On Being a Design Manager
At Epsilon, I led a team of designers producing work for high-profile clients such as American Express, Wells Fargo, Delta, Cox Automotive, Cisco, etc.
Epsilon is a large (10,000+ employees internationally) consulting company that acquires a lot of smaller companies and then brings those strengths onboard. When I started, there was no source of truth on how to present work to clients. There were various colors, logos, voice, and style guides floating all over the place. Also, everyone used different tools, such as Visio, Axure, Adobe InDesign, and Sketch.
I thought it important to create templates so we could be unified in how we presented our work to clients.
I made templates for every tool we used as getting everyone to agree on one tool proved to be more difficult than I expected. We used both Macs and Windows for design at Epsilon.
It was my job to grow the Design team while at Epsilon and I thought it important that we have a structured, repeatable hiring process.
Besides creating interview templates, I developed a process on how to decide when to hire and for what skills. In order to do that, I first needed to create a career ladder, as one did not exist for design at the time.
Once we had a Career Ladder, interview templates, and other cohesive documentation, it was time to start interviewing. I wasn't finding the skills I needed from outside the company so I started looking inside the company. I found a terrific person to add to the team and mentor into a strong UX Designer.
While at GrowthX Academy, I started the GrowthX Studio. This was a chance for alumni and students to work together on real-world projects on a consulting basis in order to add projects to their portfolio and get practice being UX Designers.
Over the course of a 2-year term, I led about 40 different UX projects.
Example projects included:
Designing an onboarding flow
Adding a new feature to a website or an app
Redesigning two or more key flows
Redesigning a small site/app
Creating a concept for a site or an app
Converting a traditional website to a responsive, mobile friendly site
Doing a UI refresh
Project objectives were:
Alumni and students learn to work with stakeholders such as Founders, Engineers, Product Managers, and Growth Marketers.
Alumni and students work within real-world constraints to solve a business challenge.
Alumni and students learn to communicate and demonstrate the skills they have learned.
Alumni and students apply their skills to create work for their portfolio and make connections to people in the industry.
I created a deck to discuss projects with clients in order to have a consistently structured conversation. Within this deck were expectations, examples, commonly asked questions, and timelines.
While GrowthX Academy is no longer around, I am proud of what I was able to accomplish there. We had a 92% satisfaction rate with our client projects. The students and alumni worked hard and really improved themselves.