This is the story of how, over the course of 5 years, I developed by own practice to become a disrupter and design leader. I used creativity, patience, and pure persistence to create real impact, influence and change at Britains best loved retailer.
5 years (perm)
User Experience Manager
Line Management, Product Owner, Disrupter, User Research, User Testing, Presentations
Created clear process and approach for UX team when working in AGILE projects
Grew, mentored and developed the UX team from 6-12+ (Supported with additional UX Manager)
Conceived and developed first of its kind 100-person hackathon event
Created process changes to embed user centricity within the project briefs
When I initially begun my time at John Lewis, it was 2011. The UX team and practice had been designed for a different era and at the beginning of our journey to mature into an enterprise ready UX practice. All projects worked in waterfall, with limited research with most work was done straight into wireframes. The UX team didn’t have a deep purpose other than to provide IT teams with wireframes.
My role and impact was to push forward the team, practice and wider business to become more customer centric. I did this through a number of initiatives, as outlined below.
Overview of project activities
UX Practice guide
Socialising UX thinking and work
Lego AGILE events
Internal promo video for hackathon event
Talk and retrospective on event
New breakout spaces
Collobrative spaces within design PODs
More collaborative spaces
Modified programme new work request form embedded with customer goals
Test card example as used to develop business proposition
Team objective setting template
Skill training workshop
UX Academy poster
My time over the 5 years at John Lewis was an immensely transformative experience for me both professionally and personally. I started with a limited toolkit in terms of understanding, influencing and creating change. Over time I took risks, had some failures but ultimately some of my proudest professional moments have come from my time at John Lewis. I was always motivated by a desire to create impactful change and relished the opportunity to try.
I developed into the ‘disrupter role’, questioning, challenging while offering creative alternatives in what I believe had become a culture filled with a homogamy of thought. I created a significant impact and influence in this role, however as I have matured my own practice as a consultant I’ve reflected on the role I want to play and what works best in different environments.
My passion is now increasingly to lead from behind, bringing the client along for the journey and empowering others.