How DesignOps Improves User Experience with Kirk Brote, Ep #23

In this episode of Tech Talent Today, I’m excited to be joined by Kirk Brote. Kirk is a seasoned user experience designer with over 20 years of experience in the industry. Throughout his career, Kirk has demonstrated a deep understanding of user-centered design principles and a passion for creating intuitive and engaging experiences for users. Listen as he shares his insights and experiences that have informed design decisions and driven innovation.

You will want to hear this episode if you are interested in…

  • What is DesignOps? [02:17]
  • The limitations of 1990’s programming [07:47]
  • The state of UX and UX ops [10:41]
  • Relationships are key to DesignOps [20:44]
  • Finding the common elements [23:49]
  • Kirk’s journey to UX design [32:57]
  • Seek out opportunities you love [45:11]

The development of DesignOps

DesignOps brings the rigor of operations to the practice of design. For years, design in organizations started with teams building software. Then, design was grafted into teams in various ways with different artifacts and disciplines. So long as that structure remained the same, then that solution was acceptable. However, as design teams became more successful and expanded, users were confused because the designs looked less like they came from the same company. The role of DesignOps is to operationalize design to make it smooth and seamless.

When Kirk gave his talk in 2019 about DesignOps, people wanted to know more. Many had encountered the issues that led to DesignOps’ principles. Some of these problems were the result of the expansion process. As design teams were successful, they needed to design more for other teams. This organic growth within an organization creates the need for standards in design.

DesignOps solves problems before they occur

Much of the DesignOps world finds a mirror or an amalgam in DevOps. DevOps realized that with an increased number of applications and environments, it was impractical to have someone in the office at midnight manually copying files between servers. The old development world ran software from a disk on a server. The new version would install itself from the disk, and then someone would change the file’s name and replace the old one with the newer version. Invariably, there was a lot of opportunity for problems to occur. DesignOps takes a proactive approach to resolving those issues.

Utilizing User Experience

In the past, User Experience (UX) was often lumped together with look and feel. It’s much more than that, which is made clear by the successes and impact on driving scale. Twelve teams working on different problems in their own silos can’t be expected to produce anything but a continuity mess. DesignOps brings those teams together and centrally coordinates their efforts.

The common misconception about UX is that it’s merely asking people what they want. Instead, UX asks users to talk about their experiences and how they impacted them. When enough of these stories are shared, common elements and pain points become apparent. This process also shows the areas where the company may have been working on a solution to something the users don’t view as a problem. Ultimately, UX helps companies know where to focus their efforts to create better products and results.

Resources & People Mentioned

Connect with Kirk Brote

Connect With Jodi Kulek Mayer

Subscribe to Tech Talent Today on
Apple PodcastsSpotifyGoogle Podcasts

Audio Production and Show notes by