Australia’s Design capability gap, how it hurts organisations & how to avoid hiring the wrong people

Valeria Spirovski
15 min readOct 10, 2018

The majority of people in design roles don’t have the capabilities required to help organisations deliver on customer experience and product success

The demand for design in Australia is growing at an exponential rate. Australia’s IT spend was projected to reach $85 billion in 2017, and organisations are quickly realising that design can often play a critical role in the success of tech delivery, as well as being a key competitive differentiator in the consumer and service sectors.

Unfortunately it’s a poorly understood field and the capability pool is very immature — and so organisations all over the place are hiring bad-fit designers that have the wrong capability shape causing long term damage to organisational design capability.

In this article I’m going to go into a bit more detail about the problem & impact to organisations, as well as providing a bit of a compass as to design capability and how to screen potential design hires.

Before we start — Defining design

Design is a pretty broad term, and part of the issue surrounding this topic is that there are many broad terms used but unclear common definitions to describe the capabilities or skills we’re referring to. Terms that go around include User Experience (UX), Experience Design (XD), Service Design, Designer, UX developer, Product Owner etc.

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Valeria Spirovski

Product Architect, Designer, Researcher, & Change Agent. Blending Agile, Design Thinking and Lean UX to continuously steer teams toward success.