We want to create digital versions of real world interactions, meanwhile ensuring the solutions are technically sound, move with design evolution, and stay truly scalable.

In this section, I have outlined my approach to establishing design harmony in transformative projects through implementing such a framework.

  1. Laying the foundation
  2. Embedding User Centered Design
  3. Creating a framework
  4. Checklist for artefacts

1. Laying the foundation

A structured design operations (DesignOps) framework helps timely delivery of digital experiences, and a process to plan incremental enhancements across the product/service roadmap.

Think of design as a program, and its various activities and touch-points necessary to deliver transformative change, while maintaining a high level of quality, become clear.

Aligning with product vision, create a roadmap that will help in UX planning, resource allocation, plotting project milestones, development schedules, and regular cross-functional communication, ensuring the design team’s effectiveness.

UX Roadmap of activities across multiple projects
Create a roadmap per product with at least six months of design & delivery visibility

2. Embedding User Centered Design

Gather a deep understanding of users’ needs to ensure high-quality experience outcomes, always in line with business requirements (what does the organisation want to achieve for its product or service).

  1. Start with a discovery phase – however long or short it may need to be
  2. Capture UX stories, architectural constraints, and developer effort sizing as the full slice of functionality
  3. Write user stories that comprehend all of these layers
  4. Work with low-fidelity prototypes to set a baseline for Information Architecture, Interaction design and high-level content structure
  5. Create checkpoints for both project sponsors/stakeholder input and end-user validation through suitable research methodologies

3. Creating a framework

A well-structured DesignOps framework seamlessly integrates all design input, necessary for agile development projects, into stages of design delivery that stay ahead of development sprints – and rightly so.

DesignOps framework example
Set the scope and requirements before entering a prototyping and feedback loop

4. Checklist for artefacts

  1. Document scope and design articulation
  2. Define experience principles
  3. Brand guidelines (default or client input)
  4. UI Components
  5. UI Control selection
  6. UI Patterns (patterns within product)
  7. UI Interaction

DesignOps is a mindset that frees designers to focus on problem-solving rather than administrative duties like managing workflows and libraries. The DesignOps mindset informs design-centric roles that facilitate creative excellence.

Here is a useful field guide to DesignOps by Toptal