Why big companies hire more designers?
If you watch the latests statistics you will notice that the big tech giants such as Uber, IBM, Dropbox hire more and more designers. Statistically speaking, their ratios (designer to engineer) has increased from 1:27 to 1:8 on average.
This ratio shows that design thinking is not a buzzword anymore. Companies are willing to invest in hiring more designers who can help their company. In a constantly evolving world, where everything changes almost every day, you need people who not only can keep up with change, but also be the leader of change. A world where traditional advertising no longer works, companies start realising that they need something else. They need people who can truly understand what their customers want and need. Besides the fact that designers are seen as pretty makers, designers serve as problem solvers who can help improve your product and company.
Companies like IDEO preach design thinking for years and Harvard Business Review dedicated an entire magazine to it in 2015. And we all start seeing the need of implementing design thinking and hire more designers. But why should we hire more designers?
They are empathetic. Good designers have the ability to share and understand the feelings of your users or customers. Because they do not design a product for their own needs but from the perspective on how to enhance the end users experience. When a new feature is developed or a new service is added they think if it will really help your customer with anything. Or how your customer will feel when you remove a certain feature of your product. Because of all this clutter nowadays, people want to be heard and understood. They want to be valued as a customer. And a designer can help you with that.
Their creativity does not have boundaries. Rebels, who hate routine. They will not come with market or competitor analysis and present everything in a boring spreadsheet. No, they will come with a visual, creative and captivating way to present things. It will give you a new perspective to look at things and better understand your customers. Sometimes it may sound intimidating or weird when they come up with all these new ideas for your business, but it’s because they are truly passionate about their craft and really want to help you create a great product. You can join the fun and be part of their creative process. And truly see how it works and what to do next.
They can create beautiful experiences for your customers. Nowadays, people do not look at your unique selling points or your features. They look at how exactly it can make their life better. So they focus on showing what amazing person they can become by using your product or service. Designers do not think about your product in terms of who and what part owns. They do not care that someone is responsible for customer support and somebody for developing the new feature. Designers think of your product as an entire experience. From the first time, they come in touch with your product to the moment they bought the product and how they feel about it. In this cluttered era, what truly sets a company apart is the user experience. (link to the article)
They can make your product easier to use. By nature, their brain is wired to make things simpler and easier to use. Because before committing an entire team to build something, they can test and understand if it really adds value to your product and does it make it easier to use. This can be a big competitive advantage because nowadays the software we use on a daily basis is not the best.
They can design a company culture. This may sound strange at first, but yes. Because of their ability to understand people, they can help you design a culture of constant innovation. A place where everybody enjoys working together and it’s fun. They can help to truly define the identity of your company and adapt internally around it. Designers by nature need to study the history of a problem before starting to work on improving it. So they will study what exactly was the problem in the past and help you design your internal processes into something better.
They can help you make more money. Now to sum up all the points from above, yes, designers can help you make more money. Because if you truly understand your customer, you design & build a product specifically for their needs and create a unique buying experience, people will buy your product and recommend it to others. If you can create a user experience that is pleasant, invisible and can handle stress moments, people will buy it. We all want products that help us become better people. Like this, they will become part of your company’s tribe and continue to be loyal to your product.
So what should you do next? I would not say that you must start hiring designers straight away. Because sometimes the issue might be different. Your company may have different needs. Design thinking is a powerful thing nowadays, but you should also be careful on how and where you implement it. You have to clearly define your goals first and then start acting on them. But in the end, by hiring the right designers, the results will be rewarding for both your company and your customer.