Transforming your UX team through Collaboration
Jennifer Fabrizi and Sarah Bloomer
at the Microsoft NERD Center in Cambridge, MA
Are you new to managing a team of user experience professionals? Are you trying to improve the acceptance and effectiveness of your user experience team? Or maybe you’ve got a mature UX practice and are wondering what’s next?
We all know the usual recommendations: find an executive sponsor, create UX champions, demonstrate your value, and apply metrics! They focus on demonstrating and convincing our colleagues about the value of UX. While each of these approaches can be effective, they rarely take UX to the next level of maturity.
Jen and Sarah believe the field of User Experience has reached the point where we need to think more deeply about how we fit, how to work within an organizational system and find more multi-dimensional roles. It’s not just about convincing, but about collaborating; it’s not just about process, but about being a change agent. Soft skills such as listening, facilitation and influence are equally important to design and research skills. We’ll summarize by explaining how the Capability Maturity Model is relevant to UX and provide ways to move your team or practice forward.
This talk will include as much discussion as presentation. We want to tell you our experiences and hear about yours.
Jen Fabrizi, Mass Mutual
Jen is currently the Practice Lead of User Experience Research & Design at MassMutual Life Insurance Company. With about 20 years in user-centered design, usability, and user experience in enterprise settings, she has started and led teams, consulted internally and externally with development teams, and brings unique insights into “Enterprise User Experience.” Jen looks at all aspects of running a UX team: from operational concerns, to developing UX practice strategy, project management methodologies, and everything in between.
Jen has been on UXPA panels on building out UX teams and has co-presented about design for multi-cultural audiences. She was also a panelist about designing online solutions for financial advisors at the 2012 Face of Finance Conference at Bentley University, and she facilitated a discussion on UX Capability Maturity at the recent UX Manager’s Symposium in the Boston area.
Sarah Bloomer, Sarah Bloomer & Co
After roughly 20 years in the business of user experience design (when it transformed from usability to user centered design, and from GUIs to websites to cross platform apps) Sarah established Sarah Bloomer & Co in 2006 to address the growing demand for design research, UX strategy and UX design training. Her years of expertise in managing UX teams and helping companies set up teams has led to more time spent cross training teams, coaching new UX managers and helping teams become more effective.
Sarah delivered the virtual seminar “Upgrading Your UX Team” for User Interface Engineering’s virtual seminars series, in addition to several courses about UX teams for User Interface conferences, UPA, Boston UPA and BostonCHI’s professional training day.