Designing Adobe XD – Episode 55

July 28, 2019 posted by



[Applause] [Applause] all right hello everyone waiting great Friday noon noon we're nearly lunchtime you think it's like good canoeing good news hi my name is Vignesh I'm a design manager XD welcome to the stream I have with me first time out Ryan Parker who recently is in a wild yes join our team as a design PGM a very warm welcome to everyone joining us I hope you have a interesting half an hour because what we're here to talk about is how our design team works so right as a design manager myself as a program manager I guess what I thought would be interesting in this session is to take our audience through some of you know some insights in how we track our M works just manage our projects and what not terrific before we get into it I guess curious to hear your thoughts like what were your first impressions when you first joined our team yeah we happy 4 months ago yeah so I think you know just to give a little bit more background there as well like so it's a design program manager at least here at Adobe what we do is we're focused on scaling and operationalizing the design team to ensure that we are you know actioning and delivering on our products and making our customers really happy and that we're actually doing that in a really fast scalable manner all right yeah and like as we scale and growing it's one of the things we're going to try and do in this session is talk a little bit about how we work and how we track our work but also we get into designing well yeah anything an ideal design dashboard should look like exactly that'll be a little bit of fun yeah other ways to connect to us and like communicate right our stakeholder right um so maybe you started by sharing us because I believe you organized a little bit more in-depth sort of thinking or like this is we use JIRA today yes we do have to track our team's work and a lot of it is to Regus maintain sanity because we're doing we're trying to do so many things at the same time we're prioritizing them we need to communicate that everybody and everyone needs to be on the same page so can you take us through you know what you're sharing right now this is sort of an abstract version of the JIRA Kanban board that we use yeah okay yeah yeah exactly so you know as you were saying mcNeish we use we use JIRA and you know a lot of designers I know don't like JIRA and actually JIRA is something that we've recently started using on the Adobe design team in order to better align with our partner teams and our engineering teams so we've actually done a lot of work to ensure that you know everything that we're doing on the design side is involved with our development lifecycle or our development workflow so that were plugged into their process there's a lot of transparency into you know what we're doing and the engineers can see that give quick feedback and everything here so again as you mentioned this is just kind of like a high-level abstract version of JIRA this is probably what we all wished you're actually looked like so a little bit of a nicer this is I&G no designs here as well yeah Gina is amazingly powerful though I must say and that's one of the reasons we use G does because we're able to integrate so well with the partner engineering teams and that allows us to get on the same page about priorities definitely couldn't do it without JIRA for sure I'm curious like you know hi – Tim Josh we're and others you know curious to hear from our audience like what kind of other tools they use like Trello and JIRA as well like what are the other tools you're using as we sort of go through this process a little bit more would love to hear some other stories as well so right answer take us through so when we conceptualize a problem that we want to solve a project comes up what are the stages that it goes through like how do you how do you figure out you know when a designer needs to work on end and how much time they need to work on it and when does it move through some of these stages yeah you know the audience and what they would be interested in oh yes so um so really what we've set up here is these different these different columns or status items that we have and this is how we work here at Adobe out on rxd design team this is how we move work through this is how we get everything done to build the new features that you know you all love and then we're trying to get to market um you know to meet all your needs and make you design and quicker you know and have the speed of thought and so really we start with our backlog here which is you know very standard very normal everyone has one of those and people at you we add items to the backlog when something's either been prioritized by you know our customers by design leadership or you know product management as well we get that into our backlog we start to grow and groom the story so for example here we have awesome feature one that we really want to get done we know a lot of people of in asking because awesome feature one that's then coming to the next release and so you know we get that in the backlog that's just kind of more a note now okay hey we want to get this going at some point it's no it's not prioritized but it's something that we know is coming up maybe in the next year even or you know next six months probably a little bit further out at that point then we would move it into discovery once it becomes prioritized in discovery that's a really important part of the design process as everybody knows here and so that's really where we ensure that we build out time to think critically through a problem and actually figure out you know what are the real problems were trying to solve and then what is the proposed solution to that problem right so here we're part you know working with all our partner teams bring research that we read and you know involve our research team we involve all of our p.m. partners as well as all the design leadership as well for the relevant you know piece of work we come together figure out those problems and then figure out an NVP as well as a proposed solution that everyone's aligned on so this is where we get that really great early alignment from all partner to used before we actually move forward and start you know really moving pixels and its really really important here that you know we don't skip this process because I think really where other sissies breakdown and other design teams is where when they skip this discovery process there's discovery phase go right into in progress and spend maybe a few weeks actually designing something really and then at that point you know maybe you're two weeks down the line you realize this actually isn't the right solution we should have you know backed up and spend a little bit more time figuring out what that solution is and then so at that point you know you're moving it back to the discovery phase and you've wasted two weeks yeah so you want to make sure that you're calling this out and this on our team is a really nice way that we kind of just mark this as the discovery phase and everyone on the team is aligned that you know we are spending time weight properly estimating and figuring out this problem and what I think really interesting about this board is what you'd find is at each phase we end up talking to customers and users but the conversation is slightly different as it progresses because in Discovery we really just trying to understand what the problem is that we're trying to solve and it's a lot more open-ended but as you go towards completion and we're confident that this is a problem or a solved gets into more of usability testing or the concept and things of that nature so another sort of perspective that this Kanban board really gives us along with just you know who's working on what and things of that nature exactly so it's not it's not someone like Mooney you talked about Google keep that's an interesting one I haven't heard or seen that before any of you have yeah yeah I viewed Google keep mostly to help me like download images from because you can't export images directly from like Google slides and all of that so you have to then this thing um put it into Google keep to then export it but beyond that I haven't used it too much okay and then you know I have used Trello a bunch in the past as well for design teams but I really have found that you know especially being here the process we've built here has been way more integrated with the engineering team as I mentioned and that's really how you're leading how you're gonna build a successful product is creating that seamless integration with your design team and your engineering team and being as close to them as possible because the second those start to diverge that's where you start having your issues right and so we really want to plug in as much as possible and the design team here's been really willing to to do that yeah I want to spend a few more minutes just maybe talking about life as it moves through what are some like exit criteria it's right when you actually decide to move it maybe use like a couple of minutes to talk about yeah yeah yeah no I definitely want to continue going through kind of all these these columns it's right and so like as I was mentioning before through the for the discovery process to leave that and go to planned which is in now we'd have to really be aligned in the solution figuring out you know what we actually want to build and that pretty much everyone is a aligned and approved on okay let's move forward with this worth we're good but no nothing's actually been designed or actually on yet right and then that moves into the planning process here so in this process for us in this status the work is planned for and it has you know really clear design requirements and alignment but the designer doesn't have time to work on it yet because they're really working on something else probably something else that's in progress and so to leave this stage really it's as simple as the designer has time to work on something so then they pull it into in progress and the in progress stage here is that obviously they're working on the work but the exit criteria is a bit more complicated so to move to deaf support there's a few different things that need to happen the designs have to actually be approved by our you know design leadership as well as our p.m. leaders anyway so we actually have a pretty you know relatively rigid approval structure that we want to make sure everyone who sees things was transparent everyone's aligned on that those final designs we also want to fully annotate our designs so before we move to deaf support we actually do you know all our red lines all our annotations you know send the engineers you know are obviously our deaf spec link that right we have in the process we simplify this and then in addition what we've also been trying to do is have more metrics in our process so we also want to define some metrics and some analytics that we actually want to track you so if a designer is say designing some awesome new feature one and they're like I have a hip a hypothesis on what you know what data we want to receive from there they will actually communicate to the engineering team hey I I think we should track this button right or our ex behavior because I want to see how that happened and we need to communicate that here so that the engineers have time to build out that analytics traffic yeah it makes total sense and I feel like one of the things I wanted to do I wanted us to do this the next 20 minutes maybe is to take this all right and there are a lot of things that I've read about Jada I'm sure I'm not greedy but I wish it was cleaner simpler and you know designers could design it yes and I wanted to see if we can try and achieve some of that but I see some other tools coming in like bear which is interesting and I've heard of that one I haven't heard of that one so if we get it quickly here first so the final stage here is just really def support so right this is just allocating designers time to actually working with the engineering team so they shouldn't be working on any designs at this time they should really just be working on supporting the engineering team but I like slack email all that stuff just like going to meetings answering questions that's really the main the main piece of it yeah and then if there is work that comes up we'll push it back to in progress and they'll actually start working on stuff yeah what's interesting and one of the things I wish we had a more efficient way to do is to figure out you know how much time is being you know taken by design right at each phase because these cards are all the same size right we'll give you this sort of wrong impression that a designer has five dots but you don't fully know which task is heavy which task is light right that's one of those you know pain points I wish maybe we solved yeah so there's like a lot of times what was over 30 percent of your time people spend in dev support and but then that may fluctuate so having some kind of gauge on that would be awesome that's right so if we can switch to my screen for a second have you started designing some of this yeah and some of our audience members can contribute to some ideas as well thora new first is import a sketch UI kid someone did this UI kit in sketch but it's the one that that dry and used for what he did so I want to just open this up in XD right and pull in some things because we have this amazing sketch import feature which allows us to just open any sketch file right just like if it were an XD file boom so right like right here is this dashboard right I'm gonna copy this try and abstract this a little bit because one of the things I notice with our dashboard that we have in JIRA today is as you know someone who was to quickly track progress and track to see who's working on what I feel like that's a lot of information if you'd like there's a lot of them in take you in the card for example this card maybe I can simplify this and how I would let's see if anybody has any ideas how to simplify a card like this notice how when I imported it from sketch it Prada and all the components as well actually yeah I'm gonna try and you know create some of my own using some plugins maybe there's some really interesting plugins that we have that our community is no community of developers it's given us for XD one of the things I like to use is what does that go oh that was in a different build I'm gonna try this and this plug-in generally like actually it's called user profile it allows me to put faces as using it the other day a lot of fun essentially I like I know it's just like faces so I'm gonna try and draw a simple sort of circle right and fill this up with a face that's pretty cool I like this plug-in it's so simple you just select a circle click on this plug-in and it just boom it's a face what I drew a dramatic point profile picture right there is whenever we get I can change it let's change it but really the two most important things is who's working on forward is I think what I really just need and something as simple as this would give me a quick idea of who's working on one and I wish this was you know a simpler card that I could use in JIRA there is priority sense but I feel like in the way we work though people are working on things that are higher priority and we start our friend things that are lower in priority probably not in the same face is that true or do you think that we need its I think it's pretty naturally prioritized so I think we we were pretty good at using the board that I showed previously to join prioritization on its own and so you know the designers actually will go in everyday to their JIRA board filtering by themselves um you know you know to showcase only the work that's assigned to them and then they have their priorities right there so I think the different levels of prioritization is maybe more helpful for you know engineering or when you're in your backlog but actually actually actioning on design work isn't that necessary to maybe have those tags I've noticed yeah and I feel like there's also this Nido flag someone like you and I've Ewing it you would want a different view than a designer going in right viewing it too right so maybe let's try and focus this on you know design manager or PGM kind of view mm-hmm and more we and this is maybe it's just a high-level wireframe right and something that would even help like for that like design manager in PGI but even for like other stakeholders that you want to share with like that's just so people know your team's working on especially a larger larger organizations like ours you know people are always asking for you know status reports on on what's happening and know the more we can automate that the less time is wasted on doing things like that is the more time we can focus on you know building great things right so I just drew a quick to be great here of like columns I'm gonna do is bring this card here make this point and say me check this is the master components I'm gonna make some changes make sure it's in the same width have the responsibly sighs kick in beautifully that's great what are some other things though I feel like one of the other things we touched on was this notion of you know how big a task is that's missing at new margitta board right now so you know if this person actually let me put some labels here you know what YP phone is like the you know t-shirt sizing a lot of people use t-shirt sizing small medium large like very simple I mean right that's obviously doesn't work for engineering which you know I don't wait to throw seams in the past as well but for design just you know small medium and large sometimes is enough to really give you a rough understanding of what that task is especially if it's in a discovery mode were you still identifying the scope right so maybe some kind of support for for the t-shirt sizing would be a cool little I don't actually that's brilliant I wonder if you know in our audience like how do you guys feel about t-shirt sizing and how difficult or easy it is to do you know early on in the process I find that it's always a challenge like especially when it's a discovery it's hard to commit you know something like oh this is going to be medium but maybe it's not medium maybe we don't want to spend that much time you want to spend more time so it's almost like oh no should be a way to you be able to change the size as it's moving from state to state maybe in planned it's gonna be a medium-sized right and maybe in some other project in this company it's really big but then what you realize in the end is by the time you go to plan and in progress it's actually we realize we're not gonna do all of that we're not gonna boil the ocean we're gonna do something small I really like the idea of like having the visual hierarchy change as you move through just like carnac because like there's no apps that really do any kind of card sizing as you move it very well and so you can see at a glance oh that's a big task cuz I hated card it is I do want these things to be top lane though one of the thing I think this is great actually would love for something like this one of the other things I think that I would like our dashboard to do especially for both like stakeholders and designers is to have this constant reminder of what it is to mean to move something from one one track to another right so when it's in discovery to planned what if there's a way that you could just easily understand you're moving the card like hey have you checked these boxes exocrine they say Christ oh yes yes right so maybe it's an experience like when you move something over maybe you get some sort of a pop up right I'm just throwing ideas out there I guess that's the point of this but essentially it has you know a simple sort of you know check box it's like hey have you met this condition yeah that's definitely one of them I was gonna say that maybe that's not a different exit criteria that we have to kind of move through so having some kind of checklist as as that's going through you know we we reviewed these boards weekly as well like it's a we do a weekly stand-up so as you move it through it then it you can check off those pieces and rights it's a nice reminder it would be a nice reminder and and I think it would also you know build confidence in that yes it has gone through these stages and there is like some sort of record in showing that yeah we've done due diligence to move this from one to another because there's always this question that keeps coming up about like hey but you know have you done this or have you done that well did you go check the board mm-hmm if it says yes we've done it right I think that would be something interesting one last thing I know we're sort of running out of time here but one other thing I thought about was to have a really simple view of you know what is this person working on like how do you filter mm-hm I think today in JIRA you can do that and when you do that essentially it just gives you that person's cards correctly I know yeah that seems like it's good enough well I think what we also were talking about as well and you know something we've been toying around the team is how do we better connect for example on slack and other communication tools with JIRA here and there are obviously plugins that we can do that but we do are not only a in person stand-up on Thursdays where we actually review our board but we also do a virtual stand-up in slack as well that's Soho be it would be great if we could connect those together to kind of see you know to just simply list out all the in progress tasks and move them into my back into a visual place that maybe other team members could see that's really that actually that makes total sense so it's almost like even in this you could have some sort of a slack integration that pulls in from maybe a specific slack channel write messages and whatnot speaking of messages maybe there's like notes that you can add here all right without diving deep into it maybe there was a way to quickly expand a card like even this for example right maybe instead of it being a large card for just showing size maybe it could expand and you could have like you know conversations your or like just comments for example from stakeholders or you know even the designers are saying this is where a man to sort of give a really quick overview of the current state of the project because sometimes I feel like having it in Discovery sure you know it's in this company but what does that really mean right I need one more level of detail yeah I mean if we great to get more granular especially for a discovery process for design because discovery process for design is so vague it could last it could last anywhere from two weeks to two months depending on if you cap it or not I mean it could just keep rethinking that problem so to be able to update that status or like have an understanding of maybe what you have to do to to do a proper discovery and have that a little more structured as like a design specific task management tool would help a lot that's true so it looks like we're just about out of time so I hope you guys enjoyed you know listening to us talk about how we try and you know look at how we design in in XD and you know thanks for all the other tools and tips that we saw unshared we definitely look them up to see how because we're constantly trying to evolve a process and I think that everybody I hope this was useful and have a great weekend all right thanks everybody thank you everyone

1 Comment

One Reply to “Designing Adobe XD – Episode 55”

  1. Yasir Nabi says:

    hay plese help me with this i can't find the object fixing position in adobe xd please help me out

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