The world of digital product design gets more complex by the day. As companies invest in scaling design, new disciplines and teams become part of the existing company fabric—making operational gaps inevitable.
Design operations—commonly styled as DesignOps like its counterpart in development, DevOps—creates standardized systems and services to free up designers so they can concentrate on design work, instead of things like budgeting and scheduling. By operationalizing design and aligning teams, DesignOps streamline workflows and pave the way for better customer experiences right from the start.
DesignOps is relatively new—so new that this is the first book to be released on the subject. Early pioneers have built high-functioning teams at some of the best companies in the world, and they’ve generously contributed chapters to the DesignOps Handbook to help you shape your own DesignOps practice:
Dave Malouf, IxDA and DesignOps Summit co-founder, introduces DesignOps in the first chapter. He sets up readers to understand why it’s critical and how it’s different than other operational roles. Dave also wrote the final chapter about the intricacies of research operations.
“Design as a practice requires a singular focus on the operations that maintain the best interests of design and an organization’s business.”–Dave Malouf
Collin Whitehead, Head of Brand at Dropbox, covers DesignOps scenarios and models. His chapter explores topics like when it’s time to build your team and where it fits into the organization.
“When you have a team responsible for process, it lets every other team focus on their respective crafts.”–Collin Whitehead
Meredith Black, Head of Design Operations at Pinterest, outlines more tactical topics. Her chapter includes detailed information on getting buy-in, building leadership, program management, driving operational strategy, and more.
“DesignOps doesn’t just help the design team—it benefits all parts of the product organization.” –Meredith Black
Kate Battles, Manager of Design Operations at Fitbit, reveals what DesignOps look like inside Fitbit. Beyond concrete examples from her own experience, she also explains how to run operations over time with “X-functional relationships” that optimize design outcomes.
“When working in DesignOps, your team is on the front lines, helping everyone do outstanding work amid the chaos and rapid change.”–Kate Battles
Edited by Vox Senior User Researcher Gregg Bernstein, DesignOps Handbook also includes embedded video and audio clips from design experts at Pinterest, Oracle, and LinkedIn, with more being added in coming weeks. This material, paired with the content from expert contributors, can help you and your team fill operational gaps of your own.
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