October 21, 2015 | 3min read
Full Stack Designers aboard!
Our Creative Team has been dynamically developing over the last three years. Within this time we have created methods and models which have greatly contributed to our success and growth. We have found three attributes especially important: the right designer’s profile, designers’ working methods and the quality of cooperation between designers and developers. What benefits could that bring to any company with an interdisciplinary team system? Read the blog post to get the answer.
To create a great consumer product an interdisciplinary team has to skillfully use the power of its different fields of expertise. I mean the combined work of backend and frontend developers, testers, project managers and – yes, who else? To design a product, conceptual, analytical and visual parts have to be completed and supported with user input. In some companies this scope of work is performed by different individuals. That is reflected in professional titles like: UX Designer, Information Architect, Interaction or Graphic Designer. In Polidea we have a different approach: most of the work is conducted by Full Stack Designers. Let’s take a closer look at who they are.
Full Stack Designers lead the whole design process – from an idea outline to the final product release. They possess a set of analytical and graphical skills. Their great sense of user experience derives from social science knowledge that is clearly demonstrated during workshops with clients and users. If they encounter something which is beyond their scope of skills they know whom to to ask for help and how to liaise to achieve the best results. The Full Stack Designer knows how to collaborate with the in-house team of developers and knows how to communicate with a client to acquire needed information. Being more than just a cog in the machine is what being full-stack is all about.
Does this set of skills sound like to much for one person? Believe me, it’s not. We’ve empirically proven that Full Stack Designers are desired employees these days. Here is why:
Context is key. By being in a project from the beginning till the end, designers are able to fully immerse in and control it. They understand the reasoning, motivations and limitations of particular operations. Having such broad perspective gives them the ability to stretch beyond constraints and improve the project at any stage of the process.
The subsequent stages of design are often inseparable, e.g. the screen layout structure with graphic design. To let one person embrace all means to let oneself freely flow through the interwoven design steps. The work isn’t linear, it can be refined by iterations. The gradual outcome shouldn’t be handed over from one designer to another; it consumes too much time and you lose the ability to create a consistent design.
A sense of ownership creates a sense of responsibility. As full time project members designers feel more engaged and attached, both with the product and the team. They simply care and don’t give up on enhancing the design solutions.
Full Stack Designers self progress is a constant process. They know how to diagnose, analyze and take an action to solve any problem. Their versatility doesn’t let them be categorized and assigned to a particular field, e.g. graphic design. They learn all the time and avoid routine. Such an approach boosts their creativity and foster their growth. They feel completely in their element when working in a company with a flat structure. Too many constraints can get them frustrated and diminish their abilities.
A Full Stack Designer is clearly a win-win model in our company. Our designers are the ones organizing research, creating wireframes, checking out UX patterns, organizing UI design, and generally making sure we aren’t ending up with stunningly beautiful apps that simply don’t have a purpose. My next blog post will be about full stack design process seen from different perspectives which are crucial in reaching understanding of the product development stage. So stay tuned – it will be interesting reading.
Head of Design