Abigail Hart Gray is the Director of UX for Google, where she champions user-centric design practices for the Ads group. Previously, she was VP of Design at LearnVest (part of Northwestern Mutual). Abigail has also brought her UX expertise to clients like AOL, American Express, JetBlue, the BBC, and more. Follow her @abigailhartgray.
Google’s Abigail Hart Gray: Communicating the value of design
Abigail Gray: We can design towards anything. The great thing about design is that there’s no one solution. So, when you find the places where you can all agree, “Okay, let’s merge it towards this goal,” I think that’s the way to start building a relationship and building trust because you want to show them that you care about the same things they do.
Narrator: This is the Design Better Podcast, where we share lessons and insights from today’s foremost design leaders. We hope the conversations and stories you hear help you transform your design practice and build remarkable products. In our third season, we’re exploring the connected workflow: how designers work more effectively and efficiently with their engineering and product counterparts. We’ll talk about how building key partnerships throughout an organization can help you ship better products faster. This podcast is hosted by Aarron Walter and Eli Woolery and is brought to you by InVision, the digital product design platform powering the world’s best experiences.
Eli Woolery: Sometimes you know someone’s a good leader just by listening to them. This is certainly the case with Abigail Hart Gray, who we first got to know through a profile of Northwestern Mutual in the Design Genome Project, where she was VP, head of design. Here’s one of our favorite quotes by Abigail from that report.
It reads, “A/B testing is great for small optimizations, but if you need a revolution, you don’t find that in an A/B test, even if you run 100 of them at a time.” Now, a director of UX at Google, Abigail is bringing her leadership skills to a bigger organization with bigger challenges. Because we were speaking with Abigail just a few weeks into her new role, we mostly focused on her experiences at Northwestern Mutual, specifically topics like the workflow between designers and developers, how she brought developers into the design process early, and how she got the right people involved from the start of projects. So get ready to listen to a great leader, and we hope you enjoy this chat with Abigail.
Abigail Hart Gray, Director of UX at Google, is one of the most inspiring design leaders we know. A self-proclaimed analytics nerd, Abigail uses numbers to deftly communicate the value of design to her colleagues, giving her team the runway to do great work.
In this episode of the Design Better Podcast, Eli and Aarron get Abigail’s take on measuring design’s impact on business, how parenthood has changed her approach to problem solving, and more.