Simplifying Design Management With DesignOps


Your UX strategy is the blueprint your organization needs to align your design team with your brand’s vision and identity. 

In most instances of successful product design, the UX strategy addresses user experiences during every touchpoint the product has with the customer. 

  • DesignOps is an excellent approach to strategizing your design and UX that helps devise effective UX strategies that optimize your design management. 

Through DesignOps and its design management capabilities, you can enable your design manager with all the tools and processes for real-time design oversight and ensure design teams stay focused on designing excellent outcomes without distraction from other competencies. 

The most effective way to implement this is by adopting a company-wide DesignOps philosophy and ensuring that all strategic UX and UI plans are made well before the product design commences. 

In this article, we aim to explore how DesignOps is gaining traction as an effective solution to simplify the otherwise complex task of design management.

What is design management?

Design management is a design thinking approach that oversees design processes, operational decisions, and strategies toward creating efficient products and services that provide value and meaning to customers and improve overall brand perception and loyalty. 

A practical design management system strategically manages business operations, design-related functions, workforce, methodologies, and workflow processes. 

The fundamental goal of design management is to derive maximum potential from your design teams that reflects on the quality of the outcomes. It aims to do this by improving the collaborative effort between design and non-design teams to create products that add cultural and economic value to the customer.

A successful, socially valuable product with increased customer traction is more likely to generate a positive ROI due to proper optimization of designer time and resources. 

To increase your likelihood of success in product design, introduce design management systems that can give your business the competitive edge you need to solve problems, drive success, and ensure that your design teams are always performing optimally.


How does DesignOps enable better design team management?

DesignOps is a clear advantage in the design industry, allowing adopters to achieve a comparatively higher quality of product outputs over competing businesses that adopt little to no importance toward streamlined design operations. 

Providing design stakeholders with critical design management and productivity tools allows them to plan, design, communicate, collaborate, and create optimal products. 

Achieving this level of innovation is challenging without empowering design managers with optimized processes, tools, and a DesignOps mindset. 

DesignOps is an embodiment of all the tools, frameworks, repositories, guidelines, and more that are vital in efficiently achieving high-level design. It is increasingly gaining traction as a groundbreaking design-thinking approach that has led to the success of countless thriving design-led brands. 

This methodology helps set standards and harmonize stakeholders with design intelligence and a unified language. 

Let us take a closer look at the objectives of DesignOps and how they help design managers improve design productivity and efficiency by enabling better design team management and helping simplify the design process.

1. Complete visibility into the design process

DesignOps help structure all tools, standards, templates, workflows, procedures, and processes at a team level where all actors share identical visibility of all design files and folders. 

This visibility increases the consistency in design and is especially beneficial when design managers oversee collaborative design between remote and non-remote design teams that are geographically separated. 

Even in such instances, all teams follow the same transparent protocols and processes. When necessary, DesignOps allows managers to maintain autonomy over design and product delivery by deciding which stakeholder gets visibility of the design at each stage of the design cycle.


2. Standardize tool stacks

A standardized tool stack is a set of tools that enable design teams to improve the quality of work and reduce the time taken to create excellent outcomes. 

Employing a DesignOps mindset, its associated processes, and a standardized set of tools across all design actors simplifies and applies uniformity across all design processes to create a productive design ecosystem where teams can flourish. 

Furthermore, these tool stacks make it easier for design leaders and managers to supervise the product design cycle, from preliminary planning to outcome phases, in real-time. 

These stacks eliminate misalignment and increase collaboration between teams and their managers significantly. 

Ultimately, a standardized tool stack supported through DesignOps empowers the design teams to design and create high-level products that positively impact the brand image.


3. Enable better collaboration across teams

The DesignOps methodology focuses intrinsically on improving collaboration across all design and non-design teams. 

You may wonder how DesignOps helps achieve this. 

Well, when a business lacks a collaborative ecosystem, design quality starts to suffer, with increased confusion amongst team members, misalignment of teams, visual inconsistencies, flawed design, and needlessly prolonged product delivery timeframes. 

All these adverse factors substantially decrease team productivity, output quality, and overall brand image. 

To mitigate this, design management solutions offered by DesignOps provide design teams with a transparent, collaborative environment and a standardized language to follow to create visually pleasing and brand-consistent outputs. 

DesignOps creates lucrative relationships between departments by increasing the visibility of goals and methodologies employed and seamlessly sharing all design information and milestones.


4. Streamline the overall process

Designers in organizations not engaged in DesignOps often waste their time and expertise performing administrative duties such as maintaining design systems or communicating design–related workflows to other departments and non-design teams. 

These distractions hinder designers from producing high-level designs and are an expected byproduct of counterproductive design management and lacking visibility in design processes. 

Organizations not engaging in DesignOps often suffer from messy workflow processes that hamper the performance of even high-functioning design teams. 

These workflow inefficiencies are why design leaders must rid the process of exhaustive redundancies and workflow complexities that otherwise take up a large portion of the design team’s time and resources. 

Through DesignOps platforms, a simplified and transparent medium offers managers and relevant stakeholders visibility over processes and the task progression of design teams. 

With this methodology, managers can get real-time assessments on whether teams are undergoing any pain points in their design processes and apply customer measures to ensure a smoother workflow. 

The best part about streamlining the design process through DesignOps is that it allows businesses to scale without suffering from a loss of productivity or team coordination.


5. Controlling expenses

An essential objective of DesignOps is conducting regular assessments of project-related costs associated with time management, resource allocation, and people along the roadmap. 

A capable DesignOps design management system should effectively manage budgets and cut down costs resulting from reduced redundancies that can be an unnecessary expense to the organization.


6. Deliver value to your designs

DesignOps understands the importance of estimating the design maturity level to enable design managers to designate design goals and long-term business plans to map out the most promising path toward achieving successful and valuable products. 

For this to happen, DesignOps helps leaders effectively manage design teams during every point of the product lifecycle to ensure the design stays within the scope of the business’s vision. 

An excellent DesignOps platform should provide you with a robust set of KPIs that allow managers to measure the perceivable value of the products and ascertain if the design is progressing on the right path to success and achieving its intended value. 

This DesignOps function is another excellent way in which DesignOps is improving design management.


How Cubyts improves design management

Cubyts is a state-of-the-art DesignOps platform that enables smoother and more simplistic design processes and offers design leaders and managers transparent oversight over their respective teams. 

Design management has never been easier with our robust metrics, KPIs, integrated design tools, and shared repository of all design aspects and elements that can help you achieve visually pleasing, consistent, and valuable design outcomes.

Here are some of the objectives our Cubyts platform aims to fulfill for you:

1. Design metrics

Cubyts’ utmost priority is to provide the right design KPIs to track the progress and effectiveness of your design teams. 

Our streamlined DesignOps platform can help you measure your product design impact and performance through our trackable design metrics. 

With a wide range of behavioral KPIs, including time on task, task accomplishment rates, error rates, and navigation tracking, Cubyts can help you better understand and manage how your customers interact with your products. 

Additionally, our attitudinal KPIs, such as CSAT scores, NPS, SUS, and feature usage rates, help you gauge customer attitudes and opinions through user-generated feedback.


2. Connect all tools to one platform

Our DesignOps platform can help you achieve excellent product outcomes through our various collaborative and standardized tools.

Some of the collaborative tools we have integrated into our platform are Google Drive, Zoom, Slack, Figma, Jira Cloud, and many more. 

Managing your remote and non-remote teams will be seamless on our platform.


3. Shared design repository

Our platform enables you to store all design-related code, artifacts, and configurations in a library of frameworks easily accessible by all organizational stakeholders. 

Doing so ensures that you have standardized the design resource pool for all design teams and managers, which could potentially increase product standards and brand-image consistency. Our common design repository is highly beneficial for the design management of multiple design teams by bringing all stakeholders to the same page.

In conclusion, irrefutable evidence from leading design-led businesses suggests that DesignOps is transforming how companies plan, create, and implement successful, valuable, and desirable products for customers. 

If you are a design leader facing trouble managing your design teams and suffering from inferior products, you may have to transition towards adapting DesignOps processes for your future design. 

Try out our Cubyts platform and learn how you can transform the way you drive your design team performance.