I’m a UX Designer and Team Lead for one of the teams in BookingGo, Booking.com’s new transport and rental cars division. Towards the end of 2017, my Amsterdam-based product team started working closely with teams in England. The other designers and I began to notice the impact we had on each other’s work, highlighting the need for better collaboration. However, being spread across Manchester, London, and Amsterdam, as well as having fundamentally different ways of working, it was going to be no small feat learning how to work well together.

It was really important to me from the very beginning, to understand the biggest areas of friction in our users’ experience so that my team could build a product that solved these issues. After discussing the lack of visibility we had on each other’s work, the other designers and I began having fortnightly meetings. This gave us a platform to regularly update each other and provide feedback.

This was a great start, but after just a few meetings it became clear that things were still being overlooked. We decided to create a Slack channel focused solely around user experience, where we agreed to post weekly standups. Our goal was to find a balance in regular updates that increased visibility, but wouldn’t become too overwhelming.

These small efforts started to make a big impact on how the team worked together. It brought to light some overlapping areas of work, most importantly, previous and ongoing research that related to multiple products and teams. It allowed us to share our knowledge and insights, as well as utilise the experience within the team to improve the work being done.

Things were going smoothly and we were collaborating much better – but nothing beats being able to meet face-to-face. We discussed the idea of having a UX Day. Paul, one of the designers from Manchester, worked on putting an agenda together for approval from the leadership team. After getting the thumbs up, we all met in London for a two-day workshop.

Getting together proved to be incredibly insightful. We dedicated the first day to presenting our work to each other in detail, so that we could get a better understanding of what had been accomplished so far, as well as what was next on the short-term roadmaps for each team.

The second day we decided to utilise the experience of the group to tackle a company-wide issue affecting each of our teams. We identified overlaps, dependencies, and left with a better understanding of how we can share resources. Following the session, we took our ideas to the relevant teams. Several of these ideas are now in the works, soon to be implemented and tested. Everyone unanimously agreed in the value of having these face-to-face sessions on a quarterly basis, and we plan to do just that.

 

What’s next?

Over the span of only a few short months,  the teams within BookingGo have made great strides in how we work together. I already see the impact of what we’ve accomplished, and the positive feedback makes me believe we’ll make our way to functioning as a well oiled machine. I’m very excited to be at the beginning stages of this new relationship. It means I get to be on the front tackling all these issues head on and rewarded with the positive outcomes. It’s enabled me to branch outside of my role responsibilities and make a substantial impact across multiple teams.

 

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