When I started my first job after college I was intimidated by data. Sure, I’d taken a few quantitative classes throughout my four years, but ask me about trends in sales data or spreadsheet modeling, and I would either freeze up or zone out.
I had internalized the idea that only my peers who’d majored in stats or econ and wanted to be consultants had the skills and the requisite interest for data analysis to be accessible. But that view changed when I was introduced to product data.
When I saw the ways in which data can enable us to understand, empathize with, and advocate for users I felt empowered and energized to learn more. Instead of endless rows in a spreadsheet, I started to see the people behind the numbers and felt a responsibility to listen to what they were saying.
Fast-forward to the present where I’m now the person who immediately clicks “Register” on a webinar invite about data-driven design at Domo.
For those that aren’t familiar, Domo is a platform to integrate and visualize data from a variety of sources and report out across your organization. The company’s design team uses the platform internally to visualize data from InVision and drive collaboration, measure success, and manage workflows for their team.
For a full video of the talk between Domo’s VP of UX, Chad Heinrich, their Creative Director of Product Story, Jason Longhurst and InVision’s Experience Strategy Director Emily Campbell, head over to InVision Talks.
1. Designers need to identify metrics of success
Organizations use a variety of metrics to evaluate success–KPIs, funnel activation, OKRs, NPS– but often design can feel disconnected from those metrics.
The Domo design team focuses on encouraging designers to think about key metrics they’d like to impact with their design and then leverage Domo to track the evolution of the results. They may look at different layers of engagement over time: Did users click a redesigned button? How did those clicks change? What did users do next?
By defining their desired metrics and what success will look like upfront, they are better able to measure the impact of their work and make data-driven decisions moving forward.
2. Data supports design creation and also design operations
The Nielsen Norman Group defines design operations as, “the processes and measures that support designers in making consistent, high-quality designs.” As organizations scale and add more design team members, investing in design operations becomes more important.
As the Domo design team grew, they needed ways to track where team members were spending their time, if that aligned with organizational priorities, and how they were delivering on those priorities. Visualizing their InVision data in Domo allows them to achieve all three aims.
Their dashboard provides a breakdown of who’s working on what, which stakeholders are engaged in the design process, and tracks the evolution of different metrics designs were meant to move. In the future, they’re looking to add more data to understand where time is spent in the design process and how many times they’ve had to go back to the drawing board on a feature.
If you’re interested in seeing more about how the Domo team visualizes this, I recommend starting around 43:30 in the webinar.
3. Collaboration can be strengthened by aligning around data
Arming a team with data can help designers tell their story and increase organizational investment in the user experience.
Sometimes design can seem like a bottleneck if other people in an organization don’t understand why development has to wait so a feature can be tested and revised. By engaging the broader product department in the implementation and collection of various metrics, the Domo design team transitioned from simply handing off work to promoting more discussion and investigation.
Jason called out how digging into one metric often inspired others to look for other data to collect and report on. Although not everyone has a design role, aligning around data enables more people to think like designers and understand user behavior.
The Domo design team’s use of data to drive creation, operations, and collaboration can serve as a model for teams looking to provide greater visibility into their work. As Emily Campbell stated in the webinar, “empathy comes from information.” That idea applies to both our ability to empathize with users and with our team members.
Bonus Resources to Keep Learning
Design Operations: Interested in learning more about design operations? Check out Nielsen Norma’s DesignOps 101 article or consider enrolling in their course DesignOps: Scaling UX Design and User Research.
Design Frontier Maturity Report: During the webinar, Emily Campbell mentioned this report from Invision on the relationship between design practices and business performance. Check it out if you’re interested in learning the factors that define an organization’s design maturity and the different actions teams can take to “level up.”
I am not affiliated with Invision or Domo.
InVision and the InVision logos are trademarks of InVisionApp Inc.
Domo and the Domo logos are trademarks of Domo Inc.
All images within the post are screenshots of the webinar which can be accessed in full here.