Design Principles


Blackboard, as an organization, grew in its design maturity during Rob’s tenure. A shared understanding of product quality was achieved by choosing and defining words that represent the types of products Blackboard strives to create. Similarly, while at Allegis Group, Rob wanted to help leadership answer the question, “How do we want to be perceived by our customers?” This helped form descriptions of design quality for product teams.


The goal of creating design principles was to change company culture so that there would be a common language defining product quality. Rob worked to define these principles and incorporate metrics for ensuring that each project was measured against these principles.


For every project, the User Experience team determined which principles were key for the success of the project. They worked with project teams to determine what success would mean. They team then used internal ratings and ratings from usability tests to determine how well the product met the design goals. These measures were tracked over time to ensure that organizations raised the user experience of its products.