Cap Watkins: Treat Your Life Like a User Experience Problem

Too often, the product design, product management, and engineering teams are thought of as three separate entities. This divide, according to Cap Watkins, the VP of Design at Buzzfeed, can lead designers to feel undervalued or even defensive when the product managers or engineers attempt to make suggestions to their work. Having realized this battle at Buzzfeed, Watkins proposed the question: “How do we create a culture of empowerment for design?”

In this 99u talk, Watkins provides a step-by-step process to blur the lines between the different product building teams in an effort to get feedback on not only the work being done, but also the process on how that work gets done. Change is complicated and creating the internal partnerships will adjust the way people work, ultimately for the better. “We have to realize that working together doesn’t mean we’re trying to take each others job,” says Watkins. “We’re just trying to be better collaborators.”