We’ve seen increased demand for hybrid (UX/UI) Designers or “Product Designers” as they are more commonly known. This is due to large brands, such as Spotify, AirBNB and Facebook creating new ways of working (whilst not increasing the salary bandings by much). Effectively, they are expecting one person to cover two roles with unrealistic hopes of this person fulfilling the brief/task in the same time frame.
Spotify specifically has created a role of “Chapter Lead”; the Line Manager for chapter members. This person is responsible for developing people and setting salaries, but they remain part of a squad and still do BAU work. They’re typically found in hybrid teams, which further pushes the salary bandings down, however, large companies’ brand perceptions can carry them - to a degree, as they offer relatively good wages.
Due to the hybrid role requiring such a niche combination of skills, not many people want to venture into both sides of the field. We’re seeing that potential candidates are looking to deepen their knowledge in one specific field: to gain 360, end-to-end knowledge. Often this saturated knowledge in one area means it is difficult for someone to train them in the ‘opposing’ field.
In terms of the financial assumptions here; the salary for a midweight, hybrid designer could be from around the £60,000 mark (to approx. £75,000), with an expectation that the candidate would hit the ground running in both disciplines. This is proving a tall order: It is difficult to find a single-discipline designer for £60,000, let alone adding in a completely different area of design.
Moreover, the research element of the design process is often overlooked by businesses, and something that rarely happens until after the fact. This may be due to organisations not recognising value or ROI until the product is released.
We’re seeing new information emerge about competitor analysis being the primary driver in business decisions, with the product going to market based upon little more than that. The issue here is that there is no longer a USP – as the products are just replicated from market intelligence. This is happening from small SME’s, right up to corporate firms. Only once the product is live, will the companies begin looking at the gaps or “holes” in the products.
This is not the most cost-effective or efficient way of product development. Most problems in this instance can be solved by compiling thorough research beforehand, rather than post-launch, but there is often pressure on companies to release the product as an MVP (minimal viable product), in order to get funding to solve the issues and achieve ROI.
Consortia is a specialist Product Management Recruitment Agency with over 10 years' experience. We place the very best Product candidates with the very best clients. Get in touch with our expert Product Management consultants to discuss how we can help or send us a brief.