Peter Merholz

“The 12 Qualities of Effective Design Teams”

Session Summary

Whether it’s startups that staff design from the beginning, or large enterprises that realize design has become a necessary internal competency, companies are building design teams like never before. However, these investments are not fulfilling their potential, as they’re not being set up for success. To get the most out of design teams requires management and operation approaches that run contrary to common practice.

In this talk, Peter will lay out the 12 Qualities of Successful Design Teams:

  1. Shared sense of purpose
  2. Focused, empowered leadership
  3. Authentic user empathy
  4. Understand, articulate, and create value
  5. Support the entire journey
  6. Delivers at all levels of scale
  7. Establish and uphold standards of quality
  8. Values delivery over perfection
  9. Treat team members as people, not resources
  10. Diversity of perspective and background
  11. Foster a collaborative environment
  12. Manage operations effectively

Broken up into three groups: Foundation, Output, and Management, you will learn what sets apart the most effective teams. This will serve as a checklist that you can use to assess your team’s performance.

Peter Merholz – @peterme

Peter Merholz co-founded Adaptive Path in 2001, perhaps the world’s premier firm dedicated to user experience. He was instrumental in AP’s growth from a small boutique firm to a renowned international consultancy. More recently, he led the global design team at Groupon, including product/UX, marketing, and brand design where he doubled the team from 30 to 60, and was instrumental in the first redesign of since the company launched. He’s also worked with OpenTable and Jawbone. He is currently co-authoring a book on building in-house design organizations. Peter is also perhaps most (in)famous for coining the word “blog” in 1999. Really. In the OED and everything. Since then, he’s been blogging continuously at PETERME.COM.

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