Is my product designer slow?


In the startup I work at, there are 2 full time developers and 3 part time. We only have 1 designer, and then me [as product manager].

But our designer is our bottleneck. He produces amazing work, but it takes a long time - and we would be able to get much more done if he was faster. I try to help him out by making quick prototypes to communicate my ideas, which speeds him up somewhat. But it's not enough.

First of all, is it simply because 1 designer is too little? I don't feel like we have that many developers when you compare [it] to designers.

And if he should be able to do it faster, how do I tell him without sounding like a jerk?

Answer Martin:

  1. Write down what "faster design" would mean to you. Does it mean wireframes instead of pixel perfect? Does it mean more conceptual work than actual design? Does it mean focussing on the user experience rather than the design?
  2. A product designer is not a UI-producing machine but your closest product companion. You should think how to have a workflow with him where you both bring in your competencies best. Write down your competencies first.
  3. With your thinking being clearer now, set up an expectation setting workshop with your designer. Set up what you expect of each other so everyone has a good work setup.
  4. Regularly reflect with your designer how to improve your collaboration. Involve devs as well. Do it as a bi-weekly retro.
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