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Structuring & Shaping DesignOps

Part of a series of notes speaking to structuring and shaping design/research operations

The Organizational Structure

The challenge for design operations, and research operations, doesn’t simply come from lack of a framework, but just a lack of attention to shepard its development. It is It’s more possible therefore that organizations wishing to implement some framework should probably start with a two-pronged approach: understand the needs on the project level from a macro standpoint, and then from the executive standpoint create structures that allow for validation, continual discovery, and the shaping around such framework skeletons.

  • Tasks
  • Management
  • Drivers
  • Decision Points
  • Delivery

Chief Design or Chief Experience Officer

The executive office needs to be fully invested in this. This might not where the vision comes from (thinking: vision might be generated a level below, but the executive support is what drives org investment) but this is experience — measured, maintained, and design/research understood as a profitable member of the organization. And as such, the executive sponsor takes a three-headed view of operations, each sufficient on their own, but hooked into one another for the entire story.

  • Design
  • Experience
  • Research
  • VP of Design / Design Principal
  • VP of Experience / Experience Principal
  • VP of Research / Research Principal

Connecting to the Rest of the Org

Alongside those three would be a series of liaisons and advocates from other parts of the org which shape how design integrates into the rest of the business. These are described as:

  • Security Liaison
  • Accessibility Guidance Liaison
  • Research Advocate
  • Developer Advocate
  • Design/Experience(IxD) Advocate



Out-of-the-box thoughts on design, process, and empowering relationships

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Antoine RJ Wright

Designing a cooperative, iterative, insanely creative pen of a future worth inveinting between ink & pixels @AvanceeAgency