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Understanding DesignOps and Its Role in Design Teams

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When you have a very small design team with just a couple of people, you might wonder why anyone needs a DesignOps professional. As your agency grows larger, you start recruiting help from more freelancers, or your products become more complicated, you will quickly realize that DesignOps plays a crucial role in design teams.

If you’re unsure whether you need DesignOps, consider some of the positive roles that design operations professionals can improve in your teams and projects.

DesignOps can build a team of diverse talent

Technology always moves forward, which means that your products will have to adjust to emerging trends quickly. Smartphones are literally everywhere, so it’s easy to forget that the first iPhone didn’t come out until 2013. Think about how much apps have changed within less than a decade! You have no idea what experts you will need on your team a few years from now.

Currently, your team probably needs at least one:

  • Project manager
  • Graphic manager
  • Animation designer
  • UI/UX designer

More complex projects might require:

  • Content creators
  • An art director
  • A brand manager
  • Developer

Are you certain that your team has the right members to complete challenging projects? A DesignOps professional can build a team of diverse talent that helps you attract high-profile clients, grow your brand recognition, and increase your revenue.

Related post: Design Team Structure: Ideal Setup for Small, Medium & Large Organizations

DesignOps can recruit the talent you need for individual projects

You don’t necessarily need all of those people on your payroll. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, animators earn about $75,270 per year plus benefits. As long as your animator stays busy, it makes sense to pay for a full-time employee. The situation changes when you only need someone to add animations to occasional projects.

When you don’t need a team member consistently, you can outsource tasks to a freelancer. DesignOps can make sure that the chosen freelancers have the right skills and talents for the job. You could hire a random person from a website like Fiverr, but that doesn’t guarantee you’ll like the results you get. You can trust DevOps to find the right person for the job.

Trust DesignOps to create great design systems

Your DesignOps professional acts like a coach that develops strategies and communicates plans to the team. Creating a great design system makes communicating project requirements and limitations a little easier.

DesignOps is the right person to create design systems because they communicate with everyone involved in a project, including the client or brand expert. Branding plays a critical role in product development. If your client makes its products more recognizable by using the same icons in every design, your team needs a design system that limits them to those icons. More often than not, DesignOps is the only person talking to the client often enough to know the importance of these decisions.

Give your DesignOps professional control of design systems to streamline the prototyping process and meet the client’s expectations.

Related post: How to Use a Design System to Make Great UX Design Decisions

DesignOps handles business issues so your team can focus on design

Wouldn’t it be great if your team could design products without worrying about budgets? They could do so many amazing things!

In the real world, every design project comes with countless business tasks like:

  • Tracking budgets
  • Logging hours
  • Responding to emails
  • Attending client meetings

More likely than not, your product designers don’t have any interest in these things. They’d rather spend their time doing the work they love. Let them focus on design by assigning business tasks to DesignOps. Without the burden of these tasks, your team will work more efficiently and build better products.

You need DesignOps to perfect project management

Your design team needs a system that helps members coordinate their efforts and reach common milestones. That means you need a project management methodology that works well for your team.

Some of the most popular management methodologies for design teams include Agile, Scrum, and Kanban. There are dozens of other options, though, that could make your team more effective.

It’s also possible that your team needs a unique approach to management. Creating your own design process can break down barriers and give your employees the freedom to explore radical ideas that lead to amazing features. 

Who decides what project management methodology your teams should follow. Leave that job to DesignOps. They already know a lot about your team members, projects, clients, and processes. It makes sense for them to take responsibility for choosing a management methodology that brings out the best in your team and technologies.

Related post: How Agile Environments Revolutionize a Team’s Workflow

DesignOps finds the technology your team needs to thrive

Your technology stack dictates—at least in part—what your design team can accomplish. You can’t make animations when you don’t have software with animation features. Similarly, you can’t test designs unless you have a tool that lets you interact with your prototypes.

When you search the internet for design tools, you will get dozens of results claiming that they offer the best features. Can you trust those statements? Even writers making best-of lists have partnerships that encourage them to position some design tools over others.

In other words, it’s best to get help from someone who knows how all of these products work. What reputations do they really have? Do they integrate well with other tools? Will other designers laugh when they find out that you use an outdated app? Are there any trends on the market that your team should follow? 

DesignOps professionals know the answers to these and countless other questions that you need to answer before you can choose a technology stack. They usually also follow tech novelties that can help optimize the whole product development process. 

For example, one of the burning issues in product teams is the disconnect between design and development – the handoff reality check is the moment when some of the design ideas can’t be implemented into production or take much more time than it was predicted. 

In such a situation, DesignOps would search for solutions like tools that can help convert the design to code, much more interactive prototyping tools to check the interactivity scenarios before passing the design to development, or even tech that allows designers to create a prototype with already coded components that are production-ready. 

The last solution simplifies and shortens the process of product development by making it faster for designers to prototype and for developers to launch the ready product. If you’re interested in that as a DesignOps or any other member of a product team, we have a solution – UXPin Merge. You can create designs with UI React components that are already interactive and easily reusable. It may sound complicated but in reality, there’s no difference between prototyping with standard elements and the revolutionary code-powered components. 

Sounds like a perfect solution?

You don’t have to trust our perspective of UXPin Merge. It’s best if you checked on your own how beneficial it may be for you. Designing with code can help you optimize your product development process a lot, so if you’re ready for implementing a revolutionary, yet not so complicated tech, just request access to Merge. 

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