Designers create plans that other people follow to construct a product. You can read more about the plans themselves in design notes. This note is about the designer profession and hiring them.
You can divide design into four different layers:
- Problem Design: Can define what is the problem being solved.
- System Design: Can define the components of a system that solves the problem.
- Interaction Design: Can define how people will interact with the product.
- Graphic Design: Can define visuals e.g. layout, typography, iconography.
Designers have a score in each of them:
0 = does not understand at all 1 = has basics 2 = genius
You should look at the bigger picture. People emphasize graphic design, but you see ugly products succeed and beautiful products fail. For example, you cannot separate interaction and user interface design. So you will need a designer that knows interaction and user interface design. And you cannot design visuals if you do not understand the solution the team is working on.
So you want a designer like this: Problem: 1 System: 0 Interaction: 2 Graphic: 2
Graphical designers are part of a project in its every stage. Projects are frequently marketed using premade layouts. But designing the final layout and buying design components, like fonts, should be delayed as long as possible.
Premade Layout in the Offer -> To get the deal. If the project offer is accepted. -> Paper Prototype, for general layout. -> Wireframes, for interaction design. -> Mood Board, to show the visual style goal. -> Initial design, implementation may begin. -> Design at milestone x, requirements change, new components are added. ... -> Design at milestone y, requirements change. -> The final design, shipped.
Organize two design meetings each week. This is the time when designers request feedback from each other. Even better if they have their dedicated space for that duration.
Organize events exclusively for the designers.
- Designer tabletop gaming or beers evening once a week.
- Designer lunches twice a week.
- Designer studio; optional work area for designers from 9AM to noon.