We're the GitLab User Experience (UX) department. We comprise four areas to support designing and building the GitLab product.
Our goal is to make our product easy to use, supportive of contributions from the wider GitLab community, and built for a diverse global community. We want GitLab to be the easiest and most delightful product in its class.
We hope you find what you are looking for here. If you don't, please open an issue and give us feedback.
Learn more about how we work within our department and with cross-functional partners.
We are always learning! Visit the UX Learning and Development page for resources geared toward team members in the UX Department or anyone wanting to understand what we do.
See the Team Structure and strategic UX direction for stage groups in the Product Design handbook page.
Existing personas are documented within the handbook.
New personas or updates to existing personas can be added at any time.
Personas should be:
First Look: Inviting users into everything we do is important to us. First Look is our user engagement and research participant recruiting program, which enables us to connect with our users and get their thoughts on our product.
Continuing our focus in fiscal year 2021 (FY21), the UX direction for FY22 is still to offer a best-in-class user experience for all of the DevOps categories in which we compete. The difference this year is that we intend to tie those improvements to two industry standards:
“Top-quartile MDI scorers increased their revenues and total returns to shareholders (TRS) substantially faster than their industry counterparts did over a five-year period—-32 percentage points higher revenue growth and 56 percentage points higher TRS growth for the period as a whole.” - McKinsey & Company Report on The business value of design
In a five-year study of over 300 publicly listed companies, McKinsey uncovered four MDI themes correlated with improved financial performance:
As UX practitioners, we deeply care about creating a great product experience, because we know that it improves the day-to-day lives of our end users. What we tend to forget is that great UX also meaningfully improves our company’s financial health. A huge part of our role is to advocate for beautiful design and effective design practices. Tying this advocacy back to revenue impact can be a really effective way to help the company make important prioritization decisions.
We’ve been tracking our System Usability Scale score since Q1 of FY20, so we now have a long-term view into how users perceive our product experience. While our score is above average, it has declined quarter over quarter.
Fortunately, we have the support of our executive team in giving usability improvements the appropriate focus, with a target of raising it to 80 by the end of FY24. We also have significant user research that indicates where we should focus our efforts to have the greatest impact.
In alignment with the MDI themes and feedback from user research, the following is a list of where our UX team will focus in FY22 to improve our SUS score. Often, but not always, we will use this list as a starting place for our quarterly OKRs.
It’s important to note that this list isn’t exhaustive. Instead, we've focused on areas that the UX team can achieve independently, while we still continue to collaborate with our product development partners on other company priorities.
|MDI Theme||Goal||DRI||Epic or Issue Link|
|User experience||Document the user-validated Jobs to be Done (JTBD) for every actively maturing product category to ensure that we’re focused on the goals our users want to accomplish.||Valerie Karnes||Q1 issue / Q2 issue / Q3 issue|
|User experience||Improve our documentation while still supporting the Development Department Narrow MR Rate by refining content post merge.||Susan Tacker||Roadmap|
|User experience||Improve the clarity and consistency of UI text by encouraging closer collaboration between Technical Writers and Product Designers.||Craig Norris||Q1 issue Q2 issue UX Showcase issue|
|User experience||Perform cross-stage research that focuses on identifying key cross-stage moments and how we can improve that experience to encourage adoption and reduce friction to drive cross-stage usage SPU||Adam Smolinski & Jackie Porter||link to issue|
|User experience||Understand expectations users have from a SaaS DevOps platform in contrast to the one that is self managed.||Adam Smolinski||TBD|
|Analytical leadership||Measure the new user experience for stages the Growth team has prioritized, and document this process to enable other stages to reproduce it, with the goal of more quickly identifying and addressing gaps.||Jacki Bauer||added process||pilot issue|
|Analytical leadership||Now that we have Actionable Insights in place, make sure we’re doing something with them.||Adam Smolinski||TBD|
|Analytical leadership||Burn down UX debt and shorten time to close.||Valerie Karnes||TBD|
|Analytical leadership||Make UX performance indicators a bigger focus by reviewing them more frequently and taking action where our KPIs are under target.||Christie Lenneville||TBD|
|Cross-functional talent||More actively engage Product Managers and Developers in UX research by making insights easier to consume.||TBD||Q1 issue|
|Cross-functional talent||Ensure that Pajamas is not a catch-all solution to all design problems and that stage groups contribute, as well as work outside of it when warranted.||Taurie Davis||Q2 Foundations OKR (Complete)|
|Cross-functional talent||Work with Development to implement remaining Pajamas components into the GitLab product.||Taurie Davis||Phase 2 (Closed), Create a comprehensive action plan for integrating Pajamas components into the GitLab product, [Discovery] Automating aspects of tracking component integrations|
|Cross-functional talent||Create guidelines for what an MR review should look like from a UX perspective.||Marcel van Remmerden||TBD|
|Continuous iteration||Improve UX KPI of Problem/Solution validation to hit target of 2/designer/quarter.||TBD||link to issue|
|Continuous iteration||Include more competitor analysis in our iterative design work.||TBD||FY22-Q1 issue FY22-Q2 issue|
|Continuous iteration||Increase velocity by encouraging designers to stay in low fidelity for small changes in which we have high confidence.||Valerie Karnes||TBD|
|Continuous iteration||Pilot a process to iteratively test SUS-specific improvements.||Anne Lasch||link to issue|
Every quarter, the UX department commits to Objectives and Key Results (OKRs). The following data shows current quarter OKRs, and it updates automatically when the quarter ends.
This section is inspired by the recent trend of Engineering Manager READMEs. e.g., Hackernoon: 12 Manager READMEs (from some of the best cultures in tech). Get to know more about the people on our team!
Our team members collaborate across multiple time zones. You can use the UX Department timezone.io team page to check what hour it is in each of the locations of our team members.
Learn more about how to join our timezone.io team page.