3 phases of digital

Published on May 10, 2023

Like

In the decade I worked at Aritzia I was inspired by a singular and consistent goal: transform a traditional brick and mortar retailer into a digital leader by creating an embedded world class digital product team. This was not a linear path and there were many times in which I felt the pursuit was fruitless, but in hindsight I would organize my time in three distinct phases of maturity, each leading toward the high caliber function that succeeds me.

Phase One

I was hired as an indented contributor on the eCommerce team. I was the first ever employee in the company to have a user experience background. I saw this IC role as an opportunity to get in on the ground floor of a new and important (yet less understood) part of this well known Canadian brand.

- Built confidence in the value of user experience / digital product design.

- Established relationships throughout the business.

Phase Two

In the second phase, the department grew modestly, but not proportional to the size of growth of our business in this phase we got to branch out and show how the design department could add value to other areas as well as influence Business/.

- Experimented with fit across other departments as company scaled.

- Moved from IC to a small team, maintaining quality using practices and principles.

- Project based work

Phase Three

And in the final phase, we grew the department to 18 team members, including managers, directors, researchers, product designers systems, designers service designers with world-class talent.

- Built out levels of management in team

- Skills and competency frameworks

- E

---

- Bring ideas / processes and structures from outside

- Being sensitive to the legacy of the company

- Creating space for dialogue and authenticity

- Shedding new light on reality (the user experience)

- Giving people something to believe in

---

- the reductive interface,

- Type scale

- the fluid integration of content and commerce

- identification of new templates and frameworks

- robust design system

- user experience research.

In the time that I worked at Aritzia, my intention was to build a world class product design and research department embedded into somewhat traditional brick and mortar retailer classify. The growth of this endeavour into three different phases the first phase in the first phase I acted as an independent contributor. Building trust in a new capability, and the value it could bring to the organization. In the second phase, the department grew modestly, but not proportional to the size of growth of our business in this phase we got to branch out and show how the design department could add value to other areas as well as influence Business/. And in the final phase, we grew the department 218 team members, including managers, directors, researchers, product designers systems, designers service designers with world-class talent.

---