The new year brings a newly formed Engagement Team to Mozilla Foundation! It consists of a fusion of members coming from the communication, development and lightbeam teams. I am excited for the projects to come and the potential to make an impact together as we sculpt the directions we choose to take in the work week ahead.
The Mozilla Foundation engagement team is responsible for two things: getting the people and getting the money we need to be successful.
My interpretation as I unpack our focus is to build relationships (yup, social engagement). We want to connect with others to help them see and understand the web we believe in. If our message and vision resonates with people, it’ll compel them to contribute resources, time, effort or abilities to achieve our initiatives together. The attention and awareness we raise will continue to spread to others who can contribute and create a wider impact to be able to reach our goals.
Before imagining my new role, I have a general idea of what I’m anticipating to fit into. I envision the engagement team as a bridge that matches our goals/projects to the right people/resources we attract to make them possible. This may be comprised of public facing promotional materials based on specific project requirements that involve a process of: Researching, Planning, Designing, Building, Evaluating and Engaging by Storytelling then rinse and repeat until the jobs done! As a UX Designer, I see myself fitting in the initial stages from planning to designing. I’ll fit in this process to strategically consider how our audience will understand and perceive things and to design informative and aesthetically pleasing content for them. I’m still discovering what the title UX Designer really means to me but essentially I try to make things, make sense.
I deal with information & I deal with aesthetics to create an accessible and enjoyable experience.
I can contribute by organizing content or information with visual strategies. I can design for print and web so people can access the information we want them to know or what they want to get while making that experience delightful. This includes producing user flows, branding, concepts, mockups, wireframes and graphics. I can assist with art direction and brainstorming how to tell a compelling narrative to get people sharing them.
What it Means for Me?
This is an opportunity to learn more about the process of creative communication and understanding how to present materials as a team. I hope to improve as a designer, continue to work with developers and learn new strategies to effectively produce materials for any medium required. I want to be able to tell better stories that engage, particularly ones that emotionally resonate with others. Ultimately, I want to create (visually pleasing) quality and sharable content people care about. I’m happy to assist wherever I can and it’ll be fulfilling knowing our ideas are reaching out to others.
Previously coming from a considerably smaller team within MoFo in 2013, I had the opportunity to get a better sense of the organizational structure. I have some recommendations for improvements based on my experience working on Lightbeam for Firefox.
- Communication: Include people in early stages when they need to be involved. Get input early on and keep everyone up to date. Communicate what is being worked on and what is not. What communication channels or technology are we using to be on the same page with each other?
- Feedback: User test and get feedback from our audience and connect with other teams who have dealt with similar projects. Make the time to refine ideas before committing to development.
- Understanding Requirements: Be informed of all style guides and previous initiatives to be consistent or cohesive with if necessary. Understand the requirements, process of submission, reviews etc. Identify limitations or creative opportunities. Identify any risks.
- Organization + Project Management: Plan out the process and the people or parties needed to get involved and informed. Set milestones and map out the big picture to avoid playing catch up. Who is organizing the various projects?
- Collaboration: Understand how to accommodate and work effectively with each other (technology, time of the day etc.). We can work together and avoid to silo ourselves once a project has begun. Know who to talk to if you need support or help. What are our team preferences?
- Accountability: Know who makes the final decisions and who is responsible for specific tasks. This helps with deadlines and reduces a redundant review process or things being tossed back and forth without a decision.
- Mentorship: As an individual on a team, we all continue to strive to grow. Get feedback on a consistent basis to improve or reassess your efforts. I felt like I missed an opportunity to learn more from an experienced UX designer and more about the role.
- Prioritization: At times, our attention will be divided between many tasks or projects. We need people to focus together to meet a deadline. How will we know what to prioritize first?
I wasn’t to familiar with the existing structure or workflows but I liked having an agenda for the weekly meetings to get on the same page with others. I worked well independently on assigned tasks as well and made frequent updates and design feedback with the team as I went. Things I don’t want to lose and know won’t be gone will be the spirit and people of Mozilla. There are so many sweet, silly and talented people which make this “workplace” like no other.
Work Week Goals
What I hope to get out of the work week is to get familiar with the team, get comfortable and to understand how our future dynamics will be like. We can begin laying down the schematics of our plan on how we would approach a project. This helps develop a general process we can refer too. During the week, I’ll continue defining my role and make individual and group goals to improve as a team that will benefit Mozilla long term goals.
- Getting Familiar and Support: Understand everyone’s expectations and where each of us fit in while supporting our leaders guiding the way.
- Goal Setting: Have clear goals and performance outcomes we want to achieve as individuals and as a team. How do we measure success?
- Team Abilities: Understand the context of what we each do. What are our strengths, skills and approach? How can we combine them to work effectively?
- Team Dynamics: Define roles, responsibility and approaches. What are the best ways to decision making, collaborating, meeting and make work routines?
- Team Resources: Do we have everything we need to succeed?