Design Vision

By Progression

The ability to imagine and design the future and proactively drive towards it

Level 1

Able to articulate why the product exists, where it's going and how to get there on a high level. Has been involved in future-thinking projects, and contributed to efforts to bring the results to life.

  • Vision to reality: You work with your product peers to turn long term vision into shippable chunks. You can point to pieces of work which have resulted from this process.

  • Communicating the story: You present a future vision for your part of a product to stakeholders effectively, and can point to resulting change in strategy.

  • Defining the why: You help with the development of a mid to long-term vision for the products or projects under your remit.

Level 2

Able to help carve the narrative of the product vision, and design's role within it. Can present that vision with conviction to stakeholders. Helps product and business peers with strategy to implement over time.

  • Vision to reality: You work with multiple peers and teams to bring elements of the vision into short term roadmaps, with resulting shipped products and features.

  • Communicating the story: You build and deliver a vision of the future for a large part of your product or project to stakeholders, and can point to resulting change in strategy.

  • Defining the why: You lead the development of a mid to long-term vision for your part of a product, running workshops, discovery sessions and involving stakeholders as needed.

Level 3

Confident leading projects and groups to define and sell a coherent medium to long term vision, with milestones and short term actions to get there. Is building the design organisation as a focus for wider company vision and strategy.

  • Vision to reality: You're involved in roadmap planning, and your input is expected as the guardian of the team or product's vision. You can point to multiple successful outcomes and more focus as a result.

  • Communicating the story: You repeatedly create and deliver a vision of the future of a major part of the product or project, positioning your presentation format and style for different audiences. You can point to significant resulting initiatives and impact.

  • Defining the why: You lead one or several vision definition projects across wider scope and timelines, utilising experts, users and stakeholders from across the business to pull together a compelling 'why'.

Level 4

Central to carving out and communicating the vision for the entire product experience. A deep understanding of the customer, business and the role of design. Has positioned the design team as an essential part of defining long term business strategy.

  • Vision to reality: You repeatedly and successfully influence large parts of the roadmap by aligning short term goals with your vision. Product owners rely on your input to help them ensure their work is building to a common future.

  • Communicating the story: You have helped those in your team to present their visions of the future to their stakeholders. You in turn regularly tie these together under a cohesive plan, which you use to align all teams and focus their goals.

  • Defining the why: You guide product and design teams across the business through well-timed and structured vision definition processes, resulting in unified 'north stars'. You help others to run vision-setting processes themselves.

Level 5

Leading the strategic efforts of the business, with a focus on broad product experience and user focused vision for the long term. Presents the vision of the company or product regularly to execs, the board, investors. Has created complete clarity across the design team around a common purpose.

  • Vision to reality: You drive vision directly into every quarter of work. You're pivotal in shaping short term strategy to align with the 'why' of the business. Because of you, not just the design organisation but the entire business has focus to everything it creates.

  • Communicating the story: You are the guardian of the product vision across the organisation. When someone wants to know what the business will be doing in five years time, they come to you. You work hard to promote that vision internally and, where appropriate, into the world. Because of you the design organisation is powerful.

  • Defining the why: You are central to the process of defining the direction of the entire product experience stretching far into the future. People across the business look to you to help teams gain clarity and focus over their direction.

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