Building a Design Function

Audrey Crane is a Partner at DesignMap, and has worked with companies like Salesforce, Docker, NetApp, and eBay over her 25 years in tech. In this guide, she explains how to build out a design function, including how many designers you need, what skills to look for in a hire, and how to leverage third-party design firms.

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Questions covered in this guide:

Why do software companies need to invest in design?

Why does design matter for B2B products?

How many designers do you need? 

How does design fit in with and overlap with product and engineering?

What are the different skillsets within design?

What skills are most important for an early design hire?

How should you evaluate design candidates during hiring?

When and how should you use an external design firm?

How should you keep design fresh and consistent?

What types of design standards or documentation should software companies develop?

What are the key tools in the design tech stack?

What are the most important pieces to get right?

What are the common pitfalls?

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