GISinc: Creating a UX Practice
When I first came onboard to GISinc, the majority of the 150 employees had little to knowledge of what UX Design was or how they could benefit from it. As the first employee ever hired in for this position, I had my work cut out for me educating others in the company. Luckily I drew upon my years of experience of helping clients realizing the benefits of UX design in combination with my experience in teaching college classes in design.
User Experience 101 was one of the first projects I took on to boost the exposure of UX Design within the company. I walked people through the process from beginning to end providing them examples of what deliverables to expect in each phase and setting the expectations of what will be achieved. After I developed the site, I met with each division leader to let them know about the site and how UX Design could help their business line. I also created a group on Yammer and posted articles and tips as another avenue to get the word out.
After being ask to help out a few projects, I saw how developers would just do a Google image search, copy icons, and place them into interfaces with total disregard to copyright. As a designer, I just cringed. On the projects I was working on, I would swap out snagged icons for legally purchased / originally created ones. Seeing though not all projects or clients have the budget to have a designer, I came up with Icon Alley which was an internal icon resource site where developers could search for icons by keywords and download the files to place in their interfaces.
Once a year, this distributed company would converge on a city and have an all company meeting. The meeting entailed your typically company meeting items (sales, goals, culture), but also there were breakout sessions where you could learn about other disciplines, different development languages or approaches, or company culture movements. Two of the years, I created a breakout session centered around UX design. The first year I presented "Botox for Your Interface". The second year I teamed up with a developer, who worked with UX designers previously, to present "Cats & Dogs". Both presentations were well attended and received great feedback.