The role of a designer


We’ve come a long way since the Web 2.0 era. What used to be simply called a “web designer,” and was seen as a less important part of an engineering team, has now cleaved into various niche roles including UX designers, UI designers, interaction designers, marketing designers, product designers.

Designers have now earned a seat at the decision making table alongside their engineering counterparts.


Designers are now specialists in today’s market. The need for every type of designer is enormous, and in many cases on par with demand for engineers.

"In 2017 it is all about diversifying your skill set. Large organisations in the New Zealand market are looking for designers who can do it all, driving creative change in the business as well as commercially engaging design."
- Natasha Keith, Senior Consultant, Wellington

There is still a lot of grey area around title and responsibilities in the design world, but here are just a few of the niche designer roles we're seeing increased hiring activity for in urban markets:

Visual/marketing designers

Visual/marketing designers develop layout and make aesthetic choices, choose colour palettes, create logos and branding collateral, and often have a hand in creating “offline” collateral as well - brochures, business cards, etc. They use software programs such as Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator to work with images, symbols, typography, and colours to create digital and printed experiences that draw us in.

Most visual/marketing designers have a bachelor’s degree from a reputable arts college, although not necessarily in their field, and not always. Agencies often produce fantastic talent on the visual side.

User experience (UX) designers

UX designers create intuitive design for complex software and internet products so the average person can easily use them. It also includes all other elements of design into one cohesive unit. 

User interface (UI) designers

Experts in how people use products, UI designers are the creative minds behind your smartphones, tablets, and laptops. They create an interface with which users can touch and feel the product. User interface designers are usually involved with usability testing, ensuring that their design decisions are working for the end user. CNN cites a nearly 25 percent projected job growth in the next ten years.

Mobile app designers

Mobile app design has exploded to become one of the most important skill sets in the design field. These are the talented folks who are pioneering the way we use our mobile devices and have significant impact over the daily activities of any mobile user. Mobile app designers can make or break any iOS or Android application and are in extremely short supply given the exponential increase in demand for their services. 

Regardless of your niche, the most important qualities designers can possess have stayed the same over the years: a keen design sense, inspired creativity, user understanding, and the knack for turning left-brained ideas into right-brained design. Designers take technical functionality and make it usable for humans. The career of a designer will be a safe and lucrative path for years to come.

The need for every type of designer is enormous, and in many cases on par with demand for engineers.

Start your job search today.