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Future of Design in Start-Ups Survey 2017

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We launched the Future of Design in Start-Ups survey last year to set a baseline for how design operates in the tech ecosystem and also to begin to track what value is created by design in fast growing companies.

This year, we asked some of the same questions from 2016 to create a trailing data set. We also wanted to dig into the nitty gritty of design teams (structures, salaries, etc.) and squint at where design might be going within start-ups in the future (new skills, new mediums, etc.).

We heard responses from over 350+ companies and this is a summary of what was shared. A sincere thank you to all those that responded!

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Future of Design in Start-Ups Survey 2017

  1. 1. Future of Design in Start-Ups: 2017 Results
  2. 2. We launched the Future of Design in Start-Ups survey last year to set a baseline for how design operates in the tech ecosystem and also to begin to track what value is created by design in fast growing companies. This year, we asked some of the same questions from 2016 to create a trailing data set. We also wanted to dig into the nitty gritty of design teams (structures, salaries, etc.) and squint at where design might be going within start-ups in the future (new skills, new mediums, etc.). We heard responses from over 350+ companies and this is a summary of what was shared. A sincere thank you to all those that responded!
  3. 3. FUTURE OF DESIGN SURVEY 2017 3 Software Hardware + Software Healthcare CPG Fashion Media Hardware Consulting Other 62% 10% 6% 3% 3% 2% 1% 2% 11% Here’s a Breakdown of Who Responded: Geography Size Funding B2C or B2B Industry Respondents were representative of all stages of growth, funding levels, across major start-up markets, and across all product types. The survey consisted of 60 questions which explored perceptions of design’s value, team structures, collaboration best practices, and future trends in technology. No Funding <$1m $1-5m $5-20m $25-50m >$50m 0-10 11-20 21-50 51-150 151-500 500+ SF NY Rest of US Europe Rest of World 27% 38% 35% 6% 34% 14% 19% 8% 19% 17% 10% 20% 23% 20% 9% 26% 24%23% 14% 13% B2C - Consumer B2B - Enterprise B2B2C - Both
  4. 4. FUTURE OF DESIGN SURVEY 2017 4 A Quick Note About How We Cut The Data: 2. “Design Mature”: For the most part we looked at the data through the lens of growth, using headcount as a proxy for stage of growth. We also looked at it for some questions through the lens of how ‘Design-Mature’ a company is and used these criteria: 1. By Growth Stage = Headcount Early (0-50 Employees) Mid (50-300 Employees) Late (300+ Employees) • $25M+ in funding AND • 20+ designers on staff and/or Designer Founder Design Mature = Everyone Else
  5. 5. 1 DESIGN & BUSINESS Is it important and/or necessary for designers to engage with the business? And if so, how? 2 DESIGN TEAMS How are design teams evolving? What are best practices for collaboration with product and engineering? 3 DESIGNERS IN THE FUTURE What are the key emerging skills and trends for designers squinting at emerging tech? WHAT’S INSIDE:
  6. 6. Right Brain, Please Meet Left Brain DESIGN & BUSINESS1
  7. 7. 95% of all respondents believe that designers should be involved directly in the business. The Significance of Business for Design These were the business factors that everyone felt were critical: 91% 84% 78% 67% Product Roadmap Strategy Company Strategy Retention/Engagement Metrics Conversion Metrics 55% 45% 35% 34% Funnel Acquisition Metrics Revenue Model Financial Metrics (i.e. Revenue, Margin etc.) Resource Allocation 01 / DESIGN & BUSINESS 7FUTURE OF DESIGN SURVEY 2017
  8. 8. Tim Riley - Senior Director of Digital Experience @ WARBY PARKER Ultimately everything a design team does has consequences (both good and bad) for a business. The more you know about the business and its goals/ intentions, the better a design team is positioned to deliver good experiences and results for the business. “ “ Rochelle King - Global VP Product Design and Insights @ SPOTIFY Randy J. Hunt - Head of Design @ ARTSY Design is an expression of strategy, so designers need to understand the business.“ “ Jessica Karle - Digital Product Lead @ EVERLANE “ “Designers are empowered to do their best work when they understand the context of the business goals and how a product fits into the holistic company strategy. With that context they can create an experience that meets customer and business goals. Why a particular design solution is being developed should always be framed around how it will impact the business. That includes improving user experience, sharpening the brand identity, and connecting with the audience. All of those activities are in service of moving the business forward. Designers who don’t have a relationship with the business will have a hard time understanding how to create impactful solutions. “ “
  9. 9. How Design Moves the Needle Design Mature companies believe that design moves the needle more in Sales, Engagement, and Retention, than do their peers. Increase In Sales Increase in Brand Awareness Faster Product Cycles 67% 41% 81% 45% Increase in Customer Retention Higher Company Valuation 62% 48% 39% 17% Increase In Customer Engagement 86% 48% 56% 35% Design Mature Everyone Else 01 / DESIGN & BUSINESS 9FUTURE OF DESIGN SURVEY 2017
  10. 10. 1. NPS 11% of companies reported using NPS as a key metric for measuring design’s impact. For those unfamiliar, NPS (Net Promoter Score) asks the question of customers: “How likely is it that you would recommend [insert company] to a friend (or colleague)?” It is used primarily as a gauge of customer satisfaction and sentiment. EXAMPLE: “The only design-centric metric we measure is NPS. However, we’re looking into more specific metrics like SUS and SUPR-Q.” Measurement of Design’s Impact Is Still Fuzzy 2. Cross-Functional Metrics Many companies reported using a basket of metrics from other cross-functional partners. EXAMPLES: “Design tends to be measured through their associated teams metrics (product, marketing, etc.).” “Design contributes to larger team KPIs such as conversion and engagement.” “The design team KPIs are often merged with (or a part of) the line of business KPIs—so designs that serve the retail team or the core product—are measured as part of the success of the product as a whole.” “Qualitative and quantitative measurement. What users are saying (research, NPS) and what they are doing (analytics based on user conversion of desired objectives).” 3. Straight Product Metrics Other companies said that their success is directly linked to Product team success measurement: EXAMPLES: “We’re tightly coupled with product so success of product = success of design” “KPIs are not design-team specific, but product KPIs include design aspects.” “Everything we do is measured. If it’s on the web/app, we break it down by certain action oriented metrics big and small (conversion, add to cart rates, general “engagement” with a feature.) When we see these metrics move in a positive way we know that we are delivering value for our customers.” 53% of companies reported not having design-specific KPIs. There were 3 primary methods reported: 01 / DESIGN & BUSINESS 10FUTURE OF DESIGN SURVEY 2017
  11. 11. CEOs Value Design, And Most Everyone Thinks That’s Positive. 71% of companies think that CEO involvement in design is a good thing. CEO plays a role in design for 86% of companies. How Do CEOs Play A Role In Design? 51% 2% 28% 6% 12% Regular Design Reviews Only Major Launches Product Design Only Brand Design Only None of the Above 01 / DESIGN & BUSINESS 11FUTURE OF DESIGN SURVEY 2017
  12. 12. Enterprise and Consumer Co’s View Design Similarly Now Somewhat Surprising: Enterprise vs, Consumer companies are no longer different when it comes to design. Companies perceive, invest, and operate in design in similar ways. 45% 54% 54% 53% 82% 84% 57% 56% 60% 85% 49% 31% 29% 88% 92% 97% Enterprise Consumer Separate Brand/ Marketing Design Team Product and Brand Designers Report to Same Boss Did You Use An Outside Agency? Do you Plan to Increase Designer Headcount? My Company is a Design-Centric Company CEO Weighs in on Design Designers on Founding Team Important for Designers to Interact with Business 01 / DESIGN & BUSINESS 12FUTURE OF DESIGN SURVEY 2017
  13. 13. Who’s Really In Charge Here? DESIGN TEAM GROWTH2
  14. 14. Design Has A Broad Remit... Design has an expansive definition in start-ups with multiple disciplines represented. Design sits within product in many organizations. It is much more common however, for the design team to be standalone in Design Mature companies. ... and is Closest to Product. What Types of Designers Do You Have On Your Team? 71% 57% 54% 52% 36% 28% 24% 20% 10% 6% 3% Product Designer UX Designer UI/Visual Designer Marketing/Brand Designer Front-End Developer Copywriter User Researcher Illustrators Motion Graphics Industrial Designer Environments/Retail Designer Structure of Teams Design Team Is Standalone Design Sits In Product Design Team Sits In Engineering Squads or Pods 26% 39% 8% 27% 39% 22% 11% 28% Design Mature Everyone Else 23% 43% 11% 24% NEAT FACT: Writing is a key design team role now. Overall 02 / DESIGN TEAMS 14FUTURE OF DESIGN SURVEY 2017 02 / DESIGN TEAMS
  15. 15. Early Mid Late Most Teams Structured As Squads/Pods Are Organized By Product Initiative By Product Initiative Customer Journey By Platform Other Breakdown By Stage of Growth: SURPRISING: 38% of companies reported having remote design team members 61% 13% 13% 13% 70% 10% 10% 10% 88% 12% 02 / DESIGN TEAMS 15FUTURE OF DESIGN SURVEY 2017 02 / DESIGN TEAMS
  16. 16. No PMs Designers serve as product managers 1:10 1:4 1:2 1:1 Early Stage Mid Stage Late Stage Designer to PM Ratio Mostly Stays Below 1:4 Ratio of Designers to Project The ratio of Designers to PMs varies by stage, but is generally at parity, Somewhat surprisngly however, many early-stage co’s have designers who serve as PMs. Almost 1/4 of early stage companies don’t have PMs. 02 / DESIGN TEAMS 16FUTURE OF DESIGN SURVEY 2017 02 / DESIGN TEAMS
  17. 17. Best Practices Overheard For Design + Product: 1. Be clear on accountability: • Product is accountable for business needs • Design is responsible for user needs and overall experience 2. Prototype early and often. 3. Narrow the gap between design and development, which product can help facilitate. Start the collaboration as early as possible. 17FUTURE OF DESIGN SURVEY 2017 02 / DESIGN TEAMS
  18. 18. Karyn Campbell- Senior Design Manager @ ETSY We help our product partners organize planning through design sprints, as well as creating visions and prototypes for the future. As a design lead, I often help my colleagues ask the right questions, about the right customers, before jumping to solutions. Once we’re aligned on the problems, we empower designers to create north star experiences that guide their teams’ long-term work. “ “ Conor McGauflin - VP of Design @ CODECADEMY Head of Design has weekly 1:1 with Product, and sits on executive team. Product Pods run design sprints where PM and Product designer are collaborating on key decisions. Finally my Design Team works on a North Star project once a year that prototypes the next year - this work often makes its way into the roadmap “ “ Head of Design @ Large B2BC Company Design is a peer organization to Product Management and Engineering. One representative from each group is the triad responsible for roadmapping. “ “ 02 / DESIGN TEAMS 18FUTURE OF DESIGN SURVEY 2017 02 / DESIGN TEAMS
  19. 19. 1:10 1:5 1:4 1:2 1:1 1:7 Early Stage Mid Stage Late Stage Designer to Engineer Ratio Continues to Trend Down Ratio of Designers to Engineers: In general, the ratio of designers to engineers stays below 1:7, except for the later stage companies where the ratio increases dramatically. 80% of companies report working in an agile environment Should Designers Code? 6% 65% 26% Yes No Depends 02 / DESIGN TEAMS 19FUTURE OF DESIGN SURVEY 2017 02 / DESIGN TEAMS
  20. 20. • Document ALL decisions • Sit TOGETHER • Bring engineers in EARLY • Know some coding to understand constraints and the engineer’s language • Pick collaboration tools wisely (e.g. Zeplin, Avocode, etc.) • Cross-functional teams built intentionally are the most successful Best Practices Overheard For Designers + Engineers: 02 / DESIGN TEAMS 20FUTURE OF DESIGN SURVEY 2017 02 / DESIGN TEAMS
  21. 21. Brand and Marketing Design Teams Are On The Rise Companies are building branding and marketing teams separate from product design teams. As companies get larger, the brands teams start to split with regards to who they report to in the organization. Brand/Marketing And Product Design Report Up To Shared Leadership 26% 73% 86% Early Mid Late 79% 42% 23% Early Mid Late Have Separate Brand Marketing Team 26% 73% 86% Early Mid Late 79% 42% 23% Early Mid Late 02 / DESIGN TEAMS 21FUTURE OF DESIGN SURVEY 2017 02 / DESIGN TEAMS
  22. 22. Co’s Are Continuing to Invest in Design Team Growth Over 80% of companies reported that they plan to grow their design teams up from 70& from last year in 2016. Most are looking to add 1-5 designers in 2018. Overall 1-2 3-5 5-10 10+ Don’t plan to increase 54% Late 37% 23% 20% 9% 11% Mid 42% 32% 2% 5% 19% 21% 4% 3% Early 68% 13% 1% 19%18% 02 / DESIGN TEAMS 22FUTURE OF DESIGN SURVEY 2017 02 / DESIGN TEAMS
  23. 23. Product Designers are Still Most Wanted Early Mid Late 46%Product Designer 13%Design Director/Lead 32%UX Designer 38%UI/Visual Designer 26%User Researcher 27%Front-End Developer 29%Marketing Brand Designer 59%Product Designer 23%Design Director/Lead 32%UX Designer 28%UI/Visual Designer 36%User Researcher 15%Front-End Developer 33%Marketing Brand Designer 71%Product Designer 63%Design Director/Lead 71%UX Designer 71%UI/Visual Designer 66%User Researcher 57%Front-End Developer 54%Marketing Brand Designer RISD 36 Parsons 29 Carnegie Mellon 27 Stanford 26 Art Center College of Design 22 SVA 22 NYU-ITP 17 CCA 15 U.Wash Seattle 14 MICA 13 Georgia Tech 5 RECRUITING: These were the most popular schools to hire from (by mention): • Everyone is looking for product designers. • User Researchers also become popular at Mid-Stage. • The majority of Late-Stage co’s are in need of a senior design leader. 02 / DESIGN TEAMS 23FUTURE OF DESIGN SURVEY 2017 02 / DESIGN TEAMS
  24. 24. Design Leadership Hierarchy is Complex There are lots of different design leadership titles. The most prevalent are the Head of Design and Director of Design titles at most companies. As companies get larger, fewer design leaders report directly to the CEO, while Design Mature companies maintain that relationship. Take note. C-Level (Chief Design Officer) VP of Design Director of Design Head of Design Design Lead Design Manager Senior Designer Designer 6% 10% 27% 23% 11% 5% 8% 8% Mid 15% 3% 10% 22% 13% 3% 3% 18% Early Late 6% 14% 26% 26% 17% 6% 3% 0% Overall Early Mid Late Design Mature 42% 58% 28% 26% 43% Title of Most Senior Designer Reports to CEO or Founder 02 / DESIGN TEAMS 24FUTURE OF DESIGN SURVEY 2017 02 / DESIGN TEAMS
  25. 25. What is Product Design? • Product design is the practice of designing the entire user experience for digital software. • Exploration, definition and crafting of experiences to unlock value for users through feature development, testing, and iterating. • The essential partner for Product and Engineering to craft an amazing experience. If Product articulates the ‘why’, and Engineering the ‘how’, Product Design challenges both while owning the ‘what’ are we going build. • Defining how it works and how it feels. • The ability to go from fuzzy problem to final, high fidelity solution (through opportunity identification, generative research, project scoping, ideation, concept development, prototyping, user testing, system design, wireframing, and final visual design), thinking holistically across the user experience. • Understanding users’ pain points and solving them through research, facilitation, sketching, creating flows, visual design, and iteration. • Delivering a constantly evolving, constantly improving experience for customers (typically through digital experiences) backed by user research, analytics and product strategy. • “Product design” for is a complete lifecycle: research, design, build, and support. • Product design is understanding what will drive value for users, and being able to translate that into great experiences. This includes 1) concept articulation for the business, 2) low- fidelity prototyping for user research, and 3) high-fidelity design for engineering. • Product design here is the act of creating human solutions to digital problems. Product design works with the product and engineering teams to bring these solutions to the world in the form of websites and mobile applications. The question of what constitutes ‘Product Design’ is widespread. Below are some of the best answers we read. Commonalities include: • Focus on the very best end-to-end experiences • Iterative cycles utilizing multiple tools/methods • Deep partnerships with Product and Engineering 02 / DESIGN TEAMS 25FUTURE OF DESIGN SURVEY 2017 02 / DESIGN TEAMS
  26. 26. 02 / DESIGN TEAMS02 / DESIGN TEAMS Salaries for Designers Vary Widely By Stage We’re seeing broad ranges in salaries across stages, but the median shows a clear hierarchy of compensation. VP of Design Sr. Product Designer Product Designer Jr. Product Designers TITLE EARLY STAGE MID-STAGE LATER STAGE $150k $115k $90k $75k MEDIAN SALARIES $200k+ (23) $50-75k (18) $200k+ (1); $50-75k (22) $150-175k (3); $50-75k (30) $125k-150k (4); $50-75k (58) RANGE VP of Design Sr. Product Designer Product Designer Jr. Product Designers TITLE $110k $100k $90k $70k MEDIAN SALARIES VP of Design Sr. Product Designer Product Designer Jr. Product Designers TITLE $160k $125k $105k $75k MEDIAN SALARIES VP of Design Sr. Product Designer Product Designer Jr. Product Designers TITLE $175k $140k $115k $85k MEDIAN SALARIES OVERALL 26FUTURE OF DESIGN SURVEY 2017 02 / DESIGN TEAMS
  27. 27. Design Tools Are Continuing to Proliferate 88% 77% 62% 55% 36% 29% Sketch Invision Adobe Illustrator Adobe Photoshop Zeplin Principle 40% 20% 11% 9% 3% 3% Jira Trello Asana Github Clubhouse Pivotal Tracker 23% 14% 9% 54% 63% FullStory Hotjar Other/None % of Teams Conducting User Research Design Tools Design Ticketing User Testing 20%Abstract There is a ton of activity in the design tools space. Digital user testing products are still not however fully pervasive. 12% 32% 46% Early Mid Late SIDE NOTE: Surprisingly, very few co’s conduct qual user research. % of Co’s That Conduct Qualitative User Research 02 / DESIGN TEAMS 27FUTURE OF DESIGN SURVEY 2017 02 / DESIGN TEAMS
  28. 28. Lots of Design Help From The Outside Early • Branding • Marketing/Creative Campaign Design • Packaging Design • Product Design Mid • Marketing/Creative Campaign Design • Branding • Product Design • User Research Late • Marketing/Creative Campaign Design • Branding • User Research • Product Design What Do Companies Use Agencies For? (by mention) Uses External Support 50% 46% 54% Mid Early Late Companies are still going to the outside for design help, but primarily for marketing and 02 / DESIGN TEAMS 28FUTURE OF DESIGN SURVEY 2017 02 / DESIGN TEAMS
  29. 29. Diversity in Design Overview Diversity in general was broadly defined as critical to delivering better design. Some quotes: “It means building a team with diverse perspectives that are shaped by gender, race, ethnicity, religion, and culture.” “We look at diversity not only from demographics, but also from life experiences (e.g. grew up in a rural v.s. urban v.s. suburban area, associates v.s. bachelors v.s. no formal education v.s. degree in a discipline other than design).” “Diversity is essential in bringing not only a varied understanding of our subject matter (which is deeply personal and often stems from what’s learned at home) as well as diverse experiences — it’s more important to us to have a range of minds thinking about a problem than several with the ‘right’ degree or alma-matter. It means we can deliver better design.” 1. Gender Diversity 51% 33% 16% Higher Male Ratio Higher Female Ratio Equal Ratio 2. Ethnicity (% of companies with representation) 3% 54% 17% 26% 86% American Indian / Alaskan Native Asian African American Hispanic White 49% of Design Teams reported having an equal or higher female to male ratio. (We posed this question to be inclusive of all gender identification identities.) 02 / DESIGN TEAMS 29FUTURE OF DESIGN SURVEY 2017 02 / DESIGN TEAMS
  30. 30. Who’s Most Admired for Design? Startups Admired For Design Airbnb 43 Stripe 20 Slack 19 Intercom 17 Spotify 12 Invision 11 Dropbox 11 MailChimp 9 Casper 9 Headspace 7 Figma 6 Square 6 Robinhood 6 WeWork 6 Pinterest 5 Uber 5 Asana 4 Medium 4 Tesla 4 Warby Parker 4 Atlassian 4 Glossier 3 Typeform 3 Outdoor Voices 3 Shopify 3 VSCO 3 Oscar 3 Mapbox 3 Collective Health 3 Thinx 2 Duolingo 2 Care/of 2 Apple 2 Instacart 2 Ranking By Mention: By several orders of magnitude, Airbnb is hands down the most admired start-up for design. Followed by 3 enterprise co’s. We found the prevalence of B2B or B2B2C companies in the Top 10 refreshing. 02 / DESIGN TEAMS 30FUTURE OF DESIGN SURVEY 2017 02 / DESIGN TEAMS
  31. 31. We’re Not in Kansas Anymore DESIGNERS IN THE FUTURE3
  32. 32. Designer Skills in the Future: THE NEAR FUTURE: Greater Management and Business Skills Please: When asked what are the most critical skills for designers to learn in the next 2-3 years, the basics were business, followed by communication, and softer people based soft skills. Some hard skills were mixed in, such as writing and data science. 22 16 12 11 10 7 7 6 6 5 Skills - NEAR FUTURE: (by mention) Business Communication People Skills / Emotional Intelligence Writing - Copywriting AR Design Data Science Empathy for End User Facilitation Skills Management Skills Service Design 32FUTURE OF DESIGN SURVEY 2017 03 / DESIGNERS IN THE FUTURE
  33. 33. Designer Skills in the Future: FURTHER OUT: 51 21 17 13 13 12 11 9 9 9 Writing - Conversation Design, Tone, Script AI / ML Principles and Constraints Data Science Empathy for End User Storytelling Sound Design Scenario Design / Service Design Ethics / Bias Psychology - Behavioral Systems Design Some New Expertise Needed: When asked what are the most critical skills for designers to learn in a landscape of new emerging tech, such AI, ML, voice, etc. the focus was very different. Very interestingly, the skills of a designer may have to expand to include conversation design, data science, sound design, scenario design, and behavioral psychology. Additionally, ethics and bias entered into the picture. Skills - FURTHER OUT: (by mention) 33FUTURE OF DESIGN SURVEY 2017 03 / DESIGNERS IN THE FUTURE
  34. 34. Where Will Design Play A Big Role Next? What Spaces are Most Ripe for Design? 73% 51% 46% 41% 38% 37% 33% 28% AI / ML Enterprise Software Financial Services / Insurance Hardware / IOT eCommerce Robotics Mobile Voice Retail Squinting At What’s Next: In looking at where design could play a potentially outsized role in the coming years, AI/ML topped the list. This was followed by Enterprise and Financial Services / Insurance, which are areas traditionally not touched by designers in the past, but are rapidly undergoing change due to design’s role. More consumer facing spaces such as e-com and retail also made the list. 34FUTURE OF DESIGN SURVEY 2017 03 / DESIGNERS IN THE FUTURE
  35. 35. Designers Can Create Impact Internally Product Decisions and Roadmap 95% 86% Company Culture 81% 58% Workflow Process 81% 68% Customer-Centric Decisions 71% 73% Hiring 62% 41% Mission/Values 62% 44% Marketing Decisions 57% 61% Engineering Decisions 57% 59% Employee Experience 52% 36% Business Decisions 52% 33% Organizational Structure 48% 21% Design Mature Everyone Else What Do Designers Influence In Your Company? It seems that designers impact multiple parts of an organization and not just design and product workstreams. More Design Mature co’s have design weigh in across the board from the Product Roadmap to the org structure. 35FUTURE OF DESIGN SURVEY 2017 03 / DESIGNERS IN THE FUTURE
  36. 36. • Design does not communicate its value in terms of business goals. People don’t understand the role of design and when it should be brought into the process. • Lack of successful user research and communication barriers among levels up the org. • When we’re not brought into the process prior to kickoff; and we’re frequently so resource constrained that we can’t be utilized on all initiatives. • When steps in the process are skipped or overwrought. When people spin their wheels without getting feedback/collaboration from others. • Design iterations often seem irrelevant to critical engineering challenges and core efforts. The result is often the development of features / forms that aren’t super user friendly and the lost opportunity to change. • When there are too many cooks in the kitchen with varying fluency in design. And when design debates become subjective and opinion-based vs. data driven. • When we start feeling like A/B test results are more important than our own intuition, or when the product becomes so complicated that no one can explain why a decision was made however many months ago. • When there isn’t research or data to back up ideas / decisions. • Design fails when designers are asked to implement a solution instead of design a solution based on a problem. • If design or designers don’t have the holistic context for a problem, design in isolation, or are only focused on solving for a user challenge but not addressing the business need. When and Why Does Design Fail? Design fails in a company because of miscommunication or a lack of understanding of the value of design. 36FUTURE OF DESIGN SURVEY 2017 03 / DESIGNERS IN THE FUTURE
  37. 37. Communication And Time Management Are Key • Design fails when we’re not disciplined enough to know when to stop iterating and deliver for implementation • Design fails when we spend too much time over-thinking and designing the wrong things • Design fails when we’re brought in too late in the process • Design fails when there are too many cooks in the kitchen with varying fluency in design. And when design debates become subjective and opinion- based vs. data driven 37FUTURE OF DESIGN SURVEY 2017 03 / DESIGNERS IN THE FUTURE
  38. 38. With emerging technology such as AI, ML, and voice, designers will be called upon to marshal a broader set of inputs and outputs. On the input side, utilizing data to design ‘scenarios’ and ever complicated decision trees and experiences, will be necessary. On the output side, less ‘visual’ mediums such as script writing and sound design will be key for designers to understand. The demand for design talent is unyielding. Salaries are rising and even junior designers are able to command healthy compensation. Additionally, the next generation of design leaders will need to mature quickly to service the demand of growing large- scale design teams in high- growth companies. The rise of the enterprise design team, both in scale and influence has reached maturity, led by B2B2C companies primarily (e.g. Stripe, Square, etc.) This will make talent even more in demand, but will also ultimately mean design will make it’s way to every corner of the start- up ecosystem and create a new generation of design leaders. 1 2 3Design Is Going To Get Broader... Yet Again with Emerging Tech. Design Talent Needs See No Immediate Ceiling. Enterprise Design Teams Are Here To Stay. Will Eventually Redesign Everything. The discipline of ‘product design’ will continue to be refined in it’s definition and role within a company vis-à-vis traditional product management and engineering. The design team as ‘service bureau’ within a start- up, will become outmoded, as designers embrace what it means to be the keeper of the entire end-to-end journey and weighing that against business needs. 4 Design Will Continue To Grow Closer And Closer To Product. HIGH-LEVEL SUMMARY 38FUTURE OF DESIGN SURVEY 2017 03 / DESIGNERS IN THE FUTURE
  39. 39. We did this in collaboration and with support from a diverse set of design leaders. Thank you for leading the way:
  40. 40. “ “Design has moved the needle for us in two ways. First, in the user-centered design of our physical products. It’s the side of Casper that has made for success that lasts. We wouldn’t be a lovable brand without great products. Second, the design of every experience of our brand - from subway ads to emails to pop up experiences - has driven awareness to a topic that people otherwise wouldn’t care about. People engage with us because it’s fun to. It may sound silly, but we take a lot of care to design joy and fun into every experience. Eleanor Morgan - VP of Product and Experience Design @ CASPER
  41. 41. Thank You. Connect with us at: Email: Albert Lee / Design Partner - @tweetalbert Dayna Grayson / Partner - @daynagrayson Charlotte Dillon / Associate
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We launched the Future of Design in Start-Ups survey last year to set a baseline for how design operates in the tech ecosystem and also to begin to track what value is created by design in fast growing companies. This year, we asked some of the same questions from 2016 to create a trailing data set. We also wanted to dig into the nitty gritty of design teams (structures, salaries, etc.) and squint at where design might be going within start-ups in the future (new skills, new mediums, etc.). We heard responses from over 350+ companies and this is a summary of what was shared. A sincere thank you to all those that responded!


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