How to lead user-centred design

by on 14 September 2018 in ux

My brief notes from the Government Digital Service (GDS) essentials of leadership training, run by Rebecca Kemp and Ade Adewunmi.

Tell a good story

Learn how to talk about what you and your team do.

Learn how to talk to people who aren’t familiar with user-centred design.

Help your team to talk about it too.

Make sure you can talk about your profession, and the product you are working on.

Find common ground

Not everybody cares about user-centred design, so don’t be a purist.

You only have to convince people enough to let you do your job, you don’t have to convert them.

Acknowledge other peoples’ expertise.

Work to find common ground, almost everyone wants to improve the service they’re working on in some way. Learn how to talk about things in a way that they can relate to.

Be pragmatic. What concrete steps can you take to improve the service? Making everything better for everyone at the same time is impossible.

Learn how much things cost, and show people what savings can be made.

Look after your team (and yourself)

Protect your team from things that can disrupt their flow.

Make decisions for them (when they need you to).

Leading can be exhausting. It requires a lot of emotional labour. Find things that you can do to recharge. Plan at least one of these things into your schedule every week.

Don’t let yourself burn out.

Speak to friends and mentors outside of your organisation.