A team with colleagues from a variety of backgrounds has the advantage of drawing from a wider range of creative ideas. In addition, good ideas get honed by questions and challenges from those with a different perspective.
Create inclusive culture
One of our three core principles is “If we’re not inclusive, we haven’t built a good product (or a good company).” We often talk about inclusion in the context of who our users are, but it’s just as critical to be mindful of inclusion within the team. Gathering a diverse team is only the first step; we must also make everyone feel seen and supported.
Be candid and kind
Candid feedback turns good products into great products. Candor never tears down, it never sets one individual over another, or seeks to do harm. Radical candor is built on empathy, on an understanding that design is an iterative process, knowing that the best designer in the world, working solo, will never produce work as great as a team of designers collaborating closely together.
- Be direct, but supportive
- Start by acknowledging the intent
- Critique the design, not the designer
- Frame constructive critique in terms of goals
- Avoid prescriptive feedback — present problems, not solutions
Build relationships of trust
Groundbreaking design takes risk, and risk-taking is only possible in an environment of trust. A healthy creative team is one where everyone feels safe, respected, and supported.
Be process aligned,
but tool agnostic
You can use whatever tools you’re most comfortable with to get the job done. But when it comes to process, we should all be strongly aligned. How do we identify the problem to solve and what steps do we follow to develop the best solution? This is where we need to have consistent approach and process.
By having a centralized design organization, we insure that we can support the whole user journey, from marketing to product, in a consistent and holistic way. We develop our skills and careers in communities of practice, and then execute on the work through deep partnerships with engineers, product leaders, and others.