What are the critical challenges that a design executive faces these days? What is the evolving state of experience design in 2021? What trends and themes are bubbling up with design leaders as they continue to elevate the impact of design? What do other leaders do in similar scenarios?
I often get asked these questions by leaders because I work with executives across different organizations. That said, because of the Developeople UX, LLC business model, I tend to be deep with relatively few leaders. So, I thought I’d kick off 2021 with a challenge – to have conversations with 100 design leaders over the year. This project will accomplish several desirable things.
First, I will reconnect with design executives and leaders, who are all brilliant and interesting people. After nearly a year of lockdown, I’ve spent less time meeting and connecting with people who are not in my everyday sphere of work. Meeting more people will be exciting and can help me facilitate connections between them.
Second, I will gain a broader understanding of what helps and gets in the way of leading with design. Our field has changed a great deal over the course of my career and is still in flux. Design leadership roles are more prevalent and more influential than ever, which brings up a whole new set of challenges and resistance. I work with executives to identify and address these in their organizations, but there are more learnings that we can share.
Third, there will be trends and themes worth sharing, discussing, and highlighting. For example, the impact of COVID-19 has been vast in many organizations – from different ways of working to pivoting entire business models and offerings in response to the rapidly changing environments we live in. This has come up in two of the first three discussions that I’ve had. It’s too early to derive any conclusions, but there is definitely an incredible impact on design leadership in 2021.
You can join me on this journey. I will post a few updates throughout the year and will pose some questions along the way. If you would like to participate in the project as one of the 100 design leaders, please drop me an email.