It’s not all about what you do—it’s about how you get it done. I have a strong point of view when it comes to building things and delivering experiences.
I love working with people
All teams are comprised of individuals. The best should be balanced in terms of being at varying points of their careers. I like reinforcing that we don’t stop learning, that we all can benefit from a new point of view, that everyone has an equal voice but that we all need to take direction. It’s a challenge, but I find it rewarding.
Iteration leads to rediscovery
Constant improvement based on qualitative and quantitative data really speak to me. Being ‘one and done’ simply isn’t an effective approach to delivering experiences. I have yet to feel like any release I have delivered solved a problem in a complete enough fashion. Users expect updated content and feature improvements, which need to be anticipated regardless of delivery being classified as 'Enterprise' or 'Consumer.'
Designers need to embrace challenges
Sure, one way to say this is that designers should embrace constraints but if designers weren’t challenged they would be bored. If there wasn’t something to improve upon there wouldn’t be passion. Designers are creative problem solvers, and Design Thinking ensures that the right problem is defined. The act of design is how problems are solved, and iteration is at its core.
Enterprise vs. Consumer
How does anyone define ‘Enterprise’ in 2017? Is it the Developer or DBA as their user—or is it the need to address complexity, manage multiple users and their permissions, continuously deliver at scale, and embrace administrative capabilities? I have delivered and led design for both Consumer and Enterprise spaces throughout my career and I bring a consistent approach to each project, although the users (and amount of available data on them) have been different.
It’s all about the users
Designers serve users. We create experiences that are meant to be consumed. Even a Demo or ‘Concept Car’ piece requires a focus on the end user. Persona-driven design allows a thumbnail portrait of the user, but true empathy comes from an ongoing understanding of their needs, behaviors, and goals. Without this data designers are stuck with making educated guesses, for all users.
What about Enterprise Users ?
Legacy thinking was that the enterprise user didn’t value UX as much as features and functions because they….might prefer an IDE. I would argue that APIs and SDKs need as much attention as something with a GUI. Enterprise startups have been changing this point of view. I shouldn’t have to explain to anyone reading this that the pervasiveness of mobile has led to an increase in expectations of all digital experiences today.
Shipping product requires negotiation. I embrace constraints and encourage my staff to follow suit, but to always be proud of what goes out the door. Even if the work involves the occasional demo or skinning project. Otherwise design becomes an academic exercise, at best. At worst it becomes a waste of time and talent.