Growing design teams have a tendency to concentrate on processes and data, and although those elements are vital to scale, they can sometimes lose sight of the why. Key to scaling is building an infrastructure that supports a company’s core mission.
In our final DesignBetter.Co Podcast of Season 2, we chat with Facebook’s VP of Product Design Margaret Gould Stewart about how storytelling, open communication, and keeping the focus on the customer help Facebook’s design team scale.
Key points from Margaret:
- Building relationships where people are comfortable being honest with you, then having the difficult conversations, are keys to finding your place as a leader in a growing organization
- It’s important for high-performing individuals to have hobbies they allow themselves to be “just okay” at
- The key to implementing scalable infrastructure is to put it in place before you start to really feel the pain of growth
- When in doubt, always go back to the core mission: Who are you doing this for and why?
“The most important thing you can do is have a story around what you’re doing, for whom, and why.”
On design operations
“Investing in infrastructure as you scale is something that allows every individual on the team to work at greater capacity than they would otherwise.”
On the soft skills we all need
“In reality you can be the most talented person and be off the charts on the hard skills, but if you are a person that people don’t want to work with, you will not get things done.”
On designing with empathy
“If we constantly put people at the center of what we’re doing, we’re going to much more likely come up with solutions that help people and communities thrive around the world.”
If you like what we’re doing, and want to hear the stories of more great designer leaders, it would help us a lot if you subscribe to the podcast on iTunes or Google Play and leave us a review.
Caroline is Signal's Senior User Experience Designer by day and an inventor, movie buff, hockey player, and cat fan by night.
Stephanie is a copywriter for InVision. She hails from the humid land of Elvis (that's Memphis, TN, for the uninitiated), where she lords it over her two dogs, three cats, and one bearded husband, all while continuously talking about herself in third person.
by Eli Woolery
Eli is the Director of Design Education at InVision. His design career spans both physical and digital products, and he is a lecturer in the Product Design program at Stanford University. You can find Eli on Medium or on Twitter.