My name is Brittany Vick. I work as the Lead Product Designer at Roll 20 and manage a team of two and soon to be three designers.
Tell us a few words about your company.
We're software, but we're also B2B and B2C. As a virtual tabletop games platform, we offer games like D&D (Dungeons and Dragons) and other TTRPGs (tabletop role-playing games). Our products are multifaceted. On our website, people can buy content or different game systems to use on the virtual tabletop. It means that as long as they have a browser and an internet connection, you can play virtual tabletop games without downloading any software. We also have the creator side, which allows users to create content and then sell it on our marketplace. In other words, Roll20 is like Etsy but for DND and other TRPGs.
What does the design team look like?
Right now, there are only two designers. One is a senior product designer, and the other one is more junior. As our company has many different products, each of them works on their own project. One designer is working exclusively on the virtual tabletop, while another designer is working on the project called “Looking for a group," which is being developed right now. With my hands on all the projects, I spend 60% of my time on managerial tasks, and 40% on individual contributor work. I’m not assigned to a specific project. Usually, I do research or do a quick design for a project that isn't ongoing if there's a need for that.
Why do you think a company should invest in design team training?
Before Uxcel, I managed the design team evaluation manually myself. I spent hours analyzing an Excel chart and a spreadsheet filled with dots indicating the rankings of each team member in different design disciplines, like content strategy, leadership, tools, and so on. It was done manually every quarter. The skill assessment process became extremely tiresome for me and for my team members as well.
With these quarterly reviews, it was hard to stay on top of everything else happening at the company. We wanted a tool that would streamline the process and track the team's progress throughout the quarter. Before Uxcel, we could track our progress by comparing multiple charts, but it took time and effort.
With Uxcel Teams, things are getting much easier. Designers can take skills assessments, evaluate their knowledge with a skill graph, and retake tests in 90 days to see whether they have upgraded their expertise. Uxcel also constantly updates its design courses as the industry changes. As a result, I am relieved of a lot of the management responsibilities of team training.
How did you approach team training? In terms of upskilling your team, what challenges did you face?
It was manual management. It was really difficult to define a baseline, especially for a junior designer. As she lacked any design background, it was challenging for her to conduct her first self-evaluation, as many of the categories were completely novel to her.
Uxcel not only explained what these terms meant but also taught our junior designer various design concepts. Generally, the platform helped us streamline and improve the evaluation process. During the self-evaluation, a junior designer was able to identify her initial skills to evaluate her growth going forward.
Where did you first hear about Uxcel?
I found the Uxcel platform while researching different performance reviews and ways to evaluate design skills. Our number one priority was to take skills assessments and define our team's level. I aimed to demonstrate to my team how they measure up to the required design skills, what skills they could improve, and what skills they excel at.
My only complaint was that once you complete an assessment, you can't go back and see where you made mistakes. It was a bit disappointing that we couldn't review our results and figure out where we failed. This would have allowed us to study more on that topic that we didn't get right.
How hard was it to get everyone on board?
It wasn't hard at all, and everyone was ready to get on board. There was some weird mix-up with transferring our free plan to the pro plan, but that was easily resolved and wasn't a big deal at all.
Did your team have any frustration with getting on board with Uxcel?
Not at all. Even before we signed up for the plan, I asked my team: "How do you guys like this tool? Have a look at it and let me know if you're interested." They really liked it. The team is very much about self-growth, and they always want to know how they can improve their expertise. When our designers first tried Uxcel, they were impressed that despite being a learning tool, Uxcel is gamified. I think that's pretty cool since we are a gaming company. Gamified platforms, especially learning products, always catch our attention. That's why we liked Uxcel so much. It contains many train-your-eye design challenges, sensory challenges, and other fun but useful activities.
One day, we decided to play a game together with my team in which we had to guess the difference between two items. It was such a fun game, we were all absorbed in it! I think it's the gaming aspect that speaks most to the team.
Did you manage to see some kind of results so far for your team?
I haven't seen any changes in their professional development yet. However, I don't think it has been long since we started using Uxcel. I haven't analyzed team performance yet, but I will soon.