Junior designers, senior designers and my illiterate grandma
We are taking our team very seriously.
For starters, those are the people we spend most of our time with. Secondly, we know how much pain it is to work with a person, who is just not doing it right.
The first time I felt this pain was when we were only starting the studio, we hired a designer, and things didn’t go as I expected. Since then I have been building up a portrait of The Right Designer in my head and, at the same time, learning how to manage designers properly.
My first conclusion was to work only with Senior designers. They are costly, but if they do it right, it will be worth it. Well, a few months after, I found myself working overnight fixing things after some of those senior designers.
Okay, I thought. Now, I’d rather start with juniors. So that I could teach them right and wrong. They would be tailor-made for our team. Well, a few months after, I found myself working overnight fixing things after some of those junior designers.
Then I started to get it. Something is terribly wrong with this junior-senior denotation. A Junior is basically somebody with little experience, but already kind of educated. But what is an experience? Experience just (sometimes) helps you find the right solution quicker. IF you are able to find the right solution. Obviously, ten years of experience in creating mediocre design are worse than no experience at all.
Then I tried to seek for well-educated folks. Tried working with designers who graduated from cool European design schools and some local ones. Well, you know what I was doing at night after those “cool” designers.
I started thinking something was wrong with me.
Then I decided to take a closer look at those few good ones who stuck with us and kept doing great stuff (and required very little input from my side). They had very different experience, habits, hobbies, backgrounds. Most of them were self-educated. Some of them had what I now call “a design-related environment” Friends, boyfriends or girlfriends, who were designers. All of them were very curious about products and tech news, design tools and methods.
We communicate a lot inside the team. Whenever they come across a product, they evaluate it, analyze what was good and bad about its design. New apps, new tools, new clothes, anything.
Ok. Now we have a conclusion. Good environment, curiosity and constant self-education really work.
“So why did she mention her illiterate grandma in the title?” you must think. Well, here you are.
Yes, she really was illiterate, she grew up in Caucasus mountains, she got married to my grandpa at 17, their marriage was arranged by their parents and she only saw him once before the wedding. Her only education was of shepherding sheep and cooking dinner. Yet, she managed to raise six well-educated, intelligent and cultural children.
I was wondering how she had managed to do that?
Foremost, she had intuitively good judgement. Simple and practical thinking.
Secondly, she was meticulous. She had her own moral code and she brought her children up in accordance to it, in every tiny detail. She never sacrificed doing the right thing for doing the easier thing.
Lastly, she set the bar up very high for her children, yet demanded that they stay humble. Since then self-criticism runs in my family. But that’s just a side-effect :)
So, here. Here are the qualities we are looking for.
- Constant self-education
- Curiosity, observation and evaluation
- Intuitively good judgement
- Diligence, desire to do it right
- Very high standards
If you feel closer to us after reading this, please email us your portfolio at firstname.lastname@example.org