More Designers, Better Design
Updated: Aug 15, 2019
When I look for my next job, the number one thing I will be looking for is the Design Maturity of the organization. When I think of companies that have design maturity, truthfully, the only one that comes to mind is Airbnb, but I know there must be others. Maybe Capital One?
Just because a company has a lot of designers, does not mean the company itself has a high design maturity. I am seeing this a lot lately in consumer apps at least. Google for example. According to LinkedIn, there are 6,644 people with Designer in their title working at Google. But I wouldn't say Google is a design driven company. It's led by engineers.
Capital One has 1,512 designers working at their company. Airbnb has 939. Apple has 7,802. Facebook has 2,767. Maybe I should look at percentages?
Airbnb 12,775/939 7.3% of the company is designers
Apple 212,970/7,802 3.6% of the company is designers
Capital One 53,092/1,512 2.8% of the company is designers
Google 176,327/6,644 3.8% of the company is designers
Facebook 52,863/2,767 5.2% of the company is designers
So Airbnb is the highest percentage of designers to total employees. Makes sense if they have a high design maturity. The Facebook number surprises me because I do not think of them as having a high design maturity.
But then I look at Amazon and Netflix and am surprised by Netflix.
Amazon 332,437/9,084 2.7% of the company is designers
Netflix 7,901/779 9.9% of the company is designers
So it would seem Netflix and Airbnb would be my top choices. Netflix is way too far away for me. About a 2 hour commute, so Airbnb would have to be my top choice. I like Airbnb, respect their mission and think they have high design maturity, but you never really know until you get inside a company.
I am seeing a lot more companies hiring designers, but I wonder if they understand why. I am not seeing design elevated in companies as I would expect with more designers being hired.