Building a Team: The DJ Design Studio

As Director of UX Architecture for The Wall Street Journal Digital Network, one of my key responsibilities was developing a working process for projects, focusing on user experience and cross-department collaboration.

The DJ Design Studio began when we consolidated the UX teams across Dow Jones and added a satellite in Barcelona, doubling the team size across 3 locations and multiple timezones. For this to succeed, it was clear we needed a unified process.

The materials I developed consolidated the core concepts of our methodology, including a focus on user-centric design, the use of analytics, and collaboration across departments for innovative and sustainable solutions. They provided training materials for new members and ensured that everyone could work together creatively, wherever they were located.

This document also outlined our process for exploring, defining and building a project. For the Discovery phase, illustrated below, this included a checklist of questions that Product, UX and Development should be able to answer, as a team, at the end of the phase, and a “toolkit” of exercises to help ideate, brainstorm and prioritize, while keeping a focus on user needs.