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.
- Laying the foundation
- Embedding User Centered Design
- Creating a framework
- 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.
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).
- Start with a discovery phase – however long or short it may need to be
- Capture UX stories, architectural constraints, and developer effort sizing as the full slice of functionality
- Write user stories that comprehend all of these layers
- Work with low-fidelity prototypes to set a baseline for Information Architecture, Interaction design and high-level content structure
- 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.
4. Checklist for artefacts
- Document scope and design articulation
- Define experience principles
- Brand guidelines (default or client input)
- UI Components
- UI Control selection
- UI Patterns (patterns within product)
- 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