Five ways that Pega UX Design is fostering connection in 2021

Shaun Wortis,

The year 2020 brought unforeseen global challenges. But with adversity comes opportunity for positive change. Just like our clients, the Product Experience group at Pega has had to work differently as a result of the pandemic. But working farther apart has only increased our belief in the power of collaboration.

As we look forward to the year ahead, we’re proud of the steps we’re taking to embrace design thinking and to collaborate more effectively with our community. Here are five ways that Pega Product Experience is nurturing connections this year.

  1. We’re teaching design and user experience. Good design is more than skin deep. It’s a way of thinking and a way of working that fosters innovation and saves companies money. We launched our UX Essentials mission on Pega Academy with the goal of teaching UX fundamentals to everyone in the Pega ecosystem. We harnessed the diverse expertise of our team to educate our community on topics that matter in design (like data visualization) and to illustrate the advantages of approaching design problems in an interdisciplinary way. Through the new UX Essentials mission, we’re promoting better design practices for the enterprise overall, starting with what every organization needs—a robust design system
  2. We’re improving documentation. Documentation was always a critical part of our design system approach, but this year we’re even more focused on formalizing how we communicate our day-to-day design work. By documenting all components, patterns, and standards that we produce, we’re building a more useable system with fewer visual errors and that allows for faster design work (which means faster releases). All of this allows us to be more agile, more transparent, and more collaborative with the Pega community.
  3. We’re sharing more wins and high impact practices. Earlier this year we began sharing learnings from key projects that harnessed the power of low-code to build design-driven solutions. By sharing successes from within our community, we hope to drive conversations about the importance of UX design as well as demystify how design shapes business outcomes.
  4. We’re working to ensure that our designs serve all users. We strongly believe that enterprise design must be inclusive—and that inclusivity goes beyond simply meeting accessibility requirements. This year, we’re especially prioritizing inclusive design as essential to our design philosophy. We train all team members on managing bias. We target WCAG 2.1 AA, the international standard for accessibility requirements, in our websites and design system. We also deploy flexible type in our new UI. We make use of audience empathy sessions during design sprints. We employ AI-driven bias-reduction tools, as well as many other strategies to make our platforms easy to use and accessible for every user. And we’re just getting started.
  5. We’re taking care of our colleagues and ourselves. Like you, we’ve had to adjust to working remotely. For us it has meant doing whiteboard sessions online, fostering a sense of connection in new ways, welcoming new team members over video rather than in-person, and being honest with each other as we deal with a global pandemic individually, together. We’ve made adjustments as a team, and as individuals. All things considered, our transition to remote design has gone smoothly. Our investments in documentation, inclusivity and education have fostered a sense of openness and closeness—even though we are miles away from one another and some of us have never met in person. Investing in better communication, documentation, and educational resources is helping us as much as we hope it will help our community of users.

Design is an inherently collaborative discipline. Thoughtful, user-centric and inclusive UX design can make people’s work lives better—and by extension, provide a means of stability and resilience in the year ahead.

We invite you to keep learning with us, share your experience and your feedback via the Pega Collaboration Center HERE.

About the Author

Shaun Wortis, Sr. Director of User Experience, leads the Product Experience group at Pegasystems