DeWayne Esson and Branco Kuznar work as designers at The Home Depot, where they advocate for a better employee experience. At Big Design Conference 2021, our theme is designing for dignity. So, we spent some time to better understand their talk, ask them for advice for new UXers, and better understand what’s going on at The Home Depot. Enjoy!
Describe your talk called “The Enterprise Human Experience Advocate” at Big Design 2021.
Human dignity, however, you define it, should be a fundamental quality of any designer. Companies now recognize, great design involves far more than just meeting functional or business needs. It needs to engage the human experience in new, unexpected ways. We should design things so that people can use them without stress or friction. That goal is not mutually exclusive from the business goals; on the contrary, it will probably enhance them. Through this process, human dignity needs to be considered and supported.
In this conversation Branco and DeWayne will share ways on how to:
- Respect and advocate the dignity of users.
- Identify and consider the essential elements of the ecosystem.
- Understand how to move the entire experience forward instead of its individual part
Tell us about your talk. Why did you choose this topic?
We have all experienced exclusion at some point in our lives, which is a universal experience. It is common for us to feel cut off from certain aspects of society or even physically unable to access a particular building or tool. As designer we are the advocates for all users even the audience. If you talk about inclusion, you are talking about offering options to people who may not have had them before. But for the company, this ends up having a positive impact on the culture and other aspects of the workplace.
The theme for Big Design 2021 is Designing for Dignity. How does your talks relate to the topics?
Businesses set goals and set up metrics to track progress toward goals every year. Our task is to determine which of these design issues, if fixed, could help them reach their goals. When designing for an enterprise, the means of how the applications and workflow need to be flexible and unbiased for all users. Many of the inclusive designs that we see in our environment happen quietly, and we may not be aware that they started with someone or two or three people who identified a mismatch, then found a solution.
What are some of the key takeaways that you want the audience to learn from your talk?
Inclusive design is design that is “inclusive of the full range of human diversity with respect to ability, language, culture, gender, age and other forms of human difference”.
- Recognizing the diversity and uniqueness of each individual
- Using Inclusive Processes and tools
- Being aware of the broader socially beneficial impacts of a design
What’s one piece of advice you would give to people just breaking into UX?
- Be adaptable
- Be confident but open to improvement
- Have fun!
Describe an interesting aspect of The Home Depot design practice?
We stand by our vision of, We serve as a strategic partner to our business and stakeholders, and strive to make every interaction with The Home Depot intuitive and frictionless. We help the organization understand how to win with every customer. In every aspect of our practice our core values are ingrained in every aspect of our day to day:
- Taking care of our people
- Giving back to our communities
- Doing the right thing
- Excellent customer service
- Creating shareholder value
- Building strong relationships
- Entrepreneurial spirit
- Respect for all people