What Type of Designer Does Your Business Need?
Design is quickly becoming one of the most in-demand fields. According to the Design in Tech 2017 report, top tech companies – Google, Facebook and Amazon, have “collectively grown art and design headcount by 65% in the past year.” As a someone looking for design talent, it’s important to understand exactly what type of designer you’re looking for and what problem(s) your business is looking to solve. We’ve outlined a few types of designers to help you get started.
(Just a Few) Types of Designers
Probably the most well-known type of designer, graphic designers focus on the visual assets, for printed, published or digital media such as posters or brochures. They work with color, depth, typography and space to create visual concepts that best showcaseyour brand and the message you’re trying to communicate to your consumer.
Projects to hire a graphic designer for:
- Logos, letterheads, business cards
- Brochures, flyers, posters
- Magazines, books, catalogues
- Product packaging
- Custom typefaces
Toolkit: Photoshop, InDesign, Illustrator, tablet, sketchpad
Other names: Visual Designer, Brand Designer, Print Designer, Typographer
UX (User Experience)/UI (User Interface) Designer
UX/UI designers are concerned about how the product is laid out and how intuitive it is to interact with. They are focused on the user and ensuring the product is easy-to-use for the user. UX/UI designers work to make each screen or page has a logical flow, cohesive design and easy navigation. If you’re looking to hire a UX/UI Designer, check out 5 Steps to an Incredible Mobile UX/UI Design to prepare yourself for reviewing portfolios.
Projects to hire a UX/UI designer for:
- Landing pages
- Blog templates and themes
- Websites and mobile applications
- Style guide
Other names: Creative Architect, Web designer, Mobile designer, Information Architect, Usability Expert, UX/UI Developer
Motion designers, simply put, design graphics in motion for all digital platforms. These are the folks that bring images to life, from fun menu transitions to animated icons, they’re the artists of the “wow” moments. By bringing your graphics to life, motion designers make the products interesting and engaging for the user.
Projects to hire a motion designer for:
- Animated icons, logos and illustrations
- Product demos (animated versions, screen transitions)
Toolkit: AfterEffects, Core Composer, Flash, Origami
Other names: Animation Designer, Interaction Designer
Product designers are the jack-of-all-trades that are concerned with both the look and feel of the product. The role can vary from company to company. Product designers may have front-end coding skills, conduct user research, design visuals or prototype products. If a product designer is developing a physical product they may be referred to as an Industrial Designer. t the end of the day, product designers are there to solve a user problem.
Projects to hire a product designer for:
- Journey maps
- High-fidelity designs
Toolkit: Sketch, Principle, InVision, Origami
Now, Forget the Labels
Hard skills, a solid portfolio and good references can be a valuable measure of a designer’s abilities but in relatively new fields such as UX, UI and product design, candidates are coming from a myriad of backgrounds. So, when evaluating your candidates, make sure to pay attention to these traits:
- Demonstrated ability to turn ideas into tangible design solutions
- Excellent communication skills
- Demonstrated problem-solving skills
- Humility and empathy
- Collaborative skills
- Passion and curiosity
The boundaries between different types of designers are fluid so it’s important to ask yourself: What problems are you hiring this person to solve? What gap in your operational structure are you trying to fill? If you are a well-established firm, maybe you’re seeking to hire someone specifically to conduct user research (a skill of UX Designer) and if you’re a start-up, maybe you’re in need of a generalist (AKA ‘a unicorn’) who can design landing pages and create product demos. And when you’re ready to build your product, you’ll have a variety of options so make sure you know what app development service is right for you.
Amy Jackson, a UX and design talent agent, points out: “every time there is a change in our technology, there’s a push for designers in that technology and that pool of designers doesn’t even exist.” That’s why it can be dangerous to hire based on just background or skill set. So instead of posting that job ad listing education requirement, years of experience, software knowledge, describe the project or specific tasks your ideal candidate will accomplish and avoid missing out on someone who may not have “3+ years of design experience” but is perfect for the job.
Now that you’re ready to start hiring, check out our article about why it’s important to create an MVP for your business.