During my tenure, I had the privilege of leading a dynamic design team consisting of 5 to 7 talented designers. One of the most significant challenges we faced was the integration and transformation of our team structure after three strategic acquisitions within a short timeframe.
Originally, our design teams were divided into three segments: Brand, Core, and Product. However, to adapt to the changing landscape and ensure agility, we restructured our teams into Brand, Core, Product, Multimedia, Web, and Management.
Brand: This team became the guardian of Audiense's brand identity, ensuring perceptual consistency across all touchpoints. It comprised two designers who provided visual resources to various teams in diverse formats, maintaining a balance between flexibility and brand coherence.
Core: This team was integrated into the Core engineering unit and consisted of two designers. One designer focused on developing and maintaining our design system, while the other catered to the specific design needs of our engineering teams.
Product: With two full-time designers and one part-time designer, this team served three distinct product teams working on four different products. Their responsibilities encompassed product design for Digital, Social, and Tweet Binder, ensuring seamless user experiences.
Multimedia: Led by a dedicated designer, this team provided audiovisual resources to all other teams, enhancing our ability to create engaging content and visuals across various projects.
Web: Our Web team was responsible for managing Audiense's digital presence. A single designer oversaw the company's websites, knowledge base, resource portal, and blog, ensuring a cohesive and visually appealing online presence.
Management: Under my guidance, the Management team handled the operational aspects of design, allowing our designers to focus on their creative work without distractions. This included resource management, equipment procurement, and ensuring the well-being of our design staff.

Design team organization

As a Design Lead professional, my role encompasses a multifaceted approach to ensure the effective functioning and development of my design team.
Despite having a lean team of just five designers, we covered a wide spectrum of design expertise, ranging from coding for layouts to creating compelling audiovisual content. Our capabilities extended from comprehensive design documentation to crafting visually striking assets and from mapping user flows to developing high-fidelity interactive prototypes.
We placed a strong emphasis on continuous self-improvement, fostering collaboration, prioritizing staff well-being, achieving a healthy work-life balance, and promoting self-reliance. This holistic approach enabled us to acquire new skills and consistently overcome challenges as a cohesive team.
The cornerstone of our success was collaboration. By pooling our collective knowledge and talents, we achieved remarkable results. Our ability to adapt, evolve, and excel in a rapidly changing environment has solidified our reputation as a design team that not only knows more but also serves better.
One of my core responsibilities involves conducting one-on-one (1:1) sessions with team members. These sessions serve as a platform for individualized discussions where I can address their concerns, provide guidance, and gain insights into their progress and well-being. These interactions help in building a strong rapport, fostering open communication, and addressing any challenges or roadblocks that team members may be facing.
In addition to regular 1:1 sessions, I also pay close attention to the well-being and work-life balance of my team members. This includes being mindful of holidays and vacations, ensuring that team members have the opportunity to recharge and spend quality time with their loved ones. By acknowledging and accommodating holidays, I aim to create a supportive and sustainable work environment.
To maintain transparency and collaboration within the team, I keep a team activity log. This log serves as a record of ongoing projects, milestones achieved, and key activities within the team. It helps in tracking progress, sharing updates, and ensuring that everyone is aligned with our collective goals and priorities.
Furthermore, tracking the burndown chart of my designers is a crucial aspect of my role. I monitor the progress of ongoing projects, assess the allocation of resources, and make adjustments as needed to meet deadlines and deliver high-quality work. This involves regular check-ins with team members to discuss project status, identify potential bottlenecks, and strategize on ways to optimize workflow and productivity.
Managing courses and formation is another vital component of my role as a Design Lead. I am responsible for identifying relevant training opportunities and professional development resources for my team. This includes staying updated on industry trends, tools, and methodologies to ensure that my team members have access to the knowledge and skills necessary to excel in their roles.
Mentoring the career path of my team members is a fulfilling part of my role. I work closely with individuals to define their career goals, provide guidance on skill development, and create a roadmap for their professional growth. This mentorship extends to offering constructive feedback, setting achievable milestones, and advocating for career advancement within the organization.
Lastly, ensuring that everybody has the right gear to perform their job is essential for a smooth workflow. Whether it's hardware, software, or any other resources, I work to address any equipment or tool-related needs that team members may have. This ensures that they have the necessary tools at their disposal to excel in their roles and contribute effectively to the team's success.
In summary, as a Design Lead professional, my responsibilities span a wide spectrum of activities aimed at nurturing the well-being, growth, and productivity of my design team. From individualized 1:1 sessions to monitoring team activities, tracking progress, facilitating learning, mentoring career paths, and providing essential resources, my role is dedicated to creating a supportive and thriving design environment.

My leadership experience in guiding this diverse design team through significant structural changes and fostering a culture of collaboration and continuous improvement has been instrumental in achieving outstanding outcomes. We are better equipped, better informed, and better positioned to serve effectively in the ever-evolving design landscape.
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