Workfront User Experience Operating Agreement 2020

Culture conversation

  • Review our current agreement and discuss what is going well and what isn’t. Where are we winning? Where are we struggling? What are you afraid of?
  • Discussion about how have I performed in context of the expectations and behaviors that the team articulated for me.
  • Discussion about how have we have performed in context of the expectations and behaviors that we articulated for each other?
  • Discussion about what changes, if any, we would make to the expectations that the team has and behaviors the team would like to see in me.
  • Discussion about what changes, if any, we would you make to the expectations that we have and behaviors we would like to see in each other.

Operating agreement

  1. roles and responsibilities,
  2. expectations of ourselves and colleagues,
  3. how we communicate and work together,
  4. what UX and “design” is,
  5. the position of UX in the product trio,
  6. how we do discovery and validation,
  7. how we support delivery and mitigate risk,
  8. and to back defense into the process.
  1. Commander’s intent. This I wrote myself as the leader of the team. The intent is to concisely and clearly articulate my vision and expectations. The primary change this year was to time-box it to the year. While previous versions were timeless, the scope was too broad.
  2. Principles and key actions. This was composed in collaboration with the leadership team, based on the team’s feedback.
  3. Operating constraints. These were selected by the leadership team, based on the team’s feedback.
  4. Expectations and behaviors. The team owns these one-hundred percent. They were written and agreed upon by as a team.

Commander’s intent

Principles & key actions

Start with the problem.

  • Gain deep insights into the jobs customers are trying to do through weekly interviews, contextual inquiry, observing how they use the product, and collaborating with Sales and Customer Success.
  • Define the problem the design needs to solve. Is this a user job-to-be-done or a business objective?
  • How will we determine whether the problem has been solved (qualitative and quantitative measures)?

Think big. Start small. Learn fast.

  • Consider the end-to-end customer experience. Don’t let debt, history, or market expectations limit creativity or innovation.
  • Analysis and thoughtfulness are important, but learning comes from action.
  • Design with as little detail as possible for the decisions you are making.
  • Try to solve each problem in 3 or more ways. Striving for several viable options forces creative thinking, produces stronger design, and helps build cross-functional consensus.

Design in the open.

  • Capture and publish design thinking. Capturing assumptions and considerations makes it easier to defend decisions that shouldn’t be compromised and recognize which decisions can be thrown out.
  • In order for designs to be accepted, endorsed, and implemented, cross-functional groups must be involved in the process and conversation of design.
  • Raise issues, risks, and dependencies early and effectively.

Ship to learn.

  • Baseline. Measure along the way. Review data and feedback. Was our hypothesis validated or invalidated? What did we learn? How should this new understanding impact the design?
  • Continually update job stories, hypothesis, and results in epic one-pager with trio as learning occurs. Communicate interface and interaction decisions to engineering, via user stories and the InVision experience requirement.
  • Exploring means that sometimes we’ll be wrong. And that’s okay; that’s how we learn and improve.

What you ship is what matters.

  • Confirm developed code delivers against requirements, design system, and quality standards.
  • Research, insights, data, mockups, prototypes, and design systems are all means to an end. None of them matter to the customer.
  • Your job is to make our customers successful. Their success is our success, not revenue, downloads, integrations, users, or log ins.

Operational constraints

  • uNPS (NPS of our end-users. NPS at Workfront is of the champion and/or buyer.)
  • UX Index (our scoring framework that measures value, ease of use, and delight.)
  • WCAG 2.0 AA compliance.
  • Customer/potential customer exposure hours.
  • Epics with complete initial one-pager (assumption, job stories, hypothesis, and metrics)
  • Interface waiting time.

Expectations & behaviors

  • Manage in the open.
  • Communicate decisions early and often, and share why.
  • Ensure everyone speaks equally and respect other’s feelings
  • Assume best intent and then seek truth and details directly.
  • Request and provide focused feedback (specific questions get specific feedback)
  • Be experts on our tool (present on areas of ownership, obtain formal training)
  • Focus on the why and the what, less on the how.
  • Break down walls between portfolios and teams.
  • More clarity on processes. More enablement.




Vice President of User Experience at Workfront, Cofounder of Front

Love podcasts or audiobooks? Learn on the go with our new app.

Recommended from Medium

Intro to User Experience Design: 4 factors to consider to improve your design to developer handoff

How to design a dashboard without reading the users’ minds

How to Increase Conversion Rate Using A/B Testing by 200%?

Citymapper Rebrand | Case Study

UX/UI Case study: Experience in Public Hospitals

large hospital room with beds

10 UX Trends that are changing the face of marketing

Cards versus lists

INSIGHTS_03 — What underlies the structure

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Wade Shearer

Wade Shearer

Vice President of User Experience at Workfront, Cofounder of Front

More from Medium

Huffman Algorithm

Is Technology bringing fourth a new era of tribalism?

CS373 Spring 2022: Blake Chambers — Blog 10

Kruskal Algorithm