How to Build Strong Design Teams That Scale

Strong Design

Obviously, to build a successful design team, you need to find professionals. However, even though this is a crucial step, it is only one of the steps to the success of your business. Another critical exercise will be to divide powers, provide support and give a strategic direction for action. Only through such efforts can a reliable software development company for small businesses be formed.

It means that the design strategy is the key moment in building the UI/UX design services team.

What is a design team?

The design team is one or more designers who use different tools to achieve a common goal – for example, creating a website or mobile application.

Types of design team structures

There are four types of project team structures: centralized, built-in, flexible, and negotiated.

The structure of the design team depends on the roles and responsibilities that the team has.

According to the Nielsen Norman Group, each type of design team structure exists in roughly equal numbers when a company chooses a strategy for a design team.

This even distribution is reasonable: each team structure has its advantages and disadvantages, and teams are often in constant flux as other variables, such as company size or team size, change, or as new specialized roles and skills are acquired.

Centralized structure

This structure makes the entire design team works together in a central office with one decision-maker. Large design teams have multiple design managers who manage individual designers.

Embedded structure 

In that structure, designers are embedded in several cross-functional teams within an organization, reporting to the group leader. Designers work with developers, product engineers, and marketers on a specific product, feature, or line of business. 

Flexible structure

In a flexible design team structure, designers are part of cross-functional teams and report to a team leader. These design teams are flexible as they can be easily moved around to meet the changing needs of organizational design.

Contract structure

An external design team may be contracted to fill design gaps. This structure is suitable for small organizations that do not have the budget for an in-house designer.

How to build a design team that scales

Design team structure for your organization depends on many factors including the size of your organization, the type of design projects, and your project team’s capabilities versus the demand for design. However, several design team structures are best suited for organizations of varying sizes.

The Forbes article noted that if you want to get the most out of your design team and teach them to do better, constantly develop at least five different ways to achieve your goal. Design it to be complete, then start from scratch and do something completely different.

How to build a strong design team

  1. Make sure the design team has access to the best tools. Design tools can efficiently the design process and save your company time and money.
  2. Make growth and development a priority. Give feedback to help the team build their skills.
  3. Create a culture of design strategy

A design strategy culture helps your design team achieve business goals. This allows other team members to understand the value of design and increases the productivity of the entire structure as a whole.

You can create a design strategy culture by training your designers to be customer-centric and aligning design goals with business goals. A design strategy should guide everything your design team does.

To assess what type of structure to choose for your company’s design team, you can refer to business analysis services, for example, at They will help you figure out the most efficient way to manage and scale your design team.

Author’s bio: Anastasiia Lastovetska is a technology writer at MLSDev, a software development company that builds web & mobile app solutions from scratch. She researches the area of technology to create great content about app development, UX/UI design, tech & business consulting.

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