Learn the story of Dries De Schepper, a Lead UI Designer at Deloitte Digital, who cooperated with Uxcel Teams to upskill their design team.
In this interview, Dries shares how challenging it was to engage all designers with different schedules and expertise in training. With Uxcel, designers can spend a few minutes a day learning new things or refreshing what they already know. Now, the team enjoys competing for leadership positions and sharing certifications with one another. As a Lead Designer, Dries appreciates the Team Skill Graph, which shows what courses and assessments teammates from different locations completed.
Please introduce yourself. What are your role and responsibilities?
After graduating from Miami Ad School, I started working in advertising as Art Director but quickly switched to Deloitte Digital in Belgium, where I have now been working as a Lead UI Designer for more than 7.5 years. I work closely with other UX/UI Designers to create visually stunning and intuitive interfaces. My focus as UI Lead is more on the visual side, but I also ensure that we use the latest industry-standard tools, follow the latest design trends, and adhere to established processes. I have a demonstrated history of working in various industries with expertise in e-commerce and financial services. In addition to user interface design, I also enjoy creating logos and utilizing my photography skills for proposals or project work.
How would you describe your company in a few sentences?
Deloitte Digital is a full-service digital agency that combines serious creative chops with trusted business sense. By using user-centric thinking, design capabilities, new technologies, and cloud solutions, we empower our clients and enable them to rethink how they connect with their customers across every platform, device, and step of the customer journey.
What does the design team look like, how many members are here?
We have a team of seventeen designers in Deloitte Digital Belgium. We have a Creative Director, two Lead UX Designers, one Lead UI Designer, one Brand Design Lead, and a diverse team of designers who are skilled in UX Design, UI Design, Motion Design, Branding, Graphic Design, Research, Accessibility, etc. All in all, we cover pretty much all design disciplines.
Why do you think a company should invest in design team training?
To set a new baseline for best practices across our design team, we should ensure that everyone follows the same training. This will create consistency and ensure that we are all on the same page. Additionally, we want our members to have more certifications, which benefits them and our clients.
How did you approach team training?
At Deloitte Digital Belgium, we have a general learning catalog managed by a learning SPOC. However, this catalog was missing a lot of specific design training. My colleagues and I started creating a design learning catalog consisting of certifications, books, podcasts, and conferences. We keep track of all the training and certifications each colleague has done, which is open to all our colleagues and serves as motivation.
What were the main challenges in upskilling your design team?
Just like everyone, our designers have many competing priorities and time constraints. We all have busy schedules, so finding time to complete training can be challenging. That is why we needed Uxcel; you only need a few minutes a day to learn and complete a part of the training. You don’t need to spend hours watching videos, unlike many other platforms. We have a diverse team of designers with different expertise and training, and Uxcel has helped us gain a similar understanding of design basics and theory.
How did you first find Uxcel?
If I remember correctly, it showed up on my Twitter feed, and it was love at first sight.
Why did you decide to train your design team with Uxcel Teams?
We first had a couple of colleagues training on Uxcel, but the design leads did not have access to any statistics or could not see who had done what. By using Uxcel Teams, you have access to a lot of reporting features, such as who was last active, who has completed their skill graph, and who has done what courses and assessments. However, the most valuable for us is the Team Skill Graph, where we can benchmark our colleagues with other locations or with colleagues with more or less experience. I also have a lot of contact with Co-founder and CPO Colin, who clearly listens to users. I have already seen some of my suggestions implemented in Uxcel, and I’m excited to see all the new functionalities that were discussed.
How hard it was to get everyone on board?
All beginnings are difficult, but in our monthly design gathering, we started sharing the certifications we had done and showing the leaderboard, which motivated other designers to join. Every few weeks, we have new designers joining Uxcel Teams. We still have a couple who are planning to join when they have finished some other time-demanding certifications.
What is your team members’ feedback about learning design with Uxcel?
Our members like the wide variety of topics, and the gamification encourages them to keep taking classes, which they can complete whenever and wherever they want. It is also handy that they can bookmark and easily find certain lessons later. We have a member who has completed all the main lessons, but he still comes back to the platform every week to look at his bookmarks.
What results do you see so far or expect to see for your design team?
Our common design terminology has improved. In my design check-ins with the team, I now hear design terms that I did not hear before we started using Uxcel. Additionally, Uxcel is used as a reference for certain design challenges we have — for example, when we are unsure if we need to use a toggle switch or a toggle button, we know we can find that information in one of the lessons. In the future, we expect all our designers to be on the same page. Once everyone has filled out their Skill Graph and completed most of the tests, we will be able to utilize the Team Skill Graph to its full potential. We could, for example, filter on who had the best score in Figma, so we can staff that designer on a project where expertise in Figma is required.