Milissa Tarquini is VP, Product UX and Design for Food Network, HGTV, DIY, and The Travel Channel — which are conveniently owned by one company that no one has heard of: Scripps Networks Interactive. She began her career in 1995 (gasp!) as a designer at Aol (another gasp!) and designed her way up the ranks until she was the Director of UX for all of Aol’s 85 content sites and mobile applications. After she realized how insane that was she left to join Scripps where she focuses on bringing great entertainment and utility experiences to the fans and users of awesome brands. She is extremely lucky and giddily proud to have had her work used by millions of people every day since 1995, a fact that she sometimes forgets when she is fussing over something ridiculous like the way the light falls on the cupcake in that one photo. You know the one—it’s weird right?
Milissa does all of these things by hiring an amazing team and getting the hell out of their way. Unless they are trying to get that cupcake photo by her.
For more, keep up with Milissa on Twitter as @milissa.
Leadership By Design 2015: Prototypes, Process & Play
Design Organization du Jour: The Best–and Worst–of Your Favorite Design Org Structures!
Companies reorganize all the time, and when that happens it’s easy to feel scared, threatened, or even like it’s time for you to move on to more stable pastures. Fear not! Embrace your inner designer / honey badger and stop worrying about who will sit where and how teams may line up. There is no organizational structure that can break your spirit or marginalize your skill when you learn from my hard-earned lessons in the field!
As empaths for users and observers of patterns, many designers are bound to notice to the rhythms of reorganization at the companies where they work. Companies may swing between centralization and decentralization in a reactive cycle, often throwing in new and/or removing processes along the way. Teams can be left confused and concerned about their futures. Gossip goes through the roof. Morale plummets.
I’m here to tell you that it’s not your fault that the org chart got crazy. Learn from my experience of going through approximately 27 gazillion re-orgs—along with current research on design organizations, to show you the signs of a coming re-org, how to navigate them and lead your team through them in order to insure that the craft of design is not marginalized during the reign of any particular org chart.
And don’t worry, it will all change in a year or two anyway. Luckily you’ll be ready.