Kaishin Chu

Systems Thinker | Strategic Problem Solver | Experience Cultivator

Why Can’t Startups Find Designers? Don't go looking for unicorns…


I really like the below excerpt from the article:

According to Braden Kowitz, a unicorn is “a magical designer that can solve all [of a company’s] problems”.

If you’re looking for a designer who can come up with your identity, design your site, create UIs with great user experience for your web and mobile apps, and on top of that code his or her work in HTML/CSS (and why not throw in Javascript in the mix!), then I’m sorry to inform you that you’re hunting unicorns.

Unlike their mythical namesakes, unicorn designers do exist, but they were already in very short supply to begin with. The recent design boom means that your chances of hiring one of them are vanishingly small. Plus, if someone actually has all these skills they’re probably already busy building projects of their own.

So instead of looking for a unicorn, think about hiring a web designer who will focus on design, and a front-end engineer who will focus on code. Like WePay’s Aberman states, “When looking for a designer, you can’t have it all. You need to prioritize visual design, product design, front-end development, etc.”

If your budget doesn’t let you hire both, another option is to hire a horse and let them grow a horn on the job: find a good visual designer who’s also willing to learn front-end coding, or a great front-end enginner who wants to get better at design.

I’m one such animal, a unicorn in training 😉 just need to team up with the right company to grow that horn a some more.

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