Stacey Swinehart Ganderson

Fractional design leader and manager / Accessibility transformation leader / Author

Organizations face a lot of challenges in today’s economic environment. They need a flexible and agile approach to design leadership that provides their design teams with the support they need to thrive.


• Maybe you have a design leader who recently left, and you need to fill their role fast while you search for a full-time hire.

• You may need a design leader to cover for someone during time off or a leave of absence.

• You might struggle to keep up with the demands of balancing people leader…

Stacey Swinehart Ganderson

Work

  • I have over seven years of experience as a people manager. I’ve managed direct reports of up to 13 people, including individual contributors, interns through principal, and other managers through director. I’ve coached seven people through promotions or career shifts and have experience navigating difficult workplace conversations such as psychological safety, health, disability, performance improvement plans, and layoffs.


    I follow a set of best practices, periodically reviewing and updating them as I grow.


    Best practices (TL;DR):

    Trust and safety (building and fostering a psychologically safe environment)

    See something, say something (upwards feedback and when things need to be corrected)

    Set up for success (employee needs and support)

    Taking care (empathy and compassion)

    1:1 syncs (regular syncs with individuals)

    Team critiques (receiving and giving design feedback)

    Jam sessions (convergence on ideas and discussion)


  • Context

    How might Move, Inc. hold itself accountable for inclusion and accessibility as an organization?

    The inclusive design and accessibility program at Realtor was brand new. The CEO asked that I create an accountability model to help product teams and leaders understand how they would be responsible for their actions, behaviors, performance, and decisions regarding accessibility and inclusion.

    Outcomes:

    This model was used to develop and deliver inclusive team activities in the Habitat (see "Transforming how teams work together at Realtor.com"), create a new prioritization framework, influence the internal organizational accessibility policy, and inform the product design skills and competency framework.

  • Creating an organization accessibility policy

    I authored the internal organization accessibility policy for Move, Inc. (parent company of Realtor.com), with reviews and approvals from their General Council, CPO, and CGO. This policy defined the business’s commitment and responsibility for digital accessibility, identified roles and responsibilities, and outlined requirements for acquisitions and requirements for all external digital assets. Once approved and released, all employees in product, engineering, design, marketing, legal, and procurement (to start) would be required to read and acknowledge this policy.

  • Context

    How might Move, Inc. hold itself accountable for inclusion and accessibility as an organization?


    Outcomes:

    I developed a modified OKR prioritization framework that embedded Realtor's accessibility accountability model into it, utilizing newly defined actions that teams would align on how they were achieving their goals. How teams worked together to achieve goals became a critical measurement of success, enabling better team alignment and collaboration throughout the SDLC, quarterly planning, and yearly roadmapping sessions.


  • Context

    How might Move, Inc. hold itself accountable for inclusion and accessibility as an organization?

    Provide a standardized set of inclusive activities that help cross-functional teams drive alignment and accountability in their work, improving the consistency of our inclusive product development lifecycle and the quality of our products and enhancing the overall quality of life at RDC.


    Requirements

    Activities must be available to all employees via Confluence and Miro

    Provide multiple ways to access instructions to meet different learning approaches


    MVP deliverables

    The inclusive design team released an MVP for a product collaboration space called The Habitat, containing collaborative product team activities and templates, saving teams time, increasing collaboration, and enabling greater alignment on what they were solving for.

    1. Product briefs for phases of work: project initiation, discovery, define, design + build

    2. Workshops:

    • project goals, signals, and metrics
    • user value statement
    • persona spectrum
    • user journey map

    3. Design templates:

    • persona spectrum card
    • journey map
  • Author and publisher at Adaptive Work

    Write and publish two books on accessibility:

    1. "Designing for Accessibility, a Practical Guide for Designers in Product, Marketing, and Brand." Available in softcover with perfect binding, PDF, or ePub.
    2. "Deconstructing Accessibility Guidelines, a Design Practitioner’s Reference Guide." Available in softcover with spiral binding, PDF, or ePub.


    Both books are currently in the user testing phase with designers from Amazon, HEB, Dell Medical, and the US government and fact-checking with an IAAP expert.

  • UC Berkeley iSchool, 2023

    Educational lecture to graduate students on "Shaping product decisions through inclusive design." Co-speaker and co-author: Rachel Power


    UC Berkeley iSchool, 2021


    Educational lecture to graduate students on "What is inclusive design and accessibility."


    UC Berkeley Extension, 2021


    Educational lecture to graduate students on "Accessibility Checklist for Designers."

Experience

  • Adaptive Work, LLC

    Adaptive Work, LLC

    Founder

    Sep 2023 - Present

    Write and publish a series of practical guides and reference books that help businesses achieve more inclusive processes and accessible outcomes for their employees and customers.

    • Coming in 2024: “Designing for Accessibility, a Practical Guide for Designers in Product, Marketing, and Brand”
    • Coming in 2024: “Deconstructing Accessibility Guidelines, a Design Practitioner’s Reference Guide”
    • Coming in 2024: (Title TBD) Reframing how businesses can think about and approach work accommodations, providing a standardized framework for business and employee success.
  • W3C

    W3C

    Invited Expert

    Feb 2023 - Present

    The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) develops standards and guidelines to help everyone build a web based on the principles of accessibility, internationalization, privacy and security. It's an international public-interest non-profit organization where Member organizations, full-time staff, and the public work together to achieve its mission to lead the web to its full potential.

    • Collaborate with industry experts to develop global accessibility standards and guidelines as part of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). Editor and contributor to the newest publication of the Maturity Model.
  • Realtor.com

    Realtor.com

    Senior Director, Product Design (Head of Foundational Design Services and Systems)

    Oct 2020 - Jun 2023

    Realtor.com® is the trusted resource for home buyers, sellers and dreamers, offering the most comprehensive source of for-sale properties, among competing national sites, and the information, tools and professional expertise to help people move confidently through every step of their home journey.

    • Established and managed Foundational Design Services and Systems (design systems, inclusive design, accessibility, content design), supporting over 40 product squads across Realtor.com
    • Spearheaded and managed organization-wide accessibility remediation in 2021 across two mobile applications and four websites, resulting in News Corp rating Realtor.com their most accessible business unit in 2022
    • Established organization-wide policies, processes, and accountability framework
    • Set vision, roadmap, and priorities that aligned with yearly company objectives
    • Managed individual contributors and managers; direct reports ranging from eight to 13
  • USAA

    USAA

    Design Director

    May 2017 - Oct 2020

    USAA's mission is to empower its members to achieve financial security through highly competitive products, exceptional service and trusted advice. They seek to be the #1 choice for the military community and their families.

    • Established and led a team of five designers supporting USAA Life Insurance
    • Coached business leaders through a cross-company human-centered design process transformation
    • Overhauled the life insurance quote experience; exceeded key results with 20% higher quote starts and a 10% lift in quote completes
    • Collaborated with LifeCo executives to develop the UX strategy and vision for a new term insurance product launched in 2021
  • PayPal

    PayPal

    Lead UX Designer

    Oct 2014 - Apr 2017

    Our mission is to democratize financial services to ensure that everyone, regardless of background or economic standing, has access to affordable, convenient, and secure products and services to take control of their financial lives. We believe access to affordable and convenient financial services should be a right for all rather than a privilege for the few. To achieve this, we are aligned across the company around one central vision: to make the movement and management of money as simple, secure, and affordable as possible. As we democratize financial services, we can enable the hopes, dreams, and ambitions of millions of people around the world.

    • Managed all aspects of the design process, from problem discovery and definition to design and build in collaboration with cross-functional team
    • Business areas: PayPal Developer (2014 to 2015), PayPal Resolution Center (2015 to 2016), PayPal for Enterprise (2016 to 2017)
    • Accessibility design leader for the Austin design studio
  • PayPal

    PayPal

    UI Designer

    Jun 2011 - Sep 2014

    Our mission is to democratize financial services to ensure that everyone, regardless of background or economic standing, has access to affordable, convenient, and secure products and services to take control of their financial lives. We believe access to affordable and convenient financial services should be a right for all rather than a privilege for the few. To achieve this, we are aligned across the company around one central vision: to make the movement and management of money as simple, secure, and affordable as possible. As we democratize financial services, we can enable the hopes, dreams, and ambitions of millions of people around the world.

    • Created UI models, user task and interaction flows, experience maps, personas, wires, and prototypes
    • Business areas: PayPal Consumer (2011), PayPal Checkout (2012 to 2013), PayPal Merchant (2013 to 2014)
    • Design patent for Checkout experience, issued in 2017: https://image-ppubs.uspto.gov/dirsearch-public/print/downloadPdf/9734135

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