design leadershipIn this Ferris Wheel episode, I speak with Peter Merholz, the co-founder of Adaptive Path. He talks about design leadership and the evolution of design.

Design Leadership is growing in organizations that were once never aware of the role of design. This growth also triggers a lot of questions with respect to what it means to the organization with design leadership. What marks good design organizations? In this episode, we speak about:

  • The evolution of design and it’s impact on the way organizations think today.
  • Mistakes organizations make when it comes to approaching design and UX.
  • How organizations are focusing right on design and UX.
  • Understand how Peter would coach you if you had 4 weeks to improve the UX of an existing product.

Who is Peter Merholz?

Peter Merholz co-founded Adaptive Path in 2001. He was instrumental in AP’s growth from a small boutique firm to a renowned international consultancy. At the start of the year he became the VP of Design for Snagajob, a leading marketplace for hourly workers. He leads design for product/UX, marketing, and brand, all within the framework of designing delightful end-to-end service experiences. Previously, he lead design at Groupon, doubling the team from 30 to 60, and was instrumental in the first redesign of since the company launched.

He co-authored Org Design for Design Orgs, a book on building in-house design organizations. Peter is also perhaps most (in)famous for coining the word “blog” in 1999. Really. In the OED and everything. Since then, he’s been blogging continuously at

What you will learn – Design Leadership, Evolution and more!

Continued from Episode128.

  1. You talk about Don Norman’s definition of UX in one UX Week talk. How has “design” changed (in the context of making products/services) in the last 15-16 years, since the time you founded Adaptive Path?
  2. What are the biggest mistakes you see these product makers and startups make in their pursuit of design finesse? What do you see as a waste of time in what they do today?
    • How have you seen the best product teams approach design?
    • You talk about Org Design in your latest book. Why is Org Design more important in today’s day and age?
    • What are 3 things you see different in today’s organizations, as design is starting to get prominent?
  3. What are your favorite books & other resources on product design? If people had to teach themselves to design awesome products, what do you suggest they do?
  4. If you had to coach me for 4 weeks to help improve the UX of my product (already defined and in use and actively developed), and you had a million dollars in the line, what would the coaching look like?

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