AMA: Khoi Vinh

almost 7 years ago from Khoi Vinh, Subtraction.com, Principal Designer at Adobe

  • Christian Reuter, almost 7 years ago

    Hi Khoi, thanks for taking the time!

    You discussed changing the direction of the NYT design team toward more of a "product" focus during your tenure. What are some of the steps you took to achieve this? Were there any specific processes implemented, or was it more of a revised way of thinking?

    As design director, what was your involvement like on a day-to-day basis?

    0 points
    • Khoi Vinh, almost 7 years ago

      @Christian: I'd say that it was "more of a revised way of thinking" than a 12-point plan or anything like that. There are a few things that can effect change in organizations, and I focused on the two that I could impact most immediately: people and values.

      For the former, I had the mandate to basically build a new staff;. That's an enormous advantage that not every new design director gets when taking over a new team. There's a truism in political circles that "personnel is policy," and I always liked that idea. If you get the right people in place, everything else becomes much easier.

      For the latter, that was made a lot easier once I'd started to establish a foundation of "the right people." But there was also a campaign necessary to educate the organization about how digital products are built, and that was a big part of my job—talking to stakeholders, making presentations, bringing in best practices and speakers etc. That was basically my day-to-day involvement; having the right conversations or introducing the right ideas to help shift the team towards the kind of values that we thought were important.

      1 point