The Golden Age of Design in Startups

Posted on December 12, 2011

Joshua Porter’s post on the increasing participation of designers in startups is great news for designers.

I’ve also been noticing how bigger corporations, not just startups, seem to be giving design more attention. This is a great opportunity for us designers to show our value as more than just pixel pushers.

Porter wonders about the precursor for this is. I would say Apple is the obvious answer but I would also guess it’s because we’ve reached a point where just making something isn’t enough. With so many apps and services out there design and UX are key differentiators.

I talked with many people who were building startups and their top priority was getting great designers on board. But they didn’t just want good designers. They wanted designer co-founders, people who could help them from day 1 and be invested in the company. This is a change from the ever-present search for technical co-founders…designer co-founders are in demand as well.

This makes sense. In a sea of competition…the survivors will be the ones who can communicate most clearly and provide value most quickly. And who specializes in those things more than designers?