I am currently leading a local and remote team of user researchers, content developers, and UI designers at Granicus, Inc. where we work in an iterative design environment. Together with the Product Design team, we have created a clear discovery process with supporting materials and a collection of personas and workflows that inform and guide our design process. Our personas and workflows are based on dozens of user interviews, ethnographic research, site visits, and user feedback. Each design sprint is kicked off with a Design Studio, a cross-functional collaboration brainstorming meeting where we introduce a persona, guide the team through her current workflow (pain points and all) and create a set of user stories to brainstorm on and subsequently sprint against. The design lead or team takes the results of these studios and turns them into beautiful clickable prototypes.
The result is a process with early cross-functional and executive buy-in, high visibility of our users within the organization via constant use of personas, a set of resource templates that anyone in the team can use and that clearly lay out the process for prepping, kicking off, and running through a design sprint, and a very clear picture of before and after. As part of our design sprint, we always require user testing the clickable prototype. We complete user testing for each design sprint before any code is actually committed. Each sprint ends with a Design Social, where we invite the whole company to see progress and to present how we got from A to B.
In partnership with Product Design, our UXR team is a key player in ensuring that we build beautiful, simple, and intuitive cloud-based products that our customers enjoy using.