Trustpilot has a fairly mature design team, with the dual-track agile approach (discovery and delivery) embedded into the product development process. While we had many practices already in place, there were even more ideas we had within the design leadership team (composed of the design director and me) on what else we could do. For product goals, we could easily align with the broader business goals (for example working on onboarding) as a strategy. But we needed a better approach to choosing goals for improving the team and our design practices.
Since I had some experience with maturity models, I decided to evaluate the maturity of the design function based on the model created by Invision. This would tell us where we are, and what would be the next best opportunities to improve the maturity of design org. For the first round speed, rather than precision was a priority, as we didn’t know if this method indeed provided good pointers or not. I set up the evaluation sheet, did some light interviews with design team members, performed the analysis, and created a summary view with clear recommendations for opportunities.
Based on the recommendations we started a few key projects over the next 1.5 years (creating personas, working on user journeys, improving how user insights were shared, creating experience visions, focusing on growing people for promotions) that drove design leadership’s roadmap. This also brought the design team closer together, helped us to make more purposeful priority decisions, and made us more proactive instead of reactive. We decided to also redo the evaluation in future years and expand the number of people participating and giving feedback on where we are. The results and confidence this evaluation gave us highlight how important it is to stop and reflect on where you are.