Guillen Design | Company Structures & In-house Design Teams — Part 2
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Company Structures & In-house Design Teams — Part 2

Company Structures & In-house Design Teams — Part 2

Make a Meaningful Commitment

If organizations truly make a commitment to create a design driven organization, the organizational chart will look something like this:

Developing a VP of Design position on equal footing with both marketing and product executives will allow the organization to create a terrific product with a cohesive design strategy which should be applied to both the marketing and product departments and create a unified image. This position will create an exciting long-term brand and product vision motivating creative teams as well as other departments and help visualize a meaningful corporate vision. If this position is successful, it will challenge the current status quo and push the limits to reach for greater goals.

In addition, the person in this position, can install user centered design methodologies which will truly help collaboration on product development and create a cohesive customer experience from the arrival of the packaging to the use of the product. Their use of Design Thinking will bring systematic user centered innovation and support a team effort during product development, which will easily complement Agile.

This new executive position should foster innovation and creative thinking and create an inclusive innovation culture where designers, engineers, and marketers feel heard and are encouraged to collaborate with other teams to invent better products, and where participants push themselves to create better solutions. In turn, this position can hold designers accountable for the quality of their design because the right VP of Design will know the difference between good and great and can help designers to measure their accomplishments or branding goals. The VP can push the limits of a century old craft and truly enable the creation of original sustainable design.

In addition, this VP can put the right tools in place to build interfaces effectively at the highest standard and reduce laborious redundancies as well as be an agent of change to cut expected features and diligently search for new solutions. This position should have direct access to the CEO and can potentially help to rethink legacy technology approaches and truly embrace customer centered development.

Some companies are making the change. 

A few high-tech enterprise companies, such as Intuit, Logitech, and SAP, are making a serious commitment to become design driven organizations, and the change clearly pays off. When you compare Logitech devices from a few years ago to today, there is a clear shift. When you visit Intuit’s website lately, there is a clear shift. It does make for a better customer experiences and helps Silicon Valley’s veterans do an amazing facelift into a new area.

If you have questions on structuring successful design teams, please contact Marianne Guillen. 

Marianne Guillen is a design strategist with more than 15 years of experience. 


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