Senior UX Designer
Nike, Go to Market Solutions
When a digital tech team within Nike approached me, they told me their UX practice was underwhelming and designers didn’t stay long. They wanted to fix that while also researching, redesigning, and releasing a major evolution of critical enterprise software tools and integrating new business processes.
My role was to help build a design team, support and advise leadership in cultivating user-centered design and efficient team-wide processes, and produce UX and UI design and strategy.
First, an honest question: How much did they want to invest in user-centered design? How much were they willing to empower their design team? Moving forward required understanding the problems of the past as well as the commitment it would take to change, then deciding whether or not they would take those steps. After resolving to address those challenges, we worked toward hiring the right people in the right roles and improving process and communication. All the while actively designing and building a suite of new software applications on a fast-paced schedule with frequent releases.
We iterated on an increasingly improved process (one you could call lean or agile) that aligned with development cycles, enabling everyone across the team to work better together. We ensured designers and researches were in the room when decisions were made and cultivated an atmosphere of trust and respect that enabled us to navigate differences productively. We discovered and addressed major bottlenecks within the workflow, identifying ways to better integrate stakeholder and user input and catch potential technical feasibility issues early.
Our releases were met with overwhelmingly positive feedback from users in beta and UAT, with some clear areas for improvement, which were addressed honestly within the team. Across leadership, development, business, and design, the team overall reached a greater level and trust, efficiency, and quality, as well as a culture of honest reflection and continuous improvement.