How to Build a Design Team: Tips, Strategies, Advice

A well-balanced, experienced, and talented design team can do wonders with even the most challenging projects. However, creating such a team is not an easy task. Each team member should be carefully selected, interviewed, and trained in-house to fit in and bring the greatest value to the company. If you feel intimidated by this task, keep on reading. We will share some helpful information and tips on hiring the most competent employees to a team of your dream. 

Key Positions to Fill

Your design team should consist of professionals with different skill sets and training because they will perform different functions. Let’s list the most important positions you need to fill to create a sufficiently staffed team:

  • UI/UX designers. These professionals perform preparatory work before front-end developers step in. They outline user expectations that should be met in a new product. Then, UI/UX designers create variants of an interface and select the best one for further development. When selecting UI/UX designers, pay attention to creativity, graphic design skills, open-mindedness, and communication skills. 
  • UX researcher. This team member analyzes user experiences and expectations by collecting data. For example, they can conduct interviews or surveys with potential or existing customers to ensure that the new product is relevant. 
  • Product designer. This professional’s duties overlap with those of UI/UX designers, but product designers focus on the broader picture and check whether the product meets the company’s business goals. 
  • Project manager. Your team needs a person who would monitor the work progress, make sure the deadlines are met, communicate with clients, and coordinate the work within a team. A project manager should be good at communicating with people, inspiring, and empowering them to perform to the best of their abilities.
  • Copywriter. Textual information is an essential part of any product, such as an app or a website. Therefore, you need a person who would create easy-to-understand, intelligent, and engaging texts. 

Some of the listed professionals can perform several duties simultaneously. If you want to create a small team, you can search for employees experienced in several areas of web design. They need to have excellent multi-tasking, time-management, and communication skills to meet your company’s goals. 

Team Size and Leadership

Another pressing issue that you should address is determining the optimal team size. The size of your web design team will depend on many factors. These include the size of your company, the type of projects you want to undertake, and the financial resources you have. Small startups usually cannot afford to have large design teams. As a result, they limit the number of employees to only a few people. If it’s your case, make sure you hire professionals who can perform several duties. If your company is large, you will likely have a bigger web design team where responsibilities are carefully divided. This will allow performing the work faster and delivering products of the highest quality. 

Bigger teams need better coordination of duties, which makes project managers indispensable. They make sure that the project doesn’t spiral out of control, facilitate communication, and ensure that everybody is well-aware of their duties and the company’s expectations. For smaller teams, leadership and management can take on a more informal tone. Design teams consisting of several people can be effectively managed without formal project managers.  

Best Strategies 

You are not the first one who needs to build a design team. Luckily, many companies are willing to share their expertise with others. For example, you can read Eleken’s article on creating web design teams. The recommendations presented in this article can save much time and help you avoid making costly mistakes. Below you can find more valuable tips. 

  • Make sure you reach a large number of prospective employees. The larger the initial pool of candidates, the more likely you’ll be to select qualified professionals. Use different recruitment strategies and platforms so that your pool will consist of diverse candidates. Quite often, you’ll need to interview dozens of people before finding at least several suitable candidates for the design team. 
  • Look for people who are truly interested and committed. A candidate who did their homework and learned much about your company before attending the interview will likely be dedicated and hard-working. Talk to the candidates about their values and work attitudes to make sure that they align with your expectations and the company’s mission. 
  • Hire people committed to ongoing learning. The ability and willingness to keep up with the latest trends in web design are the key characteristics you should be looking for in your candidates. Prioritize these features over experience and age.
  • Evaluate communication skills before hiring. Even the most talented and qualified professionals will not bring value to your company if they cannot fit in and communicate with team members. Make sure the people you hire possess excellent communication and conflict management skills. 

Teambuilding for Long-Term Success 

Don’t expect your team to bond and work effectively on its own. The company should continuously support team members by providing in-house training, instilling a positive culture, and fostering an atmosphere of mutual respect and support. Avoid developing a hierarchal culture, as it will only lead to competition, stress, and divisiveness. 

Evolving Teams 

Teambuilding is not a one-time task – it is a continuous process that implies letting some people go and hiring new team members. Be prepared that some employees will struggle to fit in and meet your expectations. Instead of allowing them to destroy the team’s morale, find new team members willing to invest more time and effort into your projects. Once you master this skill of maintaining well-functioning design teams, you can consider expansions. 

Summing Up 

Building, sustaining, and increasing a design team are long processes that don’t happen overnight. Be prepared for challenges along the way, but don’t be discouraged by them. If you are committed to creating a high-performing team, you will eventually find those sharing your beliefs and aspirations.

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