Radius, a tech company based in San Francisco, is a B2B predictive marketing platform powered by a real-time Business Graph™ that enables revenue-driven marketers to quickly find and engage with their best customers. Startups often let design take a backseat, with the pressure to focus on product functionality, but Radius discovered that while developing and improving the product, design can do a lot of the heavy lifting. From its infancy, Radius has prioritized design and focused on creating the best experience for its users. With customers like First Data, Infusionsoft and other Fortune 100 companies, creating a top-notch experience is key to Radius’ mission.
“Startups as a whole, at least in the tech industry, have seen a major shift to prioritizing design across many aspects of their companies,” said Radius’ VP of Design, Jordan Gadapee. “Conversations around design have gotten more serious.”
Jordan was the first full-time hire at Radius. Throughout the past seven years, he has done everything from lead product design, marketing design, and serve as an internal communications facilitator for those employees working directly with design.
Serving as both the VP of Design at Radius and the Director of the Radius office in Austin, Jordan has worked with both product and marketing teams to push the boundaries of design for enterprise software. Before Radius, Jordan ran his own design studio, where he managed local and national clients, while also serving as an Assistant Professor at the University of Iowa, where he co-founded Donate Design — a student-run, not for profit design studio.
Seeking Cohesion Among Teams
Through Jordan’s diverse experiences he’s become more entrenched in how design and non-design teams members communicate. He covers day-to-day processes, communication, coaching, hiring, and long-term planning for the company.
“Most people think that VP of Design is a sexy role. One that requires a black t-shirt at all times. This isn’t the case. The job requires a lot of coaching and training of my team and other teams.”
Jordan focuses part of his time on coaching product managers and other non-designers on how to communicate with the design team. Although they may have engaged with designers or hired agencies in the past, intimately working with a designer presents new challenges.
One major challenge for Jordan was the lack of resources available to share and contextualize their work with the team. They were missing a safe space where teammates could give relevant feedback and get a peek into how certain projects were developing. The lack of a tool like this often led to lopsided discussions about who owns the direction and how to accomplish a design that achieves the overall goal of a project.
Mastering Controlled Transparency
Jordan and his team needed a platform that supported their desire to be a more integrated, communicative team. Jordan spends a lot of his time working with teams on how to understand one another not only for the sake of having happier, healthier team members, but also to create a streamlined process and ship better designs, faster. However, in order to keep the momentum going, the Radius team needs technology solutions which foster that level of transparency.
This is when they found Wake.
“Most designs require a lot back and forth critique with others before the design-problem is truly solved.”
The challenge with that level of involvement early on is that Jordan and his team were getting feedback in an uncontrolled environment. But with Wake, he’s able to control the feedback in stages. It helps them focus and contextualize the feedback they need from different colleagues.
“The key is providing controlled transparency. This gives team members visibility into how projects are going and designers time to explore and come up with great solutions.”
And Wake provides that controlled transparency their team needs. With its “in progress” style platform, Wake provides design teams with the ability to gain visibility into what other designers are working on, allowing them to align.
In Progress Context = Increased Perspective
“If the project is going well, and if the partners are in sync, it speeds up the process a lot. Wake doesn’t interfere with the workflow an engineer or marketer or designer might have.”
At a glance, any design can look simple and reproducible, which often creates a greater distance between non-design and design teams. But Wake exposes the creative process, providing teams with greater context earlier. Wake gives non-designers the ability to see and value the multiple processes that go into creating a design.
“The ability to see each stage in the design process makes a huge difference and allows people to take designers more seriously.”
Jordan and his team also leverage Wake’s Spaces feature that provides more privacy to certain projects.
“With Wake, we’re able to publicize things in a way that gives people a peek into the process. It helps people see how a particular product and features are coming together, and that makes everyone happier.”
If you’re looking for a solution that makes it easier to share design work and bring your team’s creative consciousness to life, give Wake a try! It was designed to fit seamlessly into a designer’s workflow to encourage fast and frequent sharing throughout the entire design process.