DesignOps

Building out a new design department
When I became the Design Systems Manager at GoGuardian my focus was on building out our DesignOps department. This is the design principle that drives all DesignOps initiatives:
Force multiplying designers through support, tooling and processes that help elevate designers at GoGuardian.
These are the areas that DesignOps is actively tackling: 

Retention + Exposure
Design System (Galaxy)
Accessibility and Inclusion
Tooling
Design Metrics
ResearchOps
Areas where DesignOps will not focus: 

Retention + Exposure

Hands down this is the most fun area to work on. Why? I get to search, curate and share all things design-related with the product design team. I get to throw a wide net into the internet and see what can potentially challenge designers to look at things through different lenses or be challenged in ways that takes them outside of the pixel.

The long term goal for Retention + Exposure is to elevate each individual designer to express her/his/their voice - whether that be on social media platforms, publishing their work or giving a conference talk and/or workshop. I want our design team to not only leading the edtech design space but our industry as a whole.

Informing designers on the following areas:

Design System (Galaxy)

It’s been a wild ride! Things are pointing in the right direction. A lot of lessons have been learned. The best part of the journey has been that each designer has gotten a chance to participate and contribute to the design system (Galaxy). There is a sense of true ownership and empowerment that the team has in using Galaxy. I go into more detail - here.

Accessibility + Inclusion

This is a multi-faceted approach that we’re taking to ensure that we achieve true accessibility and inclusion for our products in addition to how we hire and onboard all future design hires. I've been actively working with our Design Principal to ensure that we are creating processes that uplift all internal and external voices and perspectives in our work. We’re fortunate that our design team is ethnically and culturally diverse; but we can always do better. One way that accessibility and inclusion is being addressed is in our design system (Galaxy) that is pushing our products to be accessible for an array of users with varying abilities and access.

Tooling

This area is another fun one because I get to play with new tools. I’ve managed to create a set of guidelines to test, measure and ultimately determine if a new tool would benefit our team. As with all aspects of DesignOps, I showcase the results, provide my recommendation and give the final decision of adopting a new tool/process for the team to decide.

Design Metrics

This is the area where I knew the least. My guiding principle was simple - equip designers with quantitative data. Although it’s still early days for this initiative, there has been a lot that we’ve been able to achieve. I cover more of the topic - here.

ResearchOps

This area will be tackled in Q4 2019. Here's a sneak peak of what's going to covered:

- Strategies for sourcing testing candidates

- Evaluation, piloting and selection of user testing tools

- Building out Qualitative Reference Library

- Surfacing historic qualitative studies to help inform new design projects