What Is DesignOps?

As businesses increasingly understand the value of design, and accordingly invest in larger design teams, it makes sense that they'll also invest in resources to make those teams productive and successful.

DesignOps, short for Design Operations, is that resource, and in my experience, it makes sense to hire a DesignOps specialist when your team grows to about 20 people. At 50 or more designers, you'll probably need an entire team focused on DesignOps.

In my last role, as Director of Product Design at Weight Watchers, a lot of what I did was basically DesignOps (even though we didn't call it that). Some of my work included:

  • Budgeting & resource allocation
  • Securing physical workspaces
  • Standardizing our toolset & securing licenses for those tools
  • Design Systems Management (pattern libraries & style guides)
  • The onboarding process for new team members
  • Design Team career path & performance review process
  • Design process transparency
  • Measurement frameworks for design work (measure against principles, user journeys, competition, etc.)
  • Evangelizing design & user advocacy across the company

It's basically all the non-design work that supports the Product Design Team.

Comments? @ me on Twitter: @bradlau

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