We're the GitLab User Experience (UX) Department. We're comprised of 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.
Our direction for fiscal year 2021 is to offer a best-in-class user experience for all of the DevOps categories in which we compete.
It's important to note that, even though we're internally organized into teams that compete with specific industry segments, we can't design in silos. Because we're a single application for the DevOps lifecycle, we must strive to create experiences that flow seamlessly across the entire product. Instead of thinking about individual features, we must always consider the end-to-end job that a user wants to get done.
We measure the quality of our user experience in a variety of ways. A few examples are our quarterly System Usability Scale survey, UX Scorecards, and Category Maturity Scorecards. We're actively working to improve our SUS score (which was flat during FY20) by emphasizing solution validation and resolving UX debt. We're continuing to evaluate current experiences within the product with UX Scorecards, and we're also validating Category Maturity Scorecards to ensure that the wider GitLab community has input to our category maturity ratings.
Our UX and Product Management departments both understand that creating a great user experience is only possible when we actively solicit feedback from users. That's why we have a robust UX Research program that is guided by our research team. They help our product managers and designers conduct extensive research, including (but not limited to) problem and solution validation.
Based on experience, we know that having a robust Design System that offers single-source-of-truth components is a great way to increase productivity, drive UI consistency, and improve our visual design. Accordingly, we're working hard to make Pajamas a robust system that's customized to our unique needs. During FY21, we're adding a dedicated UX Foundation team to guide this work, making sure our UI components are beautiful, scalable, and accessible. While we'll have a small dedicated team, it's still imperative for every product designer to contribute to Pajamas.
In FY21, we're adding additional leadership to our rapidly growing department to maintain appropriate manager/direct report ratios that ensure everyone has the support they need. Research and Technical Writing will both have a Senior Manager and multiple team managers, and Product Design will also add two senior leaders to help guide the strategy led by the UX Managers of our product sections.
When we hire UXers, we look for practioners who have existing experience in the subject matter areas they will support. Because GitLab is a complex product, our goal is to set new UXers up for success, and existing domain knowledge makes that process easier.
Additionally, we hire UX generalists who are experienced in multiple areas. For example, our Product Designers are strong UI and visual designers, they can conduct their own research, they're experienced in defining and communicating UX strategy, and they sometimes have front-end development expertise. Similarly, our Technical Writers create great documentation, but they also know how to write compelling UI text and manage docs as code.
We believe that GitLab software should be unintimidating and accessible for a beginner, without oversimplifying important features for advanced users. We stay with users every step of the way to help them learn fast as a beginner and then become an expert over time.
We're highly focused on ensuring that no matter how big our product gets, the entire experience stays cohesive, consistent, and interconnected.
Everyone is a designer; everyone can contribute. We are not egotistical, moody experts who alone hold the keys to user delight. We encourage Product Managers, Engineers, and the wider GitLab community to contribute to creating an exceptional user experience.
Sometimes the simplest, most boring solution is what is needed to make users successful. We want our UI to stay out of the user’s way. We work iteratively to make modest but valuable changes that make users more productive, faster, and better at accomplishing their tasks.
NOTE: When we find problems that are simple to fix - for example, a minor change to our website or microcopy in the product - we are empowered to make those changes ourselves. Example: If the change will take you less than 15 minutes to make, then start with an MR instead of an issue. By making the change yourself, you are taking immediate action to improve our product, and you might learn a new skill, too! If it seems simple, but you have questions, remember that there are people who can help you with code changes both in the UX department and across the company. (Even Sid is willing to help, if you need it.)
We’re human, and we design for humans, so we strive for understanding, self-awareness, and connection. We are quirky, and we introduce our quirks into designs when appropriate.
Existing personas are documented within the handbook.
New personas or updates to existing personas can be added at any time.
Personas should be:
Learn how we work within our department and with cross-functional partners.
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!
Are you interested in joining our team or hearing about new roles that open up within our department? Fill in this short form to join our talent community.