Increasing Design relevance, impact, and outcomes at OLX Group

My role

TEAM Management

UX STRATEGY

OLX Group Design Management
Since joining OLX Group's Lisbon hub in September 2019, I've been managing and leading a team of 15+ Product Designers dedicated to transforming the Motors specialized vertical into Europe's reference of marketplace UX.

The challEnge

OLX Group is part of Prosus/Naspers and owns products that serve over 350 million people every month across the globe. Its Lisbon hub is home for the Motors vertical, where we create Europe's leading destinations for buying and selling new and second-hand cars, car parts, motorcycles, and much more.

Despite the enormous business success achieved over many years, OLX Group only recently started to look more seriously into Design. With the arrival of EU Design Director Tiago Cabaço in 2018, the Design org has dramatically grown in headcount and force. Before long, this increased momentum revealed new challenges such as:

  • Gaps in communication, Design ceremonies, career development, and team management.
  • Design's limited influence on product vision, goals, discovery, and explorations.
  • Misunderstandings about Design workflows and ways of working.
  • Business leaders are not yet familiarized to what Design can do beyond "pushing pixels."

Within this context, I was handed the mission of structuring local Design leadership by championing the very first Product Design Manager position in the Lisbon hub.

Approach

Beyond managing and supporting 16 full-time and contractor Product Designers (and growing!), I engage with PMs, EMs, Heads, and Directors of Product to frame and tackle problems affecting our teams and products. My goals and engagements consist of:

  • Work alongside the UX Research Manager to elevate UX Research & Product Design's contributions and influence in product strategy, explorations, and decisions.
  • Teach and engage stakeholders around UX methods, processes, and metrics.
  • Contribute to envision, strategize, and communicate product principles and objectives.
  • Spark continuous collaboration between disciplines as functional and horizontal packs.
  • Define and share the Vision, Principles, UX strategy, and Goals that drive our team.
  • Elevate product design maturity through continuous training, knowledge sharing, candor feedback, and mentoring to help designers achieve their personal and professional goals.
  • Source and hire design talent across the globe to join our mission.
Evolving ways of working, presenting design value, and building a product culture with infused UX Design is an effort that will likely take several years. But although we have a long way to go, I'm proud of how far we've come so far:
Workshops, Sprints, and discovery exercises led by our team are sparking active collaboration between disciplines and creating tangible outcomes for our customers, our product organization, and our business.
We mapped our entire CX and categorized in detail 80+ areas/themes that demand UX fixes and redesigns. One by one, we address each problem and share with the whole organization our mission to bring our product design to the next level.
From reimagining our product's messaging UX to bringing stakeholders together to design a new revenue stream, our designers are shining, gaining visibility and recognition across the company for leading and delivering outstanding quality work.
We are pioneering new disciplines such as UX Writing, Illustration, and Design Ops, expanding our team's tools of the trade and allowing our people to grow beyond a generalist career progression.

Key learnings

Transitioning from a Design executive role at a medium-size company to a management position in a global corporation such as OLX Group/Naspers has been a great school. 

I'm facing new and tough challenges: more demanding stakeholder management, frequent communication gaps, cultural clashes, managing risk of disruption (and how to help the company become self-disrupting), and many others.

On the other hand, I'm learning from, growing together, and collaborating with incredibly talented professionals from all over the world. Those are precisely the elements I was searching for in my recent career move, and I'm glad I found them at OLX Group.

NExt

Blocko Innovation Lab

DROP A LINE

I'm open to hearing about consulting inquiries or providing mentorship worldwide

Brazilian currently based in Lisbon - Portugal