Building a high-performing design team is all about putting talented people in positions, and on projects, where they can be successful while also growing as designers. In order for that to happen, leaders need to be intentional about team dynamics and create an environment for success.

Illustration by Bhavya Minocha.

As design leaders, we realize there isn’t a one-size-fits-all strategy or way of working that guarantees successful outcomes every time. Each team is different, and the complexity and design maturity within companies varies greatly. …


This holiday season you may be wondering what you should get for the designer in your life. Whether it’s your partner, spouse, friend, or colleague, as a designer I have to admit, we can be extremely difficult to buy for. Designers probably have most of the latest tech and often have an affinity for something that is relatively obscure. Instead of adding to ever expanding collection of coffee mugs, or buying another gift card to iTunes or Starbucks, you might want to take a look at some of these things to bring a smile to your favorite designer. …


Someone once explained to me that in order to see all that you have accomplished, you have to pause for a second, take a step back, and reflect on the things you have done. This is especially true for designers as we seemingly move from project to project without ever taking a foot off the gas pedal. Last year was the first year that I wrote a retrospective. This year I wanted to do the same and share some of my goals for 2018.

I spent a lot of time on the road in 2017 — traveling for work, speaking…


People often ask how designers can create solutions that help users achieve their desired outcomes more easily in an industry such as health care, when designers aren’t necessarily subject matter experts. The purpose of design is to enhance a workflow that allows users to perform tasks in an intuitive manner by providing a seamless experience across the many different users of a healthcare application. Additionally, the goal of UX designers is to take these experiences and ensure they are valuable to the people who interact with them.

The users, who directly interact with the solution or service, can vary from…


How can user experience designers who don’t have clinical backgrounds work to create better experiences for healthcare providers, payers and patients? Design is about understanding the emotions of the user, in this case a clinician or clinical coder, when interacting with products across multiple touchpoints. Design in health care isn’t about making clinical decisions for users, it is about helping them make the right decision to improve accuracy, compliance, quality of care, or outcome by providing contextual information when needed. In order to do this successfully, designers must develop empathy for their users.

Empathy is defined as the capacity to…


By 2020, customer experience will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator. This is due, largely in part, to the fact that the role of the customer has changed from isolated to connected, from unaware to informed, from passive to active. Customers have access to unprecedented amounts of information, often at their fingertips, allowing them to make more informed decisions. They are more open to sharing ideas than ever before, without worrying about social or geographic barriers.

This is especially true in health care and as a result, more companies are focusing on the user experience of their…


3M is an organization that is continuously evolving its design culture.

Throughout your career as a designer, you’ll work for many organizations, each with varying levels of design maturity. It’s important to enjoy the time spent at each of them, and pick up great experiences along the way.

For many designers, culture is a driving factor in choosing a company to work for and build a career. Design culture is more than ping pong tables, free food and a pretty workspace. It’s about providing the tools and an environment to perform at your best.

When evaluating the maturity level of the design culture of an organization, some questions you might like…


If you’re like me, just the thought of going on Twitter these days makes you aprehensive to do so. Are you finding yourself bummed out by your feed because it’s full of a lot of things you don’t care to see? These tweets can be coming from friends, people you follow — whether for things they used to post, or things they are currently posting as well as tweets brought into your feed by through retweets and shares. Unfollowing, muting and blocking people is very time consuming and can feel like a waste of time. …


Just mentioning 2016 evokes all sorts of emotions depending on the individual. While for many, it is a year they are happy to put behind them, for me 2016 was a year of growth and accomplishment. A lot has happened this year and it is important to take a step back and look at what you have accomplished and where you may have missed the mark.

2016 was my second full year living in Minnesota and working at 3M. Most of my goals were related to my design career, such as creating more content, speaking at conferences and events, mentoring…


I am an early adopter. I am a UX professional. I love all things peculiar, especially when it comes to pop culture. Naturally, when I found out the Kim Kardashian Emoji Keyboard app was coming out for the iPhone today, I had to have it.

It’s called Kimoji. Why wouldn’t it be?

I discovered the app this morning on social media, as my feed was full of texts between the Kardashians using kimojis, and thought about how awesome it would be to spam my friends with text messages full of kimojis. …

Andy Vitale

Design Leader | Educator | Speaker

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store