I like your process, most of the time getting to know a designer isn't just about reading their résumé and looking at their portfolio. The thought process behind the design is super important as well.
Thanks for sharing, it was super insightful.
Ironic that reading this you mention "Dribbblization" in design. Yet you fail to realize you're doing the exact same thing by constraining a designer to 60 minutes to complete wireframes, user flows, concepts and execute visuals without any prior knowledge of the problems. Make it pretty and have zero substance, such a pointless exercise.
I mean come on "GoPro needs a new app" in 60 minutes. Oh ya and while you're at it fix "Google Enterprise Sales Funnel" in 60 minutes. How about curing cancer in 20 and spending the other 40 to stopping hunger.
Awful. I hope you at least compensate the poor interviewees that spend time on this pointless exercise.
We do not expect the candidate to deliver visuals, nor "complete" wireframes and user flows. We're mostly looking to see designer's ability to 1) analyse the problem, user needs, business needs 2) conceptualise it in a product 3) communicate it effectively. If your organisation has a better way to do it, I'd love to hear more about it!
Interview them, don't have them create spec work, ask them questions, put them on a trial with a small paid project. There are so many other ways than giving these ridiculous scenarios. ex: "how would you redesign Amazon.com..."
How could you even answer that it would take 45min just to find the pain points, bottle necks and red routes.
Assuming that the assessor knows what those are.
All you're doing is exposing unrealistic project scopes in unrealistic timeframes.
At companies trying to solve complex issues (especially with technology) engineers are expected to perform coding/logic puzzles, pair coding sessions and other ways that test their ability to navigate complex abstract challenges.
Why would it be different for designers? I see a lot of "spec work!" tantrum baloney when hiring exercises are discussed. Company's doing cool shit need to have standards really high—it's BETTER for you in the long run to work with heavy thinkers who get shit done. Designers should be tested just like anyone else on the engineering floor.
Design problems take more than 3 sentence briefs and 60 minutes to find an solution to.
To your "heavy thinkers" point - they're probably the ones that identify these exercises as being spec work and run the other direction.
I agree a 60 minute whiteboard session seems like a poor method of assessment (doesn't accurately reflect real projects)
Developers are expected to do logic challenges to demonstrate their skill. Why wouldn't designers do the same? Why is it good for engineering org to challenge its candidates? Ironically, running away from this type of challenge demonstrates a lack of end-to-end thinking... which in itself probably invalidates a candidate.
Why are you forcing a comparison between hiring an engineer and a designer. They are two very different hiring processes, but i'm sure you understand that completely with your "end-to-end" thinking.
I chuckled when you made the joke about fixing "Google Enterprise Sales Funnel" in 60 minutes... then I read the article.
While some are good, most of the 17 exercises are too complex to solve under 60 minutes. Even the exercises that are easier than these would take about 15+ minutes just to understand and frame the problem. The better ones are the ones that are general and don't requires any domain knowledge such as your NYC Metrocard and Garbage exercises. Not everyone knows a lot about obesity or e-ink or audiobooks. And GoPro and Google Funnels? Unless they have worked on very similar products. It's one thing if you want to challenge the designers to solve problems in an unknown domain, but 60 minutes won't take you anywhere.
Also, all technologies must be viable for use today, isn't really a thoughtful constraint. More like the NYC Metro machine doesn't accept coins.
I agree, there are some exercises that might be more challenging for the 60-minutes framework. We preferred to share as many as possible so everyone can adjust it for her needs.
Broad exercises are used more indeed and they are working well for us so far :) However, I believe there is value in challenging designers with problems they are not necessarily having a domain knowledge in
Wonderful, just what the design world needs more garbage solutions from the dev world just as people who hire devs are waking up to how awful whiteboarding is we get loudmouths from the design world championing it. Even with a sodding Traveling Salesman problem of all things...
Rather than angrily dismissing this, how about clarifying your comment by constructively suggesting a better alternative?
As a senior member of a product design team part of my job is to help evaluate new candidates and understand whether or not they will truly bring benefit to the team. I see plenty of polished CVs and portfolios that make candidates seem great on paper, but in real life they're often quite different.
One issue with relying solely on a traditional interview is that it's a weird environment to get to know someone. Clearly getting to know a person is a vital part of knowing if they're a good hire. Involving the candidate in more relaxed, informal discussions around a design problem can help everyone to relax and people's true personalities begin to shine through.
Also, I see plenty of candidates who talk well in an interview setting, but when presented with a design problem it becomes obvious that their interview comments are based on theory - not experience.
Surely it's much fairer to gain this deeper understanding of a candidate before offering them a position rather than hiring and only discovering the gaps in their knowledge when it's too late? In many product teams the designers are given huge amounts of responsibility and it seems only prudent to ensure that new hires are able to cope with that.
Is the test run remotely? Are they getting paid for committing to a 90 min interview? I would expect that since these guys are investing so much of their time without even knowing if it's a good company to work for. And if they are supposed to come to your office, then it's even more than 90 minutes. During the course of the 90 minutes, I would also expect the manager who is interviewing to undergo some sort of testing, so that the candidate could see if he's dealing with a good functional team or not.
Those exersices are performed on-site and not remotely.
At this point candidates already know about the company and the specific department they are interviewed to.
They also meet their potential team mates before this exercise is performed, so they have context in order to decide if they are interested in being part of the team.