Based on my work on Beautiful Delivery with autonomous cross-functional teams (for more details, see Use Beautiful Delivery to Speed Up Your Digital Transformation), I have set out to define the different roles in a bit more detail. This time I will focus on the Designer.
The main responsibility of the Designer is tomake sure that the final result is beautiful, and that it delights the customer. It’s about taking responsibility of the customer experience, and making sure that the user needs are the driving force behind any design decision and feature implemented. Just like the architect translate business objective into technical components, the designer translate user needs into viable designs and solutions that will make life easier, or even happier, for customers. With tools like effect mapping, a traceability is achieved to make sure that each design component (screen, button, color, font, etc) and feature is applied with a purpose. A designer knows that less is more, and therefore always try to remove in favor of adding.
The user experience (UX) is a the core of any digital enterprise, and the thing that will set apart the winners from the losers in the years to come. Putting the customer in the center might seem like a small difference, but it’s pretty drastic, and I would like to compare it with what Copernicus realized. That instead of the earth (organization) being the center, it’s the sun (customer). Interestingly, the latter is not wrong, it’s just taking an subjective viewpoint, and it makes reality very complex. Taking a more objective viewpoint, placing the customer in the center, makes it easier to understand how her ecosystem of value actually works. In a more emotional way, it’s actually about compassion, that is, putting someone else before yourself. Our latest research is actually focusing on bringing this to the next level by setting out on a journey In Pursuit of Digital Happiness, so make sure you check that out as it becomes available.
Just like all the other roles in an autonomous team, the Designer has to be hands-on, so another task is to create the user interface and the graphical artifacts. This means that he needs to know graphical design, with tools like PhotoShop and Sketch, and one important taks is to create the design guidelines with colors and fonts as well as graphical artifacts like icons and images. Just like the architect that can code, it gives the designer the practical foundation for taking design decisions that can actually be implemented. The craft of graphical design will also give the designer an understanding of the new possibilities available in different touch points, like webs, apps, etc. New channels, like bot and connected things, will demand that the Designer grows in areas like humanism, linguistics, and product design. In a chatbot, it’s not so much about the graphical design, but the language, and especially the “tone of voice”, because users will get a stronger feeling to interact directly with the brand. In a connected thing, it’s about how to use simple controls, like buttons, and simple indicators, like LED lights, in an intuitive way.