If you’ve ever wondered what today’s foremost design ops leaders are thinking about, now’s your chance. Clarissa Soto, Sr. Product Director at Free Association, takes us behind the curtain and covers a range of topics including:

  • Measuring impact in a rapidly growing organization
  • Signs that it’s time for design ops
  • Where to start inventing new design processes
  • Tips and watch-outs when creating design tools
  • Musings on the future of design ops

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In this episode, we explore the different kinds of experiences that product designers can create with AI. In today’s world, we tend to think of AI as a tool we have agency over, and which we primarily use to automate trivial or repetitive tasks. This narrow definition has resulted in a proliferation of anthropomorphized, AI-based “assistants” striving to automate our daily tasks ever the more. But we’d wager not all work is bad work, sometimes even the seemingly trivial, and designers need to think more about what brings meaning to the lives of users. We’d also wager there are other exciting models for leveraging AI in product design, and we’ll draw from a range of examples to make our point, including concertos, climate change, and octopi.

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In this episode, we explore the creative parallels between our product design and operations disciplines. While we all need to lean into our discipline-specific tools and frameworks, there are many similarities in how our entire organization approaches collaboration, trust-building, problem-solving, and more. Moreover, we also all share a desire to build more empathy and understanding in the world, and avoid creating unintentional blind spots by over-indexing on any one particular design tactic or pattern.

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