VMware Design Leader
Hybrid and Multi-Cloud

Led projects for 200+ member design team in areas of process, culture, hiring, and research. Introduced design thinking with an End-to-End Design Story framework focused on enterprise stakeholder goals, the learn-try-buy-use-grow journey, and business results. Rebuilt broken design process by integrating design with PM, UI, and BE dev teams, improving collaboration, productivity, and continuous delivery. Improved hiring and design research practices.

Design Practice and Strategy

1. UX Architect - Multi-Cloud Portfolio

Led dozens of designers from multiple business units to design cloud solutions integrating the entire VMware portfolio. The solutions enabled customer cloud migrations, remote desktops, self-service applications, and other modernization efforts that saved money and accelerated new application development. The adjacent video shows how I summarized our research and designs into an end-to-end customer journey adopted by the executive team as the guiding vision for VMware product experience.

2. End-to-End Experience Design Framework

Due to popular demand from execs, PMs, and technical architects, I formalized the E2E Experience Design format as a framework for product concepts. I developed training, workshops, presentations, and templates to teach E2E Experience Design practice to designers and product teams. I convinced design leadership team to make the E2E Experience Design practice “The One Thing” focus for teams in 2019 and 2020. Hired and mentored a Design Practice Lead to accelerate collaboration on E2E Experience with cross-functional product teams.

3. Cross-Discipline, Cross-BU Collaboration

VMC on AWS combined multiple existing products which required us to work with hundreds of collaborators from across 5 business units. Communication was a problem across PM, UX, UI, and engineering disciplines. Prioritization was a problem across business unit PM & Eng teams. SaaS delivery and operations was new to the company. To address these problems, I led creation of a “four-in-a-box” model of collaboration. This process was adopted across BUs and published as a model internally.

4. Design Process and Operations

When I started at VMware, the design team had no formal or documented design process. Each designer followed their own ad hoc methods. PM and Engineering were frustrated by the lack of structure. I created and documented a design process in collaboration with our PM, UI, BE partners. I used Jira to create a design backlog and boards with criteria for staged progress. I led adoption by teams across VMware to make this our standard for process and operations.

5. Design Research Practice

When I started at VMware, the design team was struggling to consistently practice design research. I initiated the VMware Design Studio research program starting at our VMworld conference, negotiated investment and visibility with executive staff, and facilitated design research across dozens of projects and ten business units. The program was hugely popular with customers, with thousands of participants / year.

6. Design Team Culture

As the VMware design team grew, we needed a way to ensure a healthy, growth mindset culture. Introduced the design leadership team to “psychological safety”. Initiated a survey across the design team to measure current psych safety and culture. While scores were positive, we set a goal to increase highly positive responses. Communicated survey results to the entire team, along with what they can expect from leadership. We continued quarterly surveys to measure and improve.

7. Design Management Practice

As part of our focus on psychological safety, I led a follow-up survey of the broad design team to identify ways that the leadership team could better support psychological safety. I analyzed the written comments and identified themes that led to a general framework for how our design managers would practice psychological safety within their teams. We worked through this practice and made the commitments shown in the adjacent slide and video to the entire design team.

8. Design Hiring Practice

Throughout my time at VMware, I was defining our design hiring practice. From identifying key candidates, to training our recruiters on what to look for in applicants, to defining our interviewing process, I was leading the way and setting our standards. I outlined our interviewing criteria for screening of product designers, architects, and managers. I defined sketching exercises, our portfolio review methodology (see Medium article), and our process for running onsite and remote interviews.

9. Design Career Framework

As our design team grew, it was important to define career levels for designers and design managers. This was important for hiring at the right level and for giving designers clear guidance on how to advance their careers. I was not the primary author of our design career framework, but contributed as a reviewer and tied the framework to our hiring and interviewing practices. I also produced the adjacent diagram showing the expected level of product impact for designers as they advance in career levels.

10. Executive Team Influence

Regularly briefed CEO Pat Gelsinger and his executive staff on design strategy. After first briefing, Pat asked how we can do more to make VMware a world-class design company and funded a big increase in design hiring, growing design from 30 designers to over 150. At 2018 briefing, I presented an end-to-end design story for VMware Cloud that received applause and set the company strategy for integrated solutions. The end-to-end design story format became the gold standard for presenting product concepts at VMware.