Mike Franke
UX Manager

UX Leadership

How I support my teams

UX Leadership

Our UX Team for Red Hat's In-Vehicle Operating System


"A good manager doesn't fire people. He hires people and inspires people. People, Ryan. And people will never go out of business."
- Michael Scott

"The Office" is a silly show with some genuine honesty. To me, people are the most important asset to a team or company. Building trust, nurturing relationships, and creating a psychologically safe environment for everyone is a key priority. I do this through:

  • Weekly 1:1s with Associates and Stakeholders

  • Mentor and Mentee relationships

  • Understand and explain business strategy

  • Build trust

  • Thanking people

UX Leadership

Mentoring a group of NCSU students during a Red Hat sponsored UX Project


"Show me, don't tell me"
- Anton Chekhov

Action always trumps inaction. Creating an environment where people feel safe to take risks and learn from mistakes leads to innovation and inspiration.

I encourage taking action through:

  • Team communication and working sessions

  • Understand the problem

  • Servant leadership (I support you)

  • Celebrate the wins, no matter the size

  • Demonstrate how our actions create value

UX Leadership

Meeting my first son, Lucas - little did I know how much adapting was ahead of me


"Mike, Lucas never read that book"
- George Franke (My Dad)

Being a brand new Dad was both joyous and challenging. I kept reading baby books and was frustrated when my new son, Lucas, wasn't hitting the "scientific milestones". This is when my Dad dropped this wisdom on me.

I learned that no single framework or approach fits every situation:

  • Listen and connect

  • Connect business to UX

  • Map the User Journey and opportunities

  • Determine what success looks like and work backwards

UX Leadership

Running a UX Workshop around Empathy


"UX the UX"
- Me

This is a short phrase I often use with my teams. The intent is to highlight how important Empathy is, no matter the audience. Many UXers focus on the user - but focusing on the internal team is also critical. Less jargon, more human.

Some ways I approach this:

  • Are we making our team's work easier?

  • Could my grandmother understand this?

  • Reduce info overload

  • Model empathy to the team

UX Leadership

Conflict is going to happen


"For good ideas and true innovation, you need human interaction, conflict, argument, debate."
- Margaret Heffernan

Conflict is going to happen and is one of the biggest challenges of leadership. How we approach conflict and move into problem solving is what separates good from great.

Some ways I approach Conflict:

  • Listen to understand

  • Go on a listening tour

  • Focus on the work, not the person

  • Model how conflict can make a positive impact