Building design process within teams –

A practical workflow to manage design projects

“What’s your team’s design process?” This is one of the most frequently asked questions by interviewees and one that I’m excited to share! Though it’s easy for me to answer this question now, previously I had a hard time conveying design culture because process was nonexistent. In fact, this lack of shared process presented several challenges within our team.

Problem 1: Unclear team culture/vision

Lack of process was a symptom of deeper problems around team culture. Even though we belonged to a team, it didn’t feel like we united in vision. Without clear purpose and structure, design get-togethers dwindled and the team felt further fragmented.

Problem 2: Designers worked in silos

Product experience suffered because siloed designers used patterns inconsistently and didn’t solicit feedback from others. A lack of sharing ideas and communication among teammates contributed to this problem.

Problem 3: Bad copy discovered in production

Bad copy showed up in live products because the team overlooked copywriting. Even when we had access to copywriters, people denied taking responsibility for this problem and finger pointing ensued.

This presented an opportunity for me to develop a design process that could be promoted across the team. It also served as a catalyst for conversations around building team culture and collaboration.

I’m inspired by processes like’s Design Thinking, IDEO’s Design Kit, and How to apply design thinking from scratch. Though I find these methods great for reference, it’s still too high-level for real product development.

Author: Jules Cheung

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