01 / Project info

Leading six squads of designers helping Tesco make critical business decisions through machine learning and data visualisation

Tesco's has a buying team who are responsible for making complex and critical business decsisions. These range from pricing fuel based on real-time commodity fluctuations to neogitating ageements with suppliers. I led and managed designers, researchers and a UX engineer in creating and enhancing platforms for these users.


Design Leadership


Team growth




9 months

02 / Project goals


03 / Results

Team and product structure

I oversaw six squads of thirteen designers looking after Tesco's enterprise platforms. Each squad was responsible for a different product so a large challenge was ensuring consistency between these platforms both visually and in terms of interaction design. We ran in sprints and I had weekly one-to-one's with each team to guide them with their designs and provide feedback. To ensure everyone was able to collaboate effectively I ran crits and workshops, for example looking at how an interaction one team was creating could fit the needs of the other products.

I also worked with another lead, responsible for a similar amount of designers to ensure our products also aligned together.

Process improvements

When I arrived at Tesco, I saw a number of areas for improvement. There was little in the way of clear planning and requirements were often hazy. I introduced a lightweight process whereby designers would outline what they invisaged working on for the quarter using a Figma-based autolayout template which could easily be edited and moved around. I also created a PRD template for the product team to use when spec'd out a new piece of work.

Product design

One of the teams I led worked on a tool which helps the buying team determine which products to stock in which stores. This is a highly complex problem and I helped the team to launch ML-based recommendations. Providing machine-based descisions is difficult, so confidence levels were added a long with a set of principles which show the rationale behind each suggestion.

The categorisation of products, stores and ranges is also highly complex so I worked across the teams to ensure that navigation was consistent and worked for different platform use cases.

As well as leading the teams, I also stepped in to do a number of sprints IC work on the Cost platform which is used to manage negotations between Tesco and it's suppliers.

Design system

To ensure visual design and interaction consistency, I worked on design ops and processes to ensure that components were evaluated and suitably documented when being adding to the design system. There were many problems to solve, such as creating a flexible window structure that worked across platforms. I was also part of a steering group to roll out a new design system across various platforms in a staged approach using a new repository.

Future Strategy

I successfully planned and facilitated a future strategy summit during COVID for heads and leads accross the org from design, product, engineering and the business. The summit looked at many improvments which could be made, the most signifcant being merging the platforms into a single unified system.

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