The Best Recipe For a Highly Functioning Design Team

What are the principles for setting up high-functioning Design teams? originally appeared on Quora - the knowledge sharing network where compelling questions are answered by people with unique insights.

Answer by Julie Zhuo, Product Design VP at Facebook, on Quora.

  • Hire talented designers.
  • Hire enough talented designers. If you do not hire enough, then everyone gets a huge scope which sounds nice in principle, except then everyone is treading water on keeping existing trains running, and there is not enough time to design the future, where I'd argue the value of design is much greater.
  • Align on what success and "good design" looks like. Otherwise judgments will feel subjective and people will argue with each other.
  • Establish a culture where the design output reflects the collective strengths of the team. This means designers will need to collaborate on projects versus going at things lone-wolf-style. Tactics here include things like critique, team sprints/surges, pair designing, design leads, etc.
  • Hire caring managers with a high bar. Having a caring manager is critically important to the success and happiness of any individual designer. Having a manager with a high bar means designers will get stretched to do better work than they would have otherwise.
  • Design values are effectively communicated to and shared by XFN peers. At most places, design does not operate independently in a vacuum, and you don't get to great final products unless there is a shared understanding on what's important from engineers, PMs, etc.
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