6. October 2021No Comments

From the Weeds to the Board Room—How Design Leaders shift from managing down to up and out, Peter Merholz

“I had to have an intense conversation with someone on my team, who is struggling with the shift from Design Manager to Design Director. The Product Lead this Director works with has started reaching out to me again. ... Read the full article

23. July 2021No Comments

Design Leadership: On trust and empowerment

This is the third in a series of articles on the subject of design leadership (here are the first and second installments). ... Read the full article

19. July 2021No Comments

Design Leadership: On belonging and loneliness

In this article, I’m revisiting my earlier leadership series to cover the topic of belonging and loneliness in design leadership. It’s something we’ve likely all experienced at one time or another and is born out of a disconnect between you, as a leader, and those we work with. ... Read the full article

19. July 2021No Comments

Build Your Reputation as a Trustworthy Leader

I recently had to deliver feedback to an executive, let’s call him Gabe, based on data I’d collected. He found this painfully difficult to hear: “People struggle to trust you.” His defensiveness was intense. ... Read the full article

15. July 2021No Comments

How to (Politely) Say “No” to Being a Manager

True or false: The only way to succeed in your career is to become a manager. I have some good news for star employees who don’t want to be in charge of their coworkers: While many believe that the above statement is true, it’s a myth. ... Read the full article

15. July 2021No Comments

How Leaders Can Get Honest, Productive Feedback

As an executive coach, I work with many successful leaders who want to become even more effective. Recently, I asked a client of mine what kind of feedback she was receiving to help her be a better leader. She said, “My last performance review was really positive. ... Read the full article

13. October 2020No Comments

How To Be In Charge Without Being An Asshole

As someone in a leadership position I am often asked the question, “how I can be in charge, without coming across as an asshole.” So, I’m owning the inappropriate business-place word because this has become my number one direct quote question. ... Read the full article

22. July 2020No Comments

The Framework Design for Better Leadership

Using research and my experiences, the intention of this article is to lay out a new framework for successful leadership. From my experience, leadership is surrounded around the idea of influencing an environment where change can occur. ... Read the full article

15. July 2020No Comments

7 Leadership Lessons Men Can Learn from Women

Although there is a great deal of public interest in ensuring more women become leaders, thereby reversing their under-representation in the ranks of power, too many suggested solutions are founded on the misconception that women ought to emulate men. ... Read the full article

13. May 2020No Comments

DesignOps or UX Strategy or Design Management or Design Leadership?

It looks like “DesignOps” is about to outshine other terms to describe digital product design management. The term has appeared more and more in recent years. Now it is riding the wave of a hype cycle with the release of the “DesignOps Handbook” by InVision. ... Read the full article

Get in touch,
hello[aet]thomas-otto.net

Thomas Otto is a User Experience Designer in Berlin, Germany. As an experienced designer he is working on digital projects in the fields of user research, interaction design and data strategy.