Peter Merholz

​Experience Design & Product Consultant, Co-founder of Adaptive Path

Clearleft Says

Peter Merholz has been a long term friend and inspiration to Clearleft, from his early work building Adaptive Path, though to his more recent role as a design leader and product manager. Andy saw him deliver a fantastic presentation on running product teams at the IA Summit, so couldn’t wait to have him deliver and updated version at UX London.

Wed 18 May, 2016, 09:30

Org Design for Design Orgs: The Presentation

Companies are establishing and growing in-house design teams like never before. But they're not getting the most out of them, because it turns out design should not be treated like other functions. Drawing on personal experience and interviews with industry leaders, Peter will reveal the qualities that make for the most effective design teams, and unorthodox strategies for shaping such organisations. When you take care of the team, the output takes care of itself.

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Wed 18 May, 2016, 14:00

Org Design for Design Orgs: The Workshop

As the move to establish in-house design teams accelerates, it turns out there's very little common wisdom on what makes for a successful design organisation. Books and presentations tend to focus on process, methods, tools, and outcomes, leaving a gap of knowledge when it comes to organisational and operational matters. This workshop seeks to address this lacuna by shining a light on the unsung activities of actually running a design team, and what works and what doesn't.

The workshop will be structured as a facilitated conversation, light on presentation, with some activities to get things going. Given this conversational approach, attendance will be capped to ensure greater involvement, and higher signal-to-noise.

Attendees will take part in discussions on:

  • How a service design mindset shifts standard organisational approaches
  • Organisational models for design teams, from centralised to decentralised and back again
  • Breadth and depth of skills and strategic thinking
  • The 5 Stages of Organisational Evolution
  • A New Taxonomy of Design Team Roles
  • The 12 Qualities of Effective Design Teams

About Peter Merholz

Peter is a user experience and design executive with 20 years experience across a broad range of digital media. Currently, he is independent, figuring out his next move while co-authoring a book on building in-house design organisations.

In 2001, Peter co-founded Adaptive Path, and was instrumental in its growth from a small boutique firm to a renowned international consultancy. More recently, he led the global design team at Groupon, including product/UX, marketing, and brand design where he doubled the team from 30 to 60, and was instrumental in the first redesign of since the company launched.

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

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