Problem
Designers working on our flagship account servicing application were coming in at various stages of education, experience, expertise and motivation. Although the talent for UX was outstanding, most had little to no experience on native applications. We needed to level up the team so that everyone would have a baseline understanding of native experience design.

  1. How do we train hundreds of designers quickly in a way that would resonate and stick?
  2. How do we ensure that we are producing a quality experience?
  3. How do we measure quality?

Action
I reported to the new Vice President of Experience Quality. I roughed out a curriculum plan, course schedule and content outlines. I put all of this into a roadmap for leadership to gain buy-in.

We brought on an amazing content strategist and a junior designer to help build out what would become the Design College. We took great care in developing a solid narrative that would carry through from class to class, week to week. Tying concepts and rationale to build on one another. However, we also wanted to ensure that anyone could drop in at any time and not feel lost.

  • We settled on 30 minutes once a week on a Wednesday. An afternoon time would accommodate team members on the west coast.

  • Over the first six months of the program, we conducted 10 sessions starting with the most basic foundations for experience quality. We recorded the sessions, sharing out the recording and decks. And as a team, we creating a “quality checklist.”

  • Measuring quality is tough but we noted key metrics that we could track to determine the effectiveness of our efforts.

    • A “quality checklist” would be an additional stage in an overall enterprise wide review process. This checklist was a tool for designers to ensure their features addressed specific factors. These included, accessibility, adherence to design system and platform guidelines, happy and unhappy paths, edge cases, etc.

    • As each line of business conducted design reviews, we tracked the status of each check list line item. What items were consistently failing? Where were people confused? What were we doing right?

    • We tracked attendance each week, identifying department and team representation. These numbers were then relayed to senior leadership.

    • We sent out surveys after each class to all attendees of that session. Merging that weeks responses to synthesize the overall data. This allowed us to recognize trends and/or opportunities to pivot if needed.

Results
In seven months, we’ve conducted 17 sessions with two guest speakers covering five sessions.

We’ve covered the foundational concepts of effortless design: organizational models, grid structures and design systems. We’ve explored the conceptual three dimensional worlds of iOS and Android’s operating systems. And we’ve covered the tactical application of motion.

As we’ve tracked design reviews, the amount of failed items have lessened. Designers are reaching out early and often for feedback or assistance. Feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. Attendance ranges from 100-200 each week and we have many with perfect attendance. Although we are making headway, we are unearthing new obstacles and problems to solve in our effort to achieve a consistent quality experience in our native applications.

FULL CASE STUDY


Skills

  • Curriculum planning
  • Roadmapping
  • Strategy
  • Storytelling
  • Course development
  • People management
  • Training
  • Facilitation
  • UX vision
  • Culture building

Course Feedback

“It was awesome! Learned a lot in just 20 minutes.”

“This was really useful to me, hoping this can be longer.”

“I was vibing with all the material and felt like it just wasn’t long enough to cover everything. It was amazing though! I can’t wait for the next class! ^-^”

“I like the analogies and imagery – especially Adam Hillman’s assemblage work! Looking forward to getting into more detail.”

“The class was great! It was presented in a very interesting and fun way. Learned a lot about deign difference between iOS and Android.”

~ Anonymous attendee feedback