Roger Rohatgi on Value Frameworks and Working as a Global Head of Design for BP

Christian: Welcome to design meets
business, a show where design leaders talk

about practical ways to quantify design
about making our work more transparent,

and about how designers can make a
bigger impact in their organization.

I'm your host, Christian Vasile,
and before we begin, I'd like to

thank you for tuning in today.

On this episode, I'm talking to Roger
Rohatgi, Global Head of Design at BP.

It's such an easy conversation
to get pulled in because he's

a really good storyteller.

We're talking about his experience as
a design leader in a titanic company

about the value frameworks, his team
is using to quantify design and about

building trust with your stakeholders.

This is a big episode,
so settle in and enjoy!


Welcome to Design Meets Business.

I am really excited to have you.

I can't wait for our conversation today.

I can tell you I haven't
slept much last night.

That's just how much I'm
looking forward to this.

You've got so much experience
in design community.

No, this role that you're having
right now as a global head of design

at BP, where I know you're doing some
great work, we've talked about this.

Um, a couple of weeks ago, I talked about
how you're trying to put your teams at

that intersection of design and business.

Uh, talk about value frameworks.

So we're going to be talking about all of
that today, but before we go into that,

I'm going to throw you a curve ball.

Now, please tell us
about your previous life.

Yeah, I just got

Roger: to know.

Oh, well, thank you so much, Christian.

First of all, I just want to thank you for
inviting me to be a guest on on this show.

It's a really honor to be with you.


So look, I think if I go back to those
days, there was this passion in me.

Uh, well it really came
from when I was a kid.


Um, you know, I think I, I always
inspired to be the one thing that I

probably couldn't be, which was the.

Nice and hopefully use the force one day.

Uh, and film captured me
at a very young age and, uh

carried me all the way through.

I ended up oddly having a dream.

I woke up and it was an idea for a script.

This is the weirdest thing, but
I wrote this script, ended up

producing a film out of that script.

And yeah, that film ended up winning
an international film festival

award and a myriad of other things.

And it kind of shifted my
life in an amazing way.

And it all came from kind of that,
that childhood passion and, and

a wonder that you get from the
movies and all of that, so, right.

Christian: But you did all of that at the
time when you were also designing, right.

You are already working as it.

Roger: Oh, yeah.


So I've been in the design space
or doing different types of

design for the last 25 years.

So, uh, it's always been part of
what I've done even into college.

So, that was just an extension of it.

I felt the biggest thing for me was how
do you, how can we bring our designs

or how can we bring these experiences
to life and these stories to life and

one amazing medium to do that is film.

Christian: Yeah, of course.

So how did you find your design
career helping you doing that?

Or maybe, maybe writing scripts and
being in the movie industry in a way

helped you in your design career.

Was there any patterns
that you've noticed there?

Roger: Yeah.

Well, I think, yeah, it's interesting.

You say that in my past years, um,
you know, in B2B B2C, B2B, B2C agency,

side, brand side from designing it,
you know, startups to leading design

at large companies I found including
television and film and all these

other mediums They all have the same
challenge and that's how we reach people.


And how do you reach people who have real
heartbeats and real needs on the other

ends of all these digital devices and
screens, big screen, silver screens, even.

And so I found that when you're designing,
it's really about a story, right?

No matter what it's about connecting
with people, it's about engaging people

and helping them elevate that experience
of whatever they're engaging with.

It's the same principles, many ways that
we have with film that can translate to

design and user experience and vice versa.

and you've seen that probably
evident in some of the ways

that even Airbnb talks about it.

I think if you go back to some
of the early videos and things

about their organization, they
use the principles of Disney.

And I think it was snow white to, to.

To storyboard out what a great experience
would be with their customers, right.

And interacting.

And it's the same thing in film you're
storyboarding and telling that story

to bring people along a journey,
to bring that story to life and to

help them experience something or
sometimes even carry a message across.

And, and I think the same
thing as in business, and I

think the same thing as in.

Yeah, well,

Christian: this reminds me of, well,
Disney Disney is such a great example

of design designing for humans.

And I'm not necessarily talking about
Disney, the movies, I'm talking more

so about the rest of the business that
they've created off the back of that.

Whether it's the parks and everything
else, if you go there, you'll see

every little detail is just designed
to perfection, to delight people.

And I find that to be such an interesting.

Proof of the power of
design and how design.

More, so a business
function than anything else.

And at the end of the day, that's what
I brought to you on the show for to

discuss about that and to talk about how
design is that function of a business

that can drive change and innovation
and all that good stuff that you

know, that we're here to talk about.


Throughout your career a bit
creative design here and there.

And then you started agencies and you,
it became a bit more serious than you

did some movies work in Hollywood.

And how have you seen that transition
throughout all of these years of

what the role of a designer used to
be 25 years ago versus what it is.

Roger: Yeah, that's a great question.

And honestly, a lot of my career has
been I don't know, somewhat, probably

out of survival or shifting with
the times, um seeing things evolve.

Um if you go back to those days was
early days, even I got started in it.

It was this there was.

You know, passion and, uh,
wonderment, if you will, of how to

illustrate and bring things to life.

But back then, we began using digital
tools the early days of Adobe way

before creative suite and all that.

And, um and some of these other
tools and I began to figure out

like, how do we, you know, how,
how can we create ways to enhance.

Messages for nonprofit orgs, how
do we create ways to bring things

to life through, through design.

And a lot of that was in print, right?

Print media, print, flyers, and that's
how you got the message out years ago.

And then it evolved obviously to web.

And so web was kind of
the big transition there.

I think early on a lot of people
were really gravitating toward that.

And, and there was this really
interesting time period where web was.

Prince online almost.

And then there was a shift to a flash
and motion and for a time, as weird as

it was, uh, the industry was getting
into this place where we were starting

to do flash websites, stuff like that.

So I'll just tell you a funny story.

So I, well, at least I thought it
was funny, but maybe not then at

the time, but when I w I remember.

Wanting to do this flash website,
and this is in the nineties.

And it, it was, I had this idea.

It was going to you, you, you open
it up and it just, it transforms

like a transformer and opens up
and has this experience where you

would click and it would retransform
and re open back up again for the

next page and it, all this stuff.


And, uh, it was more about this theatrical
feel than it was actually about.

And so we did, we
created, it took forever.

It seemed like, and we launched it.

It was like more money than I'd ever seen
anybody invest in a website at the time.

And it was incredible, right.

It went from like the basic geo
city pages and all those different

things that people were doing.

Animated enhanced experience.

But the big challenge was, is
back then in the United States.

We were just transitioning from
dial up to broadband and stuff.

So it took about 15 minutes.

Some people could get six minutes,
but 15 minutes to load the site.

So, so, so we had to put up splash pages.

This is early, early
days of user experience.

We were like, okay, no one can actually.

See the site.

So they're going to sit there for awhile,
but they know, we know that they probably

want to because it's so freaking cool,
but we had to put up a splash page

that said please wait, see, you know,
um, it's gonna take six to 15 minutes

don't go anywhere or grab a coffee.

And had this loading bar.

It was it was terrible.

And even when they got in, it was amazing.

It opened up, did all this.

But then if you click to another page,
it surely would transform and do all

this stuff, but it could take a while
for it to transform get to the next page.

So anyway, so in the event
of early days of of flash and

all that, I realized early.

That user experience
clearly was going to be.

And I didn't even know, it wasn't even
really called that, but you know how

people experience, what you're designing
a was going to be something that I needed

to focus on more and more and more.

And that just kind of came to
be a theme throughout my career.

Christian: It would be unheard of today
to ask someone to wait more than a

couple of seconds for anything to load.

This is just really
interesting how it has evolved.

And I, yeah, I remember when
he used to take minutes to just

connect to the internet then here,
where he had the noises and all of

that, we've kind of along the way.

So, you know, one thing that
I'm noticing, yeah, go ahead.

Roger: Well, I was gonna say,
yeah, I mean, I think it was in

everything like, even in 3d, right?

So early on, I remember that I was
starting to create commercials and we

were putting these on I don't know,
MTV and different sports, television

networks and Nickelodeon, different
things like that in the U S and we

thought, well, I thought, well Hey, why
don't we just get into this 3d thing?


This was all kind of new and stuff.

So, um, I didn't realize it would take
15 to potentially 30 hours to rent.

One second, one or two seconds
of 30 seconds, a 32nd commercial

or a 15 second commercial.

So I missed the deadline.

I missed the deadline, getting it
into the networks, because, um,

because, it was rendering still and I
couldn't get it out of render mode.

So, uh you know, we learned
a lot back then, so things

just took forever and to get.

I don't people.

I don't think the, I don't think
designers and people realize the stuff

that we're doing now, the stuff that
we have on mobile phones, the stuff

that we have, like in the Palm of our
hand used to take like eons for it

to be produced, but also for people
to actually consume it, you know?



For sure.

Christian: I'm not
missing one pattern here.

Whenever you talk about contributing
to all these projects you're

really excited, passionate.

And in my mind when someone is
so passionate about something,

they obviously want to be able to
do that for as long as possible.

So I didn't know we were going
to take this conversation here.

It was something that I, I
wanted to ask towards the end,

but let's start with that.

I think a lot of these lines.

Start out like you, they become really
passionate about what they're doing.

They become really good
at what they're doing.

And then sooner or later, they're going
to have to make that decision of whether

they want to keep staying as individual
contributors or move into management.

And very rarely is that chance of
doing it as a hybrid role it's either

or in most of the places nowadays.

So considering you're so passionate
about that idea of contributing and

creating all of these projects, how
come you've ended up on a management?

Roger: Yeah.

You know, that's a great question.

And actually my career and journey
took an interesting turn early on,

I think because when I was starting
my path in design or just that, you

know, it w you know, endeavor into
figuring out what design was and how to.

Uh, that I knew that what
I was trying to achieve.

So I remember designing one of the first
things I was trying to design for were

flyers to get people to come to an event.


Which was, uh, like a positive,
rave kind of thing back in the day.


Where people even had those, right.

It was music and cool things.


And we were building up to.

Uh, so like these events where
people would come and so we

had to create these flyers.

I want to create these flyers and
different ways to get people's attention.


And we'd pass these out.

And I went from like just a hundred
flyers to, to 200 flyers to, you

know, to, to then one of the five
by the time, you know, a couple of

years later is about 30,000 flyers.


And, um, and, and now I was trying to
get people to come to a stadium for it.


And what I realized there was that
when I was young, I mean, it was like,

gosh, I had to been about, I don't
know, 20 something like very early.

Maybe 21.

So I like that.

I knew that I needed to get on television.

So I, I was talking on TV.

Some people were giving me air time.

I knew I wanted to put commercials on TV.

I knew that to do a stadium events
somehow, and I was in college.


I actually had this professor,
uh let me pause here for a

second and just tell you this.

So this professor, there was a
class I had in college that was

called, uh, media management.

And I took it as a younger classmen.

But it was an upper-class,
uh, you know, class, right.

You're supposed to take it much
later in, in, in school, but

I decided to jump into there.

I was quite bored with your traditional.


So I wanted something
a lot more interesting.

And so I did, and the
professor was very interesting.

He looked at the whole entire class and
it was quite a bit of people in this

class and he said, what is your dream?

And everybody just kind of sat back
and said, wait, what, what is your.

And that was the question.

And so everybody kind of sat there for
a little bit, wrote down some ideas.

Uh, I can't remember if we came back
the next day or the next class, but

at some point we said to him what our,
what our dream was, each one of us

and his, his direction then was do it.

And he made us pick one of
those things and actually create

it, figuring out how to do it.

And so one of mine was to create
this radio station type thing.


And so I had to know every detail
possible, and this is the business

and design side of things.


You have an idea.

Uh, but then I had to figure out
practically how to make it happen.

If we pull this thread a little bit,
I'll, I'll, it'll come to the exact

answer, hopefully that you were, you
were asking, but what does that mean?

So I had to know everything that
I was going to spend on the music

rights the details behind it.

But if I was going to run a radio
station, you know, how much I was going

to spend on the cleaning products for
the bathrooms, as much as I was going

to spend on those rights for those songs
and how I was going to work with artists

and how I was going to have talent
on air and everything you can imagine

shows scripts and everything, but also
projections and performance and business.

He was asking us to do.

Projections and coming up with budgets and
things that I, I was just a college kid.

I was like, wait, what, what is
this, all this I, I just wanted to

have and design something amazing.

Not, not, I don't I don't want to
be in spreadsheets, you know, but

all of a sudden I realized that
it, that it was going to take that.

So when I did my first stadium event,
just as a young, like really young.

I, I had this idea, right?

I wanted people to dive into the
stadium, skydive for out of a

plane to dive into the stadium.

And while they're diving into the
stadium, I want it to be able to be on

stage, talk to the crowd, and then they
could talk to us in the air and talk

back and forth and then have somebody,
and then have somebody in the audience.

Talk to me on stage, back and forth,
like one of my correspondents.

So I pulled this off.

It was the craziest thing,
but what I, but to get that.

I also had to have, like, I had to figure
out how much I was going to get the money

to have insurance, to cover the field.

The skydivers, the people
needed to go to the bathroom.

So there was portable bathrooms.

I had to figure out how to spend on.

And then I had breakdancers and big,
like car competitions and skateboard,

half pipes in there for people to come
and all that, all that had details.

And this.

I realized two main things, everything
that you want to do in a big way and

design, it requires a lot of detail
behind the scenes to pull it off.

And it requires a lot
more people than yourself.

And so early on, even though I was
designing, I was never an individual

contributor because I knew to achieve the.

I had to have the detail and the people to
help me pull it off, along with the money.

But I could not do it alone.

And to get there, I had to not just
design myself, but I had to lead

other people on, not just my vision,
but practically how to execute.

So as an early young man, as a young man,
early on in my career, I was already.

Like having to direct people to get things
done because I knew I couldn't do it all.

And honestly, because I didn't have
the skill or I didn't have the time.

And so I think that's the key.

That was the key for me.

And I think that's the key that's
carried me along into business

management or design management is
that you need people and great people

and teams of people to pull this off.

And you need to be really clear
on the vision, the excitement

and the passion, but also on the.


Christian: So how is that
translating into how you do today?

Do you still have the same principles
that you base your daily work-life

on, you know, whether that's the
vision, whether that's, you know,

people, all of that is that, that is
that translating 20, 25 years later?

Roger: Yeah.

I mean, I think, look, I mean,
let's, I mean, maybe I could just

share a little bit about what's
going on here in our company.

Because then I can maybe
answer that question in a

broader sense, but absolutely.

I mean, just in a simple way,
the answer is yes, it is a daily

occurrence of a blend between
vision and passion and design.

Even aesthetic and education even, and
the detail and the operations and the

means to be able to get all that done.

And again, you can't, and I can't achieve
what I believe we need to achieve as

a company or as even a design leader.

Without all these amazing people
around me and making sure that we cover

off on all of these little details.

And it's why design ops has become
so important in what we do, but

there's so many other aspects to that.

so just to give you a context of what
I mean and what we're doing and why.

Um, the company I worked for BP, um,
which is as you know a global fortune

10 company, one of the largest companies
in the world, time magazine called this

company in a category of the hundred,
most influential companies, I think

of, uh, I think it was 2020 or so there
was a category called Titans and in

there I believe was Amazon and Netflix
and all these other companies, but.

Our company BP and it, and it got
me thinking how big a company like

this and companies like this are.

And so they reached out to me at the end
of 2019, via LinkedIn of all places and

said, Hey, what you know, um, w would
you be interested in chatting with us?

We have a unique opportunity and, uh,
we'd love to talk to you about it.

We see what you're doing out there in
the world and design and leadership

and we'd love to talk to you.

So I was.


Uh but my father had been the
oil business for 50 years.

And so I knew that there was these
really brilliant minds and really amazing

people doing some incredible things.

And so I listened to what they had to say.

And it was extremely, uh, Interesting
because they were, they had

all these cool things going on.

They have AR and VR and AI and robotic
dogs walking around and fleets of drones.

And you've got like, robots going
up walls and through pipes and

underwater and all these really
interesting things in technology sake.

But remember I told you my
journey along the way had been.

Very much about helping companies and
organizations and groups figure out

how to connect with people, right?

How do you get that real
true human connection?

That could be a human experience.

And it turns out BP was no different
and they had all this technology

and they were on embarking on
this new digital transformation.


Sometimes the center or the
centering on a human can get lost.

So when I jumped into the mix I
said, look, let's bring human

experience design here, which Brian
Pogon says, uh, that it's, you know,

combines UX CX, and, um, you know,
the user experience, the customer

experience and the stake stakeholders.


And that makes up this
full human experience.

But what I realized was that I
was the first design leader for

user experience and digital and
BPS a hundred plus year history.

And, um, and my task ahead of me was to
codify design for the first time in BP.

And when I looked across the
landscape, there were lots of designs.

But not, we weren't doing design
big design and big design in a

way that could bring big change.

And so I was excited to go on that
mission and set out to really establish

human experience, design and BP.

This is going to lead to the answer.

I think that you're asking about
how do we do that every day, but

one of the things I, I realized.

Um, and got excited about early
on was I think it was my second

week I was in London and it was
February of 20, 20 pre pandemic pre

COVID, or at least as we knew it.

And our CEO at the time, he had
just stepped into his new role had

announced that's BP would be shifting
and changing reinventing itself And

we would be marching toward net zero
by 2050, and there were five aims to

help our company get there and five
aims to help the world get there.

Now, since then, we've added more, but I
remember feeling this, this overwhelming

sense of excitement and gratitude.

I went back to my hotel that evening
and realized that I had, and we, as

a company had been given a gift, a
gift to help a company that was an

international oil company become not
just an integrated energy company,

which is what's happening in IEC.

So going from an IOC to an IEC,
but a company that actually could

make an impact on the world.

And I could actually blend,
not just doing designed to help

humans, which is much needed in
this company and around the world.

But also our planet and that week.

Re-imagined energy.

So we talk about how we are harnessing
human experience design, to reimagine

energy for people and planet, and
not just by words, but by deeds.

And there's lots of that going
on and how we design for that.

The reason I tell you all that is
because at a company or a tightened,

like this design is massive.

And so the scale is huge.

And so you asked the question, how
has those principles carried on?

And so your daily life here in the
company you're with, so to give you

an idea of that, Scale, there's over
200,000 interfaces that we know of.

Um, we are building one of the largest
design systems in the world and an amazing

person with me who I couldn't do it alone.

Uh, his name is Gerald.

He is, one of the best at this right.

60 plus design systems under his belt.

He's deep in the weeds of making
this happen, but, we onboarded

470 plus designers to that design
system in 11 months last year.


, 600 to 800 designers w churned
through here last year.

And the reason I'm saying that is
because the scale of the amount of

designers that came through, we needed
to have an operations, uh which, uh,

our head of operations, uh, design
ops, is another amazing person.

His name is Richard, and he's doing
a great job of trying to figure

out how to make all of this work
on a detailed level for scale.

So we have beets.

Design and beats to C.

Uh so for instance, in B2B, it
could be a myriad of things.

We work with lots of other companies
from Uber to Amazon to, I mean,

you can see these in the news.

We have all sorts of kind of
partnerships with organizations.

Obviously we have our own
entities, that own companies

that are business to business.

And then of course we have B to C, right.

And all of the things that we do in that.

Uh, from Evie charging to to all
of our consumer offerings as well.

And then, you know, the bigger things
for consumers that people don't

know behind the scenes, the wind
farms, the solar, all those things.

But what's interesting is it's also B
to N which I call business to nation.

So helping whole entire governments
potentially, or cities become

sustainable in the future.

Like, like maybe the initiative that
you've seen, that we started with,

um Aberdeen with the hydrogen hub,
uh, to, to enterprise software.

So all the internal.

Software and the employee
experience and all of those

things, which is quite massive.

And so the reason I tell you all that
is because the only way to achieve and

accomplish design and transformation,
and to move into more of a design led

orientation of how we do things to put
people and planet first, we have to.

I'm really conscious that
we can't do it alone.

We need a lot of people to help us,
including the community of design.

That's not even with us internally,
but they are rallying us to help

us change this company to make this
difference in the world, but also

the details and that operations.

So every day we.

Um, thinking through, and I'm thinking
through all those details on a small

scale, like, uh, individually what's
happening, how do we get this?

How do we move this?

How can we accomplish this?

But it's all tethered to that larger
vision that we have of how to embed best

practice of human experience design.

And, and re-imagine how we do
this for people and planet and

tethered to our aims as a company.


And there's a lot of business outcomes.

Th those aims are tethered to as well
as outcomes that we know that will

benefit, not just our generation,
but generations to come when we're

no longer here for our planet.

So I know I talked a long time,
so forgive me for that question.

But I wanted to just give that
bigger picture, because that question

that you asked is not a, it's not
a S it's not just a cut and dry

answer other than the answers.


But there's so much more that goes
behind that, of why it's so important

to have your, your understanding.

Uh, the vision, the people that
actually can help make it happen,

the talent and the details that
have to go along with that.

and so if I look back to that college
class and go all the way back to

what that man and that wonderful
professor asked, what is your dream?

And then he said, now do it.

I had no idea that I would be
doing that years later in the

same manner that he taught us.

Christian: Yeah, that's a nice way to
loop it back to your college professor.

He'd be proud.

You told me, you told us
about being the first.

The design director in BP's history.

And I want to draw a bit of a parallel
to the, if I'm not mistaken, the

first design director in BGS history,
British gas, who, with whom I had

absolute pleasure of working with.

And a lot of the work he was doing,
obviously BG is not as, as big

as, as BP, but still quite a large
organization with a lot of clients.

And a lot of the work that he was.

And at high level was about framing
design and advocating for design

in front of people who didn't
really know what design was doing.

And in front of people who are
still thinking that design is just

a matter of making things look good.

And he was doing that through a lot
of these frameworks, through a lot

of bringing numbers through a lot of
even bringing some of these directors.

Never had, we've never spoken to one
single customer, bringing them to

two testing sessions and things like
that on the ground to see they got

to see what design really was doing.

So I'm wondering in an even larger
organization that you're working for,

how are you talking about design and
how are you advocating that the work

that design can do in front of all
those massive C-level stakeholders?

Roger: Yeah, no, I think
it's a great question.

And I, you know, I think once.

So, so there's a part of, um
of this that is so massive.

It can be overwhelming, right?

The scale is so big.

And, and when you talk about a Titan
company, I kind of refer to it just

in my head as, as kind of tightened
design because you know, that it

there's so much that has to get done
and it's gonna affect the world.

I remember I was talking to a
cousin of mine on my mom's side

were Hispanic and, and so my
cousin was living in south America.

She was saying, oh, you work for BP.

That's so exciting.

You know, BP built my village many
years ago or her town or whatever.

And you realize that these companies that
are out there like these big ones are

they're making massive global change.

We all want them to do good
and make this difference.

And I think that's the journey
we're on and getting an impact.

So there's that big vision, but to
your point, how do you tether that

to the daily stuff, but also how.

The interesting thing is the
question is like that you asked,

like, how do you get that done?

And I mentioned, people
are a big part of that.

And I mentioned it's about the
talent and the people around us and

around me to help make that happen.

But it's also equally important.

To have your stakeholders and leaders
and or organization come along with

you and that's not always easy.

And so we talk about human
experience design, as I mentioned

about being a UX CX, but also.

Yes, right.

The employee experience with the
enterprise experience, or even what we

call stake X stakeholder experience.

And that stakeholder experience needs
to be just as delightful and just as

informative and just as, clear as
it is for your external customers.

And when we talk about stakeholders,
they're the people that we work

with in different products and
projects, which are, are massive,

but it's also our leaders.


And to your point, I mean, the
first question I got when I came

here from a lot of people that
were in executive roles was.

Well, what, what do you mean by design?

You know, welcome, welcome.

But what do you, what
do you mean by design?

And then when I answered that and help
them understand what this means, and

it's not just about UI and pixels,
but it's about the user experience.

And it's not just about these experience,
but it's about the whole service

design and how it all ties together.

And that end to end journey.

And that storyboarding that we
talked about, which, which could

be also called story framing.


Instead of just wireframing how
do you story frame this right.

And how do we elevate that?

And I think they got it right.

But then they're like,
well, what do you, what?

So so now that we know what design
is, what, what do you, what is

design and BP, and then had to
bring them along that journey.

And for a while, it seemed to be an
intangible thing for people to grasp.


And we learned, or I learned how
to, and, and thinking back again,

going back to that professor.

Um, wait a minute.

This is also about the business value
and the numbers, just this is it

about the impact and the experience.

And so, so to give you an example of how
people started understanding it better

and how we started articulating it
better is something that goes like this.

Uh, so in one of our areas
of business there's over.

1400 types of applications.

Now we have many, many,
many more than that.

I mean, it's, it's, it's massive.


But just imagine just this one area and
what we found in, if you take one of

those applications of the 1400, right.

And I'm just kind of rounding the number.

We found that there were
3,500 users and people, right.

Humans using this program and.

The user experience was quite poor.

As a matter of fact, it was taking
quite a bit of time for people to get

through several key user journeys,
key navigational elements, to be

able, to get to a certain, outcome.

And so if you take 3,500
employees, At an average $50,000

salary with 1,920 working hours.

And you work out the math of
how long it's taking for people

to get through that journey.

It looked like it was costing
the company around $16 million.

Now I'm just, I'm just giving
you a rough example, right?

No, not, not trying to give you
actual numbers, but just an example.

So 3,500 employees, average $50,000
salary, 1,920 working hours.

And it's costing the company $16 million
of lost time and, and a myriad of other

things we took that's as an approach,
we began to change some of the user

journeys and actually it was one of
our designers that came up with this

amazing formula that was with us and.

Uh, when we looked at it, we
actually realized that we're saving

the company about $6 million, by
applying better user experience.

So if we were to take that same pattern
and apply it to a myriad of other apps in

that particular area, not all could use
it, but let's say a hundred of those 1400.

Could you see that it could be.

Six, a hundred million dollar
savings and so forth right now.

I know it's a stretch and I know
we're kind of, you know, using kind

of fuzzy math here, but the point
is is that there are ways to be able

to tether the impact that we have of
design back to the value we can bring.

In numbers that can be shown through
what we can save people internally

or save our customers in time
spent, or time lost and so forth.

Simultaneously, we can also look at
numbers that we could achieve and

finance that we could achieve by making,
um, changes in the user experience

to be better for customers that in
turn, allow them to purchase more , or

engage with us more, or what have you.

Now we also know that value,
isn't just tethered to numbers.

And so there are a myriad of
other metrics and things that

we've looked at to also quantify.

And we can also say that well,
even with that save time, it

also is reduced time on screen.

And so therefore there could
be a CO2 savings as well.

So so there's a myriad of things
that we can look at to bring value.

And when you start showing this to
stakeholders and leaders who think that

way anyway, from a business perspective,
it starts to show that there is a real.

Impact that UX and design can
bring to a daily business a mode of

operation, as well as elevating the
experience of people internally.

Christian: Yeah, I love the fact that
you brought the conversation to this

value framework, because I assume that
it, at that level that you're working at

these numbers and being able to quantify
design is very important to be able to

get buy in from all the other stakeholders
to continue investing in design.

What I'd like to know a bit more
around is more on the ground, the

actual designers doing this work.

How do you empower.

To always make sure that there is some
sort of quantifiable impact to their work

because let's be honest design education.

Doesn't teach that.

We're not really talking too much about
it as an industry where we're still kind

of in that gray area of a lot of people
and a lot of other stakeholders, not

really understanding what design does.

So on a daily basis, is there anything
that you or your team are trying to

do to make sure that every single
little effort you do in design.

He's quantified in a way or another.

Roger: Yeah.

So that's a great question.

I think it's important too just
be as transparent as possible to

say that look, you know, we, this
is all brand new for our company.

Um, design is new here even though a
hundred plus years and design has been

here, but not in this way, not in a
codified manner, not big design, right.

And even brand has done stuff.

And there have been great brand
leaders for brand design, but as it

relates to digital and user experience
and what we're doing, it's all new.

And so.

We're still to be honest,
figuring this out, right.

Trying to figure out how to
quantify this and actually show

value and we can't do it alone.


We need to do it together and we need help
on a daily basis and the other part of

that messages, the fact that, you know,
a lot of times we have designers jumping

in the mix of products and projects that
they weren't brought in at the beginning.

So they're coming in, in the middle,
of course, or, or sometimes they're

at the end, just putting a layer of UI
on which is not where we want to be.

Things are shifting now.


We're starting to see people, um
really dive into the way that we

want to do design thinking and have.

Early on in the equation and being
more upfront in how we approach things

from service, design and research,
and really getting to understand

our customers and our users needs
and pain points before we actually.

So I think there's,
we're on a journey here.

We don't have the exact formula to do it.


But we do have a value
framework that we've created.

We do have a way to say, if we
start something, uh he look, here's

what we can do from elevating the
experience to what we can save,

what we can, um, maybe achieve or,
or how we can grow the company.

And then here's, here's maybe even,
the, uh, some other lenses like

around CO2 and things like that.


But is it always the case where
we get to start at the beginning?

It's it's not the reality is that,
you know, it's sometimes we're getting

pulled in everywhere in between.

So how do you do it in that world?

And that's where you have to continue
to, to help educate our stakeholders

and help educate our leaders and even,
even our partners and people around us

to say, let's go back and have more.

Iteration of hearing
back from our customers.

let's hear back from our users.

let's be able to get that data point and
continue to look at those data points.

So a lot of the data that we need
at the beginning may not be there,

but if we can get it throughout
the product or project, then that's

something that I think is important.

If we can get the data upfront, if
we can get the research upfront, if

we can look ahead to say, this is
what we're trying to achieve, this

is how we will measure together.

Here's the KPIs or the OKR and all those.

And then we can actually
see what we've achieved.

So there are moments when we're
doing that, there are awesome,

examples of how we've done that.

Some of, I just mentioned.

but it always doesn't happen right up
to the front, but like I said, as we're

growing and evolving as an org and as
a discipline, and as we're evolving

as a company, we're getting better
at that over and over every day.

I think some of it though is also
going to be realized in time.

So take the design system, for instance,
one of the most powerful thing.

But, some companies can do what we believe
that we could do to be able to achieve,

um, reusability circularity, allow for
designs to be able to be picked up in

a way that can, can be leveraged across
all of our apps and services and areas.

And obviously there's a time
savings, a speed to market.

Design systems also designed and
coded and basic code including reacts.

So we know that it can
help developers as well.

And it's that cross section and bridge
our design engineering group is just as

important as our design ops group, right?

As well as all of our other
sub-disciplines of design from research

to service design, to product design, to
content design and on and even, you know,

all of the things that we look at as, as
we look at business design, but what we've

realized is that these things take time..

Things that scale to understand
the efficiencies and gains

that you're going to get.

You can predict, you can forecast,
you can put a formula to it, but

sometimes it just going to take some
time to be able to fully realize it.

So we know that thankfully we have
leaders in a company that believes

in us enough to know that we are
marching toward the right path.

They get it.

They're ready to see how
it's going to, materialize.

There were other things that
we can show today where we've

saved millions of dollars.

And then there are times and that, but
we know that in the future, some of

these things could save hundreds of
millions of dollars and not only that,

but make a better experience for our
customers and our users even internally

and externally, but also make it.

For the future of, uh, of our planet.

So that's kind of where I believe
we are trying to learn, right?

This is a journey, but
also do at the same time,

Christian: I want to highlight
something that you've mentioned a

couple of times already, which I think
is actually one of the more important

parts of what you just said, which is.

Changing got changing organizations
takes time, the larger they

are, the more time it takes.

And I feel that sometimes especially
maybe younger people join organizations

and then things aren't necessarily going
according to their plans and they want to

implement change, but they don't realize
that change doesn't happen overnight.

Change takes time.

And you said earlier, you're fortunate
enough to have leaders who believe in.

Who are willing to give it a
time to make that change, but

that's not always the case.

The leaders don't always buy
into design straight away.

And I find, and I'd be curious
to hear if you agree with

this, that if you're able is a.

To build trust with everyone in
your organization, trust in you as a

person, but also trust in your design
process and the powers of design.

Then you're much more likely to get a
longer runway to be allowed to make those

changes as well as more, let's say more.

More confidence from the people around you
that whatever you're going to do is going

to work because you've built that trust.

So how do you find that concept of trust?

How important is it and how do
you build that with everyone

Roger: in a company?

Yeah, so, no, I think, I think
you're hitting on something that's

really, really, really important.

And you mentioned like, you know, young
designers or designers in general,

where we're on a huge hiring spree.

We want to bring as, as, as much
great talent to BP as possible.

and so that we can make
this change and do that.

And a lot of times when people come
here, they are used to a certain

lifestyle, uh, Lifestyle where they're
on a quick sprint basis and things

are they're happening really fast.

And, and th that does happen here too.

Again, we have some people ask me, like,
what kind of design do you do at BP?

I'm like, w what kind of
design don't we do here?

It's just so much.

It's it's one day you could be
working on something for Evie,

or you could be working on
something for shipping or finance.

And then next thing you know, you're
working on something for, like I said,

AR VR, or even humanizing the way we
do autonomous robotics and things.

So it's very, very wide ranging
and sometimes it's really fast.

And sometimes though, when we
look at the change that we've got

to make, it's a marathon and you
have to build relationships like,

like you said, and when I found.

Some people could be the best
designer in the world and come here.

But if they don't know how to build
that relationship and have that great

stakeholder experience, as much as
they can have a great user experience,

they may not be as successful in
their will they be successful?


But will they be as
successful as they could be?


Those stakeholders are the
gatekeeper of our designs.

They could approve them or deny them.

And in that relationship, like
you said, really tethers to trust.


And so that good steak.

If you have really good steak, X
and your design isn't as great.

You can go very far now.

It'd be great if both of them are there,
but sometimes it's okay right now.

Um, as long as we can make sure that
we are building that trust and growing.

And I think what's interesting
too, is to kind of go back to some

of the tenants of what we believe.

Because at the end of the day, human
experience design is really about.

Building that trust.


and I think with stakeholders one of the,
one of the biggest things that we find is

if they, if they don't trust us we're not
going to, to achieve where we want to get.


And I think one.

Uh, one of the things I talk about a
lot of times is the four CS that I kind

of discovered through some research
and stuff around what makes us human

and those four CS are that humans.

What separates us from AI and
other, other things on the planet

is that we are cultural, right?

So humans, we communicate using.

Are written and oral language and
ideas and knowledge and practices, and

it's our culture that makes us unique.


we're innately curious, right?

So, uh, we are always exploring and have
a desire for, and we're full of wonder,

just like, if you think about me as a
kid with the movies and all of that, I

mean, Is what I was curious about too,
to bring along and we're seeking those

new experiences, and how we can change
our lives and the lives of others.

And that's, that's a separation
we're also creative, right?

So we can use our imagination to
create something new in the world.

And it's something very unique to us
and we can constantly seek to, you

know, make new things, that set apart
from other creatures and so forth.


Piece of that.

The, of the, of the four CS
cultural curious, creative is

compassion and being compassionate.

We are, um, driven by the need and our
very core, to understand others hopefully.

And that empathy is what connects
us there, and compassion.

And this is tying it
back to what you said.

Believe it or not.

Compassion equals.

So the very thing to be able to get to
trust that our stakeholders will believe

in us and want to be a part of what we do.

And we bringing them along the journey,
tethers back to how much compassion

or empathy we have for them as much as
we have for our users and customers.

That is the key.

And truly, if we can dial that in
and double down on that compassion

that will equal trust and trust,
as we know, will really elevate

us as a company, as a brand.

And what you do as it is.

Christian: Yeah.

I want to add a practical way to build
that, go to show that compassion I only

remember exactly where this comes from,
but, or maybe I've read an article,

where they were talking about doing this.

But whenever I joined a new company,
the first thing that I do is I make

a list of all the stakeholders that
I will be working with quite often.

And then I go on a 15 minute call and
ask them questions that the question.

Are mostly about them.

What can I, as a designer
do to make your life easier?

What's important to you?

What has the previous designer
done that you would have

wanted to be done differently?

It's not about me.

The call is not about me.

I'm they can ask questions that they
want to, but it's mostly about me

trying to understand how can I fit
into the, if I'm a puzzle piece, do I

fit into and how can I fit into this
puzzle piece that I've just joined?

And I think what that does is
straight off the bat create.

'cause you're, you're not just a guy
who joins and comes in like a raging

bull and wants to change everything
you're coming in and first listening

to the needs of everyone else.

So that's a practical example of how
you can actually do something like this.

build a trust in, um, and show
compassion and empathy for, um,

stakeholders as much as you do for you.

Roger: Yeah, it really does come
down to, to be all about people,

you know, at the end of the day.

Right that's kinda what we're here for.

Christian: Yeah.


I know we do not have a lot of time.

So, um I'd like to ask you the two
questions that, uh, that I usually

ask at the end of the podcast.

Every guests, uh, gets these.

So the first one is what is one
soft skill soft skill that you

wish more designers would that.

Roger: Well, I mean, I think
we've talked about it, right?

Like how can we really build trust and
how can you have really good communication

with stakeholders at the end of the day?

Can you treat them as much as, and
care for them as much as you care

for your your external customers
and the designs that you're doing?

Um, can you elevate and delight them just
as much as you delight your customers,

that soft skill comes in in, um, Yeah.

Thinking about the details following up,
answering those emails, making sure that

you don't let things wait in your inbox.

You know I know we're busy designing
and doing those things, but, but

we, we need to respond to people.

We need to care for them.

Let's put them and people above our
designs and then our designs will

elevate above to impact people.


So it's kind of this
circular concept there.

So I think that's really important.

Christian: Yeah.

And, uh, what's one piece of advice that
has changed your career for the better.

Roger: Well, it's funny you
say, change your career because

I think that's the very thing.

So I think, you know, early on the
advice I got was embrace change.

So embrace the messy.

And I, I like to refer to it as when you
look at, a Chrysalis, right, or a cocoon,

um, you know, something's going into, you
know, that going into that cocoon and it

weaves this thing, and it's very dark.

There's lots of there's
this moment in that.

You know that life that's
is very violence, right?

Lots of reactions.

There's lots of changes happening.

There's true elements that are
just really, struggling and

there's a big struggle there.


And it's messy and it's it's tough.

It's not easy.

And it's, and it seems like there's no
way out, but then all of a sudden, There's

a way to break through and break free
and all this stuff that happened inside

that Chrysalis shows that something
has been completely created brand new.

And if you look at a lot of
times, companies call things,

a digital transformation.

And even our company we're
going through that or what I

like to call digital awakening.

but I like to call it also a
digital metamorphosis the basic

definition of transformation is
going from one thing to another.

The definition of metamorphosis is going
from one thing to something completely

different, and it's not just something.

Along the same path, but it's something
completely different and it really is

messy and tough sometimes to get there.

There's a lot of ambiguity, but if, if
we can embrace that, and that was what I

learned is that sometimes it's inevitable
that those moments are gonna come.

Those times are gonna come to get
to that vision, to achieve that

vision, to achieve that outcome.


It takes people, it takes details.

It takes time, all those themes
that we just mentioned, but it also.

Has to be understood that there is a
period where it's going to be dark.

It's going to be tough.

It's going to be a struggle,
but that's part of the process.

And if you embrace that change, if
you embrace that messiness, if you

embrace that struggle, then you can
see what that true metamorphosis that

you were hoping to become or what
you were hoping to make an impact.

The quote.

That I live by years ago was
change is the only hope we have.

And now, now this, this quote
came from my, the guy that was

cutting my hair, uh years ago.

So I thought maybe he was making, he
may have been making fun of my hair.

I don't know, but, but I still took
it personally as something for life.

So change is the only hope we have.

I think that was what I learned years ago.

And it's not easy to put in practice.

I'm not always still good at it, but
if you can embrace the messy, embrace

the struggle, embrace the change, then
you can truly see the transformation

or, or really metamorphosis that
you're you are envisioning for

your life and for your company.

Christian: I love that.

It's so great.

We're nearing the end.

Where can people find out more about you?

Where can they get in touch with
you if they have any questions.

And I also know you said
earlier, you're hiring.

So where can people go
if they're interested in.

Roger: Yeah.


We're hiring so super excited.


They can find me on LinkedIn.

Um, you know, obviously Roger Rohatgi
, uh, if you want to search my LinkedIn

you know, obviously reach out and
apply directly on our

There's there's ways to apply,
but if you, uh, ping me directly

messaged me on LinkedIn I'll direct
you to the right person and maybe

we can also have a conversation to.

Christian: Amazing.

We'll make it easy for people to find
all these links in the show notes.

So Roger, once again, thank you
very much for being part of the

design meets business journey.

This has been a great conversation
and honestly, I don't know

when the hour has passed.

So I'm wondering whether maybe
it'll be time to bring you on a

further season, to talk even more.

So, yeah.

Thanks again for this
conversation has been awesome.

Roger: Yeah.

Likewise, Christian, I'd be
honored to come back and I'm

so privileged and thankful and
grateful that you had me here today.

So thank you so much.

Christian: Yeah.

That's so wrapped for today.


Hope you found this episode useful in
that you've learned something that you're

ready to implement at work tomorrow.

If you've enjoyed this as always,
it would mean the world to me.

If you'd share it with your
community, if you'd leave a review.

And of course, if you'd remember
to tune in for the next one, peace.

Creators and Guests

Christian Vasile
Christian Vasile
🎙️ Host & Growth Product Designer
Roger Rohatgi on Value Frameworks and Working as a Global Head of Design for BP
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