Navigating UX Team Leadership Through Change

TechSmith underwent significant organizational changes starting in 2017. With the transition of CEO leadership from founder Bill Hamilton to Wendy Hamilton, the company began a large scale restructuring its management and operational approach, particularly within engineering.


As a part of this transformative phase, I was selected as one of the company's first team leads, tasked with overseeing the newly formed Cloud UX team. This period marked a shift from a flat organizational structure to a more robust management framework, with the aim of enhancing efficiency and fostering a more collaborative environment. The challenges were multifaceted, encompassing the reorganization of the UX team, creating career ladders and determining salary bands for the department, transitioning roles within rapidly evolving product lines, and managing a team of five designers and researchers through the storming and forming phases of team development.


  • Team Formation and Leadership: Tasked with leading the Cloud UX team, I navigated the team through various organizational models, eventually adopting a hybrid partnership model that balanced centralized management with the flexibility of embedding designers within product teams. This model fostered collaboration and ensured UX considerations were integral to product development.
  • Product Development and Innovation: Our team was responsible for the UX of several key products, including Knowmia Enterprise and the development of new solutions such as Video Review and Knowmia Pro. A significant achievement was the creation and implementation of a design system in partnership with front-end developers, facilitating better design coherence, faster feedback cycles, and more efficient development processes.
  • Tooling changes: Early on the team was on a mix of tools, with most using Sketch, but several members on Windows machine opting for Adobe XD, with everyone using various prototyping tools ranging from Marvel App to Invision to writing code. In early 2019 we made the decision to consolidate the team on Figma, despite several shortcomings of the tool at the time. This included migrating design system components and shifting external vendors to the new platform. 
  • Adaptation to Market and Organizational Shifts: The team adeptly navigated the sudden shift to remote work as the pandemic enveloped the world, as well as it's unforeseen impacts on product priorities as use of Knowmia Enterprise exploded. Despite these challenges, we focused on improving product scalability and accessibility, demonstrating flexibility and resilience in our approach.
  • Cross-Department Collaboration: As addtional fallout from the pandemic impacted my team with the discontuation of Knowmia Enterprise in early 2021, we recognized the need for a unified customer experience and established a centralized partnership model with the Marketing department. This strategic move led to the creation of dedicated UX teams for Snagit and Camtasia, aligning product development across desktop and cloud with marketing strategies and significantly improving the customer journey.

The experience of leading the UX team through a pandemic and several organizational transformations at TechSmith was both challenging and rewarding. The evolution from a flat structure to a more dynamic and collaborative environment required a strategic approach to team leadership, product innovation, and cross-departmental cooperation. By embracing these changes, we successfully implemented a design system that enhanced development efficiency and product consistency, helped navigate the team through significant product and market shifts, and forged a vital partnership with the Marketing department to create unified and impactful customer experiences that continue to transform the company's brand. 

Selected Works

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