How to Manage Your UX Design Team Effectively

How to Manage Your UX Design Team Effectively

The UX design of software products, now more than ever, is the make-or-break of your success. You need to create a user-centric product that your clients will be proud of. But how can you manage your UX design team effectively? 

Since UX design is a collaborative process between and within teams, it might get complicated. You need to consider the time, workload, human resources, and timelines for clients or other stakeholders.

If you’re looking for an essential guide on how to manage and lead your UX design team effectively, you’ve come to the right place. Let’s discuss tips on how you can manage a design team, what tools you can use, and what you should focus on.

Characteristics of a great UX team manager

As much as you need expertise in the UX design field, you also need to utilize management techniques to manage your design team effectively. Here are some characteristics that great UX team managers have:

  • You empower your team: Much like managers in other fields, you need to motivate your team members. Give them a sense of ownership by listening to their ideas. Set the vision and inspire them to get there.
  • You are transparent and develop trust: As a UX design team manager, you should create a trusting environment where your team can grow. Be honest with them, let them into the process, and show them how valued they are.
  • You prioritize and delegate: To make sure you have fast and efficient teamwork, you have to prioritize project tasks and delegate them to relevant professionals. This way, you will lead them towards effectiveness.

Tips on how to manage your UX design team

Leading a UX design team is an all-encompassing role. You collaborate with researchers and developers all throughout the process of creating a product to build something your clients will love. Your design team has to combine data, psychology, creativity, and tech. So, it needs good management. How can you effectively manage your design team? Here’s what you need to keep in mind and implement.

The workflow perspective

Your UX design team needs a clear step-by-step process on how you want them to build user-centric products. What comes after what? Which part do they play? This is why you need to build a smooth workflow. Map out your process.

Whether it is a 5, 10, or 50 step process, each one of your team members needs to be on the same page. Identifying milestones is also a good way to set the vision and motivate your team to achieve it. 

When mapping out your workflow, you will probably need to use some online collaboration tools. Whether it be for design, brainstorming, building initial wireframes, or doing some rapid prototyping, here are some tools that’ll come in handy:

  • Sketch
  • Adobe XD
  • Figma
  • Balsamiq
  • Miro

Keep in mind that it’s also crucial to have your research and development teams in the loop. This way, you can always be in sync, task handoffs will become smoother, ultimately making your UX design process more efficient.

The time management perspective

Just like any other team leader, you have to manage your design team with a clear plan in mind. Luckily, you can use project management tools to effectively plan out your workflow and distribute tasks to your design team. 

In managing any project, implementing a project management tool is not enough. You have to find the type of management medium your team prefers and work in that style. Kanban views, Gantt charts, the list goes on and on. 

Gantt charts are good for viewing projects on a timeline. Kanban works better for shorter, more visual tasks. Find your best fit, and you’ll become as efficient as ever.

Managing your team is crucial not only for the team members’ sake but also for other stakeholders. With a clear plan, you’ll be able to estimate the scope of the given design project or milestone with much more ease. Remember that the end goal is to build a relevant and intuitive product for your client. If you do it effectively, with a reliable timeline, your work will be a success.

The workload perspective

One of the most significant aspects of how to manage design teams is being able to manage the workload. Especially since UX design is a creative process, you don’t want to overwork your team and kill their muse. You have to give them the space to create and build with the cognitive psychology of users in mind.

To avoid overworking your team but making sure you deliver on time, you can use a Gantt chart. With Gantt charts, your whole project, along with its tasks, is projected on a timeline. This way, you can see how long each task will take, where tasks overlap, where they need to be handed off to other departments. You can also see the workload for all team members, so you can plan ahead and assign them appropriate tasks. Dowork.ai has a slick Gantt chart functionality that you can use to visualize your teamwork. 

As a UX design team manager, you have to give your team the appropriate time to build something extraordinary while also accounting for setbacks. Remember not to plan everything to the T. Give your team room to breathe. It’s better to give a later deadline than miss it or crack under pressure. To be able to estimate software projects better, you can use Dowork.ai and break down larger UX design projects into smaller chunks, have your team estimate each chunk and come up with realistic timelines. 

The reward perspective

Last but not least, after all the work has been done, it’s time to show your gratitude towards your team. As a leader, you have to show them that they are valuable. After each big project, give your team a round of applause. You could even organize team-building trips to keep the spirits high.

Always remember that you are a mentor, just as much as you are a manager. Guide your team, help them succeed, motivate and nurture them to keep growing. This way, you will ultimately develop the efficient design team you always aimed for.

To sum up…

Being an amazing UX design team manager is not an easy task. You have to combine all the aspects of a business, turn it into a flow, then build a useful and satisfying product. That’s why you have to create a smooth workflow for your team, develop a timely and realistic plan, then turn it into a reality. At the end of it all, you have to manage your design team while empowering and motivating them to be better.