Hi, thank you for your response. This does clarify a lot.

Why do you make the distinction that UX designers also do visual when you stated already that you also have specifically visual designers? Are the visual designers the ones doing the UI standardisation?

How does Design Research relate to the rest of this? You state that they are not designers, but their work is an integral part of the user experience design process.

Also, in the future, could you please use a darker colour (or even just leave it as the default) for your emails? That grey is really hard to read and I misread a few things the first time that made it look a little... different from what you obviously meant.


On 10/11/15 22:04, Sherah Smith wrote:
Hi Isarra,

>> what is the 'design team'?

Even though the design team (as it used to be) is now split out under different managers with no centralized Director, we still consider ourselves a "team" in that we still work together across teams to maintain consistency and provide feedback, collaborate, and review one another's work where needed. We have a weekly meeting and regularly talk and brainstorm in person across teams to support one another in our work.

Design Research is the team that conducts research that informs the design of products we build on all other teams. The employees on this team are not designers.

Reading Design is a sub-team under Reading, and it designs reading experiences, mostly for mobile platforms. Where you see "Visual Designer" as a title, that person works on visual designs. "UX Designer" works on combinations of visual and user experience design, mostly the latter, and "UX Engineer" builds interactive prototypes and interaction design.

The reorganization that you reference happened in late April this year and was not a decision the design team itself made. Rather, it came from upper management. We do now work within the teams you see listed on the staff page, on experiences for those teams specifically. So for example, you will not see a designer on the Search & Discovery team working on experiences for the Editing team.

Is there a particular concern you have about this organization that you feel like we should be discussing, or does this answer your questions?

Thank you,

On Tue, Nov 10, 2015 at 1:21 PM, Isarra Yos <zhorishna@gmail.com> wrote:
From time to time I see references to the 'design team' on lists and on phabricator. But what does this really mean now? As I understood it, the previous monolithic Design Team was essentially disbanded toward the beginning of the year, with the designers themselves distributed amongst the other WMF teams in order to more directly integrate their services into the development workflow (which sounds like a pretty good idea to me, at least, since design is such an integral part of most development). Did this happen? According to https://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Staff_and_contractors, there seem to still be two teams now with the word 'design' in their names, Reading Design and Design Research, though these both seem to have somewhat more specialised functions than just general design, namely Reading (sounds like front-end non-interactive mw stuff, the visuals perhaps?) and Research.

So what is the 'design team'? Is it one of these, though the teams only have 5 and 4 people on them, respectively? Is it just WMF designers in general?

As much as this is also just a plea to please be more specific, if you have an actual answer, or if you have been saying this, please, speak up, share your experience and where you're coming from. As confusing as it is, I suspect a discussion of what and why this has been going on could also clear up quite a bit.



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Sherah Smith
UX Engineer
Wikimedia Foundation

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