Catherine Hills

Catherine Hills speaking at UX Copenhagen 2023

The problematic intersection of UX design with organizational design: Is your organization ready and willing to change? 

In the field of UX design, we are often asked to do something, but that thing may have more potential effects than we can predict. How might we respond, or create credible recommendations, when the impact of what we are asked to deliver is beyond what was expected – or the reality of our findings are beyond organizational readiness for listening, receptiveness, or action?

UX is often strategic in its essence as a practice, and therefore UX requires organisational maturity around design, strategy and operations to be enabled. Particularly when we as designers identify key pain points, opportunities or moments that matter for our co-workers, partners, users and/or customers. When these identified needs and opportunities indicate that systemic change is required in the way we in these organisations deliver potential solutions or positive outcomes, this can have an effect that can be less domino and more butterfly

There are techniques, methods and tools designers can use to help  unpack potential impacts and effects in complex environments or within challenging conditions. However, to be endorsed in our activities as designers and to pursue them, we must first understand the complex and potentially problematic question: Is the organisation or people we serve and design for, receptive to change?

Key concepts that will be covered in this talk

  • Testing maturity – how influence and design maturity in orgs is interactive
  • How to create change readiness in the conversation around design
  • Ways to create engagement to help organisations be with you on the journey
  • Methods to utilise your discoveries and recommendations so key outcomes of the work are not lost or wasted
  • Approaches to take with your stakeholder partners 
  • How to build influence to provide mechanisms so that outcomes create actions that are suitable and timely
With this talk, designers will learn to navigate the challenges of UX and Organisational Design, and how to further engage and partner through their professional and stakeholder networks within these organisations to better harness and influence positive outcomes for those they design for and with, as well as the organisations they serve.  
Catherine Hills has been in design, research, UX, CX, strategy, product and service experience, engineering and change for over two decades. She has more than 15 years of experience leading teams in practice and management, and almost 7 years in delivering design education (including General Assembly, RMIT School of Design #1 in APAC, #15 in the world for Art and Design).
Her current positions are Director of Product Design at Pluralsight, Sessional Academic at RMIT University (UX Expertise), PhD Candidate at the University of Melbourne (School of Engineering and IT – Information Systems, Design).


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