Share with your friends










Submit
sfdw at rocket lawyer

Sharing design environment secrets at Rocket Lawyer’s SFDW Panel

Let’s make one thing clear, the design team at Rocket Lawyer loves San Francisco Design Week. We block a conference room on the day that tickets release, and together rage click through as many ticket checkouts as fast as we can. So obviously, we were beyond thrilled to be selected to host our first official SFDW event, and were humbled and overwhelmed with the enthusiastic turnout.

When the planning committee (who weren’t all designers – how awesome is that?) got together to brainstorm ideas for a panel discussion, we chatted about our collective appreciation to figure out better ways to empower our designers and create a healthy environment where they can be heard and appreciated. So naturally, we were really interested in what other industry leaders had to say about building a healthy environment for design, and wondered if others in the design community would too.

I was honored to have moderated the distinguished panel of design leaders who shared so many nuggets of wisdom on some of the topics like:

…defining a healthy design environment.

“A healthy design environment is one that definitely extends beyond the design team to all of the functions of the company.”

Paco Viñoly, VP Design at Nextdoor

“The four components that I think are really critical to a healthy design environment are ownership, inclusivity, impact, and mentorship.”

Scott Takahashi, Design Manager at Patreon

 

…building a design org from the ground up VS. improving an existing culture.

“I used to hire towards portfolio… but what i’ve learned over the years is starting to hire for optimism.”

Courtney O’Connell, Senior Director of UX at Minted

 

“…having a good, solid idea of where you want to take your team and where you want to take that vision forward… as well as how the product fit into that. If you can get behind that 100%, then you can really start to build a fantastic team.”

Brandon Ramos, Product Design Manager at Weight Watchers

 

“I’ve found that the more opportunities you can create where designers are designing together, the happier they’ll be.“

Scott Takahashi, Design Manager at Patreon

 

“Getting buy-in is really important, as you start to build your team. You have to take a lot of ownership yourself. You have to promote the vision of what your team is like.”

Brandon Ramos, Product Design Manager at Weight Watchers

 

“We live and breathe [our product] by being with it all the time in our office.”

Beau Trincia, VP of Product & Design at Comfy

 

…being a sole designer vs. being cross-functional.

“Design is about making sure it’s not just you and the screen, you’re inviting everyone to participate.”

Courtney O’Connell, Senior Director of UX at Minted

 

“I believe in the PM, the Designer, and the Engineering lead. In some ways, I believe more in the Engineering lead and the Designer working together, because what we design doesn’t come to life without them. That’s where the magic comes from that relationship. In the best cases they’re kind of interchangeable.”

Paco Viñoly, VP Design at Nextdoor

 

“When I try to communicate outwardly to the rest of the organization, I try to empower those people to understand that the decisions they make every day impact our end user’s experience.”

Liana Lawrance, Director of UX at Rocket Lawyer

…empowering your designers and investing in their growth.

“The job of the design manager is to really project that positivity onto the team. It really does feed into design and the work that we do for a living.”  

Paco Viñoly, VP Design at Nextdoor

 

“How? Giving [designers] guidance for growth and helping them understand what their goals are. Letting them set their own goals and then holding them accountable to those goals.”

Scott Takahashi, Design Manager at Patreon

 

“I like to promote visualizing your ideas as a way to bring design to the table.”

Liana Lawrance, Director of UX at Rocket Lawyer

 

…design being a thought leader in a company and beyond.

“Design leaders in the future will be understanding how we can better leverage the tools that have been created to create the most impact.”

Scott Takahashi, Design Manager at Patreon

 

“Giving people the freedom to think about their part of the broader organization in a divergent way allows for new ideas to be nurtured.”

Beau Trincia, VP of Product & Design at Comfy

 

“Really successful designers actually understand that by aligning your decision making along side of what’s driving the business really help to bring people on board with the value you bring to the conversation.”

Liana Lawrance, Director of UX at Rocket Lawyer

 

“Being design lead means starting with the problem and not the solution.”

Scott Takahashi, Design Manager at Patreon

 

We were beyond grateful to have had the opportunity to hold such a great discussion with this panel of leaders. We’re already booking our ticket-buying conference room for next year’s SFDW events.

Wished you could have joined us? Lucky you – we filmed it! Watch the Panel discussion.

 

A special shoutout to Candice Chang, who pitched the idea and spearheaded the entire event. The Rocket Lawyer team is so lucky to have her!

RELATED POSTS

Comments are closed.