content and ways for the team to go offsite and experience things away from their desk.
Some of the achievements
End to end product research
The first research to take place in an end to end customer sense in recent memory (if ever) was completed. After many attempts to get something like this off the ground, I essentially forced it to start by taking away some of the design capacity from squads. This enabled us to get the ball rolling, and with enough momentum brought the squads and product owners on board.
This gave the team, the product owners and many other stakeholders insights and understanding into things like customer expectations, competitor reviews, metric analysis, heuristic gaps, roadmap ideas and opportunities to move forward.
Advocation and build of new functionality
As I've alluded to, the design function appeared to lack some credibility and trust with many business units. Even though the team knew their stuff, they weren't able to fully articulate it or chat to the right people.
Through consistency in approach, clear articulation of the problem we're solving, and by changing the way the design team was structured, I was able to enable the design team to get buy in to build new functionality crucial to many customer challenges.
One of our pieces of work solved such a massive customer pain point - the time it takes to pick an order up from store - that it boosted store NPS by over 30%!
Improved access to our content
One of the challenges I wanted to solve was ease of access to our content. There's no point sitting in a silo creating great work only for limited people to see it and be able to take any action on it. To support this, a refreshed SharePoint site was launched, with the ability to browse not only our research and designs, but third part analysis that we curate as well.
Design System cadences
A few stabs have been taken at setting up a design system. Whilst we're still not there yet, we've once again started making great strides towards it. Not only have we got new software to generate guidelines, but new processes and cadences to support decision making and our approach to interface and interaction design.
I've also made progress on gaining appropriate support from technical leads, including getting them to begin rationalising their internal component libraries to support a new global library.
We had a super exciting opportunity to participate in the first ever CX Day at Officeworks. This coincided with the international CX Day, and I led the CX Design room which focussed on being na interactive journey through the UX and design processes and wins. It truly was fantastic having dozens and dozens of teams come through, learn something new and engage us on the spot to support them with something in their pipeline.
Following some of these great wins, the team was reflecting on the month in a retro and for the first time exclaimed "how positive this month has been"! What a win!
But that's not the only feedback. My team also thanked me a few times for the work done (which is nice, but definitely a team effort) and how they had 'felt' the shift in culture 😍. Further, we have had much better engagement from teams across the business wanting to work with us and find out more about our research and findings. It can be hard to quantify, but certainly some great feedback there.