Issue #47: Lead with design

I attended the first Leading Design Conference in London last week. It was a fantastic opportunity to
Issue #47: Lead with design
By Ross Chapman • Issue #47
I attended the first Leading Design Conference in London last week. It was a fantastic opportunity to meet other designers and to be inspired by today’s design leaders including Jeffrey Veen (Typekit), Mark Boulton (Monotype) and Rochelle King (Spotify).
I did a little writeup, so check that out.
Design as a strategy is still a pretty new concept. To put design at the leadership level and instilling a culture of design within organisations isn’t easy and this conference certainly gave me the confidence and ideas on how to achieve that.
As ever, thanks for supporting this issue.

UX design
Agile + Design
Agile + Design
From Adam Taylor - “There’s a common scenario with some implementations of agile methods that – I believe – leads to poor design.” I can see Adam’s point and I too have endeavoured to make design fit the agile way of working. My belief is that designers can think agile, and working iteratively has massive benefits over working waterfall. Be wary though - agile doesn’t mean putting less effort in! For extra reading - look into Minimal Loveable Product.
Questions to ask developers before you start designing
“Form a clear path of communication with your developers at the outset of a design process.” Another great post from inVision. Feature teams make so much sense - teams that include designers, developers, researchers, to get the job done. I also think it’s the responsibility of designers to learn more about business and engineering. Hearing from Ryan Singer at the Leading Design Conference showed that the more you know, the more you can grow (as a designer)!
How the Web Became Unreadable
“I thought my eyesight was beginning to go. It turns out, I’m suffering from design.” So topical for me right now as I’m developing a pattern library. Font size, line height and paragraph margins are as important as font family, colour and contrast. Must read!
“Technology retailer Juxdit has teamed up with digital agency Mashbo to launch a new website and eCommerce platform as part of a strategic move for the Liverpool-based company.” Juxdit have pivoted to work towards becoming a leading tech retailer. Read the section on making an MVP to test their targeted markets. Now that is bringing design to the table!
Product Range Finder
The Co-op made a product range finder to solve a very simple problem: is a particular product in stock and in a store. With the existing system clunky and difficult to use, the Co-op worked with ustwo to deliver a better way in the form of a prototype. Read the blog post - this is the way of delivering digital transformation.
India to overtake US as ecommerce superpower
“India is set to overtake the US as the world’s second largest eCommerce market within the next 20 years thanks to a young, connected and growing middle class, according to research from Worldpay.” Worth a read. I noted with interest that when Mike Davidson’s Q&A at the Leading Design Conference came on, he mentioned the indian market quite a bit when talking about his time at Twitter. Go where the growth is!
Explore Paris like a local
Explore Paris like a local
“Spend 36 hours in Paris like a Local.” Laura and Amy Scott take us on a tour of Paris. I’ve never been, so some of this may feature in future holiday plans!
As a side note, it was a pleasure meeting Laura at Look Mum No Hands last week to hear about the Six Day Race and share a beer with Nate Koch. So good to hang out in bike shops!
Where design leads
“Design isn’t what something looks like. Design is a strategy”. A quick summary of what I experienced at the Leading Design conference. Too much knowledge to share, but here’s a taster!
The UK isn't doing enough to support older cyclists, says new study
“A new three-year study from Oxford Brookes University has found that Britain is lagging behind European countries.” Has this all got to do with infrastructure, or are there other barriers? Good to study as we have a growing over 60 market in the UK.
Here's to leading with design!
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Ross Chapman
A weekly collection of product design, user research, cycling and coolness from @rosschapman of @etchuk
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