Offering more collaboration opportunities within UX
GitLab's culture highly values asynchronous communication, and UX sees a lot of value from that. But as Designers, many of us also want more synchronous collaboration with our fellow UXers.
While we get to interact frequently with our Product and Engineering partners, we don't always get the benefits that working more closely with other Designers can bring—specifically, broader product context, design feedback, and mentorship opportunities. We believe that offering Designers those opportunities will help to improve the quality of our work.
Let's pilot one or two new ways of making UX collaboration easier and see how they work. We'll try the idea(s) for 4-8 weeks (TBD) and assess whether we believe the change(s) have had a positive impact.
Ideas from the 2/19 UX Weekly Call include:
1. Pair Designing: Assign every UXer a partner within the UX team who they can consistently collaborate with.
Benefits: Designers always know who to go to, and they can develop more context with that person over time.
Risks: Designers miss out on the possible ideas and mentorship they might get from interacting with more UXers. Also, Designers might worry about asking for feedback frequently, in case that increases their partner's workload at a bad time.
2. Office Hours: Have a standing weekly video meeting where Designers can sign up to share WIP and get feedback (required for managers but optional for individual contributors).
Every meeting will have an agenda, and anyone who signs up should include their GitLab issue in the doc for others to reference.
Benefits: Everyone gets more exposure to work that's happening across the product. Designers get lots of eyes on their work, which means more feedback and ideas.
Risks: It's incumbent on the Designer to quickly provide enough context to get meaningful feedback.
3. Random Reviewers: Use the Danger gem to generate a random UX reviewer on an issue.
Example: gitlab-ce!25386 (comment 142632732)
Benefits: It spreads reviews evenly across the team to balance workload. It gives everyone the chance to see work that's happening in product areas other than their own.
Risks: A review request might hit a Designer at a bad time. The review may not end up going to a Designer with enough knowledge in that particular product area.
4. Video Reviews: Begin to use video more frequently to make the feedback process easier. Attach the video to the issue.
Benefits: It's sometimes faster to give context and walk through a design on video than it is to type everything out and/or annotate a design file. It can also be easier to understand a Designer's rationale in this format.
Risks: Designers miss out on face-to-face collaboration and the natural ideation that can occur as another Designer asks questions.
@gitlab-com/gitlab-ux Please vote on the ideas above using emojis (1, 2, 3, 4). Please feel free to add additional ideas, make comments, ask for clarification, etc.