“he helped us re-organise the way UX was delivered from product management through Visual Design to engineering in a fast and efficient way”
Collaboration = win
When I joined Preqin, they were in trouble. They had already started to redesign and re-platform their flagship product, but the project was behind schedule. In addition, they had other projects underway, such as redesigning their website, and other systems. I was initially hired to be lead UX designer, and then I was promoted to head the UX team.
– I had to introduce new ways of working to make sure that the production was efficient
– I had to make sure that there was proper collaboration happening between the teams to accelerate delivery
– I had to find ways for remote collaboration between UK, USA and India
– I had to be a good leader and mentor for my team, but also had to be a “bridge” between our team and other teams (UI designers, Business Analysts, Developers, Marketing, Product Owners, and other stake holders)
– Furthermore, I had to be hands on, so I had to deliver some user journeys, wire frames and prototypes
New ways of working
Delivering anything was a long process. The designs went through unnecessary loops, causing delays and other problems. I convinced everyone that we needed to change the way we work, so we started a test run on a small part of the project.
More time on design
The new goal was to “fail early”. I asked for more time for planning and designing, failing early and cheap at the design phase. I organised collaboration sessions, where we designed together on whiteboards. These workshops were UX led. We only invited one person from each team: a visual designer, a business analyst, a developer, and a subject matter expert/product owner. This way we made sure that bad ideas would fail as early as possible.
We ended up with several questions, so we went away to find the answers. The next day we talked again, iterated the designs on the whiteboard, and repeated the process. Altogether we only spent several hours to come up with something that we all agreed was a good design and deliverable on time.
More efficient delivery
We started the “production phase”: wire frames, prototypes, usability tests. Then visual designs, and system development. We proved that the new process was much faster and way more efficient, so we started using it on other projects. We also managed to solve the problem of remote collaboration by using video calls and online remote white boarding tools.
The difference was very visible. Everyone felt happier and more confident. Delivery time was drastically reduced. We also produced better designs, so our customers were happier than ever.
Heading up the team
As I was heading the UX team, I made sure that I did not micro-manage. I was there to be a leader, to help them with the workload, to mentor and to give support.
I also helped the team with being hands on – I organised and led workshops, designed user journeys, built wire frames and prototypes, and conducted usability tests.
We designed on paper, worked a lot on real and virtual (online) white boards, Sketch app, InVision, Axure for wireframes and prototypes. I used a mind mapping tool for mapping journeys and processes. We also used Jira and confluence +Agile Methodology.
Feedback from Preqin:
Robert worked on our large scale re-platforming project with very tight timelines with a large onshore and offshore team. He comes with excellent UX skills but more importantly the skills to work with many different stakeholders at different levels through the company to complete UX tasks and to get UX issues resolved. He proved to be an major asset to the project and helped us re-organise the way UX was delivered from product management through Visual Design to engineering in a fast and efficient way.
I would be happy to work with Robert again on future projects and would employ him again tomorrow.