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In Silicon Valley, designers emerge as rock stars (reuters.com)
11 points by tinio on Apr 14, 2012 | hide | past | web | favorite | 6 comments

From my perspective it isn't so much that designers are now "rock stars" (whatever that may be), but that more and more organisations are finally figuring out that their skills involve a lot more than just making something look pretty.

You'll be amazed at the number of people who still have that opinion. Hell - look at one of the subheadings used in the article "SCOUTING FOR ARTISTS" - designer != art!

The other big issue is just the raw numbers. There are dramatically fewer designers out there than developers - especially those who have a cross-section of the skills that the average startup is looking for. It's a good time to be a design generalist.

In fact, now that I think about it, some of the problems is that organisations still have that view of "the designer". Hiring that single person who is going to solve all of their problems. Companies that wouldn't hesitate to hire a DBA, a back-end dev and a front-end dev don't understand that they should be hiring a visual designer and an interaction designer (or whatever).

They haven't figured out a thing. This is just more hype, as was the frontend engineer push of 2010/2011.. hopefully some designers/engineers can make out well with all this attention, however. Preferably talented ones.

This is just more hype

As somebody who makes a chunk of their money from "designer" stuff (not visual design, but user research, interaction design & user testing) I don't think it is entirely hype.

Just like you get a lot more people now who get the difference between a technical co-founder and "just hiring some developer", I'm encountering more people who understand the value that design can bring to an organisation. The change is by no means widespread, but there do seem to be more people who "get it" than their used to be.

I wonder how this shortage will be solved. There's some cool solutions coming out in response to the dev shortage- for example, CodeYear. Perhaps similar resources will emerge for training future designers?

But I'm not sure how effective similar online programs would be. From my experience, teaching/learning design can be a lot more frustrating than teaching/learning code. Perhaps it's because design gets a lot more subjective at the advanced levels.

Developers hate this stuff. Popularity will never make software work better, but apparently makes design better. In the past I felt angry that people could build a 'sham' career based on image. But then I realized that people in design have to do this because you can't really be a successful anonymous designer like you can be a successful anonymous developer.

Seems to me like this is in part due to the ratio of designers to programmers on most projects; it's much easier to stand out.

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