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.
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.
GitLab believes strongly in the impact that usability can have on our company's health. So strongly, in fact, that our e-group incorporated enterprise-leading usability into the three-year company strategy and committed to raising our SUS score to greater than 77 during that time period. That's strong evidence of the value we place on creating a product that users love and want to use.
In FY23, we will continue to build on our FY22 Direction by using the industry standard McKinsey Design Index (MDI) and System Usability Scale (SUS) score as frameworks for thinking about and measuring UX impact.
“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: Analytical leadership, Cross-functional talent, Continuous iteration, and User experience. We will focus on these categories as themes for our FY23 Direction.
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. We store our SUS data for each quarter in Sisense, which you can find using the SUS Database page.
Following is a list of where our UX team will focus in FY23 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.
Analytical leadership: Measure and drive design performance with the same rigor as revenues and costs.
|Establish a repeatable usability benchmarking process||Ben Leduc-Mills||Epic||Complete|
Cross-functional talent: Make user-centric design everyone’s responsibility.
|Improve product usability and docs by engaging Technical Writers earlier in the design/development process||Susan Tacker||Best practices identified by research||Complete|
|Make documentation easier to find and read based on UXR feedback and industry-standard approaches||Susan Tacker||Epic||Ongoing|
|Better support cross-stage work by increasing end-to-end product knowledge of Product Design Managers||Rayana Verissimo||Not prioritized|
|Fully participate in the cross-functional prioritization process||Christie Lenneville||Q3 OKR||Complete|
Continuous iteration: De-risk development through continual listening, testing, and iterating with end users.
|Improve product experience by implementing Actionable Insights||Lauren Evans||Epic||Complete|
|Build UXR subject matter expertise through a Foundational Research Framework||Will Leidheiser||Epic||Complete|
|Offer an opinionated view of user needs through user-centric roadmaps||Justin Mandell||Q1, Q2, Q3, Q4||Ongoing; significant progress made|
|Solve customer problems broadly and in an integrated way with holistic iterations on high-usage workflows||Marcel van Remmerden||Ongoing|
User experience: Break down internal walls between physical, digital, and service design.
|Enable Development to complete committed Pajamas migrations by establishing formal migration processes, supporting cross-functional communication, and completing accessibility audits||Taurie Davis||Migration process documentation MR||Complete|
|Reduce the amount of UX debt for an improved user experience across the product||Valerie Karnes||Ongoing; included in SUS-impacting metrics|
|Elevate design quality by consistently providing constructive design feedback||Blair Christopher||Issue||Complete|
|Simplify Navigation so that it is intuitive across user personas||Taurie Davis||Q3 Navigation OKR||Large progress in FY23, ongoing|
|Identify customer pain points from process deficiencies through the creation of service blueprints||Jacki Bauer||Issue||Deprioritized|
|Increase designer's end-to-end product knowledge and exposure through MR reviews||Valerie Karnes||MR||Complete|
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!