Everybody Needs a Unicorn

Not just a pixel magician, but a problem solver

If you don’t have a designer on your team, you’re really missing out. I’m not just talking about some pretty pixels or lovely colors that any average external freelancer can make, but rather the experienced creator of amazing things. Do you know the real value of this essential team member? What does it mean to have a designer on board and what value is it to your project? I’d like to answer these questions in the form of a simple example, taken from the view of an experienced designer (yes, me) in a small startup or digital agency.

Business details aside, the designer makes some of the most important decisions for the given project. After all, it is up to the pixel pusher to decide what text can and should go where, what parts of the page/app are interactive, and what overall presentation can bring the desired results. In order to create a functional design, one needs to have at least a basic understanding of copywriting and development facts/rules.

The knowledge of these other aspects of web/app design often make the designer the best person to consult with any range of questions (and sometimes the best example of an overblown ego :). But people who are open for any discussion and can learn from their mistakes are the golden ticket for your success.

As I mentioned earlier there’s a big difference between external freelancers and in-house designers. Anyone can seem like a genius via Skype or emails, but with an in-house designer, you can easily see the difference with the simple wave of a hand or quick gesture of a pen. If you’re planning a long term project there’s no better way to get it done right than by having a happy designer sitting somewhere near you.

Now the question you need to ask yourself is, how important is this project to you? The designer you choose can make all the difference in the way your product turns out, so during your next interview with a potential designer, be sure to check out how the pixel maker communicated through email AND how they fit in with the rest of your team!

Am I naive, insane, or is this really just a bunch of bullshit? No, I think Unicorns really exist!