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Switzerland Teamlead Joined about 6 years ago
In our department 10. additional 8 spread across the company and a lot more with external agencies. If considering only digital (software and services).
Design Leads, UX Designers, Visual Designer, User Researcher, UX Manager ... In our deparment, we have a flat hierarchy. All report to me legally, but mostly the Design Leads are coordinating work on projects. The other 8 are embedded in product/sales teams.
With other departments, we either fully support (internal agency style), pair up with the embedded designers or sometimes even just support coordination of externals. Depends on project. We have different co-working models. . Overall semi-centralized setup.
Company size as of last month: 29k globally. The exact dev:design ratio would be hard to know since a lot of the dev is done externally and I don't have the exact numbers there. But my best guess would be a 1:20 ration. Heavily working on improving that :)
Btw we are a hardware product company. Software and Services are new for us but envolving fast.
Great news! While talking collaboration, can I add Abstract style version control out-of-the-box to the wishlist?
one of the better articles I read on the whole design system topic. shows the challenges from a different perspective
Although the video you posted is a bit pushing it - the question is still a very very relevant one and good to be asked.
Fact is, that the sun can't always shine. There has to be rain. And even if we say there will be no global storm as in 2007 (because we are smarter now) it can very fast happen that there is a "local" crisis. It's even happening today (e.g. Venezuela, Turkey...). And it's good that one is prepared to some degree.
I guess there is no silver bullet, but I can share my thoughts, experience and pro-cations.
So, in how much in "danger" one is depends on his line of "design" work, location and industry. E.g.: when times get hard, some industries suffer more then others. People start cutting on not necessary expenses. Like vacations, going out, spa, construction... these business then try to cut cost as much as possible. Also on design. Now as they say: there is always a silver lining. Good companies know that good customer experience is their key differentiator. So if they want to ride it out, they have to invest here to get (or keep) their share of customers which now may run a bit more scare. They will still negotiate hard to get the best ROI, but they are prepared to invest.
How to prepare for this situation:
In case you are doing a lot of freelance visual design work for SMBs work hard on your relations (one should do that always - but still, pointing out). It will hit them first and they will look for options to go cheaper. Good relations are key that they will at least talk to you and not straight drop you. Be prepared you will have to lower you rates (but say it's temporary) and on your side optimize the process. If they pay less, they should be prepared to get less. E.g. instead of 5 iterations only 3. Good thing is, if you manage to "ride it out" with such clients, you will get even more business later on. Because the one that survive, they grow when sun shines again :) Note: I found it hard to acquire new clients in such situation in any other way then word of mouth.
If you are an employee in any size of a company, always ensure that having you around is good ROI. I will not write how, there's a lot of stuff out there on this topic. To make it short: solve real problems, be efficient, and show it off (e.g. after a project have make a presentation, show the business impact...). This also goes for freelancers, but I found that for internal employees it's somehow more relevant.
Be prepared to be versatile. Invest in yourself now, learn new things. Like the saying goes, it's not the strongest of the species that survives... It's the one that is most adaptable to change. In a crisis there is always some change. People are either exploring new business, dropping existing ones, org changes... And maybe in this you will get ask to do something you haven't yet or are not as comfortable with. E.g.: we need a PO but can't hire someone because of tight budget... can you jump in? Until now we done apps, we think we need AR stuff... can you do it? Can you work remote? Can you not work remote and actually come to the office?
Pro tip: People and companies panic when times are bad. Decisions are not often rational. Don't let that throw you of beat. Stay calm, breath, plan, execute. In my experience people like to be surrounded by steady rocks. And it just makes more sense to not panic :)
Now this is all from professional standpoint. There is also some financial stuff you should think about. Like: diversify your savings, always have enough reserve for few months, know exactly what cost you can slash in case of emergency...live lean. There is a lot of these tips written online. I will not go into deep. What I personally practice though and I don't see so often as advice is the following: Every year I take some time and think what all could go wrong with our (household) finances. E.g.: one looses his job... two loose it...our savings are gone due to emergency... our currency goes haywire... And then I make a rudimental plan how we would react in that case and see if we are prepared for it. If we are not, that's part of the financial objective for that year.
When I was a student our family was through a crisis. It hit me as a freelancer and even more our family business. Haven't we been so catch by surprise, it would have been half so hard.
When I moved with my GF to a new place, we were again hit with a rainy day - both were suddenly without a job. Just this time, we discussed before how we would react in such situation. The situation was still not nice and we had some not perfect sleep. But quite honestly, it was half as bad - every day when we woke up, we knew what to do and we did not panic. We went through it and sun started to shine again :)
Long story short: I don't believe anyone can answer if designers are per se in danger or not. Even less when there will be a crisis or recession or whatever. I also don't believe it matters. My advice is that one actually thinks about the possibility things can go wrong and is at least to some degree prepared for that.
Hope my half-essay is of any of help.
Note: I used a lot of "you". I meant any designer out there, not you as the one asking the question :)
As already mentioned in the comments: one will probably still need specialised tools for some things. But I definitely see Sketch covering the 80% of the needs. The rest, other tools just have to have a solid "handover" implemented, that a sketch prototype is taken as a start and then the designer needs to tweek the details he needs/wants.
For me the bigger question is the future of all the cloud solutions like InVision, Marvel, Zeplin... to which extend will Sketch Cloud replace them or will there will just better partnerships/integrations.
But would for sure love to be a bit less dependent on InVision!
Much more accurate. We also use Invision and I insisted on Inspect but my team convinced me that it‘s not mature enough and we ended up buying another year of Zeplin. Wonder if they can keep the lead for much longer...
Has somebody experience how this compares to the S an X? I mean they all have huge screens for interacting with the system and tesla is around since a while... I would expect they have learned smtg when it comes to HCI in cars
Awesome! But can we get it for on-prem also?
Same here. Still I manage to click on their links but at the millisecond I see this page I close the tab. I really what's the drop-off rate here...
I'm curious how others imagine doing that in case it's clearly stated in the role and people still suggest full time remote...
Same as you I also found it invaluable and can't imagine that it would be equally or better some other way. But maybe my imagination has a certain limit :)
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