Senior UX Designer, Truss
Over 20 years in UX have left Karen a tiny bit unhinged, kind of sweary, and intensely committed to designing better ways for teams to work together. After years working in enterprise software, for some reason she decided that work wasn’t challenging enough and is now tackling UX in the government sector. Taking the best from human-centered design methodology and combining it with an almost unhealthy level of affection for complex, messy, human problems, she helps teams identify roadblocks and barriers to their potential, and helps them become more productive, more innovative, more collaborative, and most importantly, more human with each other. She can be easily won over with red wine, dark chocolate, or 80’s alternative music.
For more, keep up with Karen
on Twitter as @designinginward.
A Method for the Madness
When confronted with challenges, whether professional or personal, we often ask some variation of this question: “How do I do [this scary, difficult, yet necessary thing] without actually having to experience any discomfort or take any risks?” As a speaker and design leader, I get asked some version of this question every time I give a talk or work with new team struggling to change.
Obviously, the answer is: you can’t. There is plenty of discussion right now of the necessity of getting comfortable with discomfort, but very little actual guidance on how that process works. Instead, we hear tales of transformation that follow a vague formula of initiating events, challenges faced, victories won. These stories can be inspiring, but beyond that, they don’t provide much help for people struggling to take the leap out of their comfort zone. Without any practical guidance, many people hesitate and wait, static and stagnant, choosing to be careful instead curious.
I’ll outline a step-by-step approach for pushing outside our comfort zones and expanding our experiences. I’ll start by contrasting the perception of how our comfort zones serve us with the very different reality of how they work against us. I’ll blast through the most common excuses we have for staying put versus moving forward. We’ll explore simple, tactical ways to push through our resistance, move past our fears, and nurture the courage to design better relationships and make more authentic choices, in our careers, and our lives.
Healthier Teams by Design
From the outside, high performing teams, particularly highly collaborative and innovative ones, seem to demonstrate an innate chemistry and the ability to harness the power of serendipity. But the truth is, successful teams are incredibly deliberate and intentional about how they work. Culture, processes and best practices should be designed with as much care as the products and services we build. And, while there are certain essential characteristics common to successful teams, the unique challenges of our work context and our project needs also require a team uniquely optimized for those situations.
Every experience is designed, including our team experience. In this workshop, we’ll explore how we can use design tools to design better ways of working. Based on the challenges of your projects and the skills and traits of your amazing team members, we’ll look at how you’d like the team to evolve and articulate specific goals that can be measured. We’ll define an MVP approach to help you develop small experiments for opportunities and interventions that will help you establish new, more effective patterns of communicating and collaborating.