🚀 The Rise of the Growth Designer
Latest buzzword or evolution of a product designer?
I recently came out from under the rock I was living under and learned about the title of Growth Designer. I started seeing the words growth designer everywhere, on Twitter, at work. You know, when you hear about something and start seeing it everywhere, yeah, this was it for me. To top it off, I was reading the book Mindset by Carol Dweck, in which she talks about the growth mindset, so looking back, I’m not surprised that I saw those words Growth Designer everywhere now.
My first reaction upon hearing this new title was, aren’t all designers also growth designers? Don’t product designers focus on moving the needle for key business metrics? Don’t we help focus on user onboarding and retention? Don’t we understand the business and customer needs to deliver experiences that help everyone get the job done? Or, as Shakespeare would say, “if you prick us, do we not bleed? If you tickle us, do we not laugh? If you poison us, do we not die? And if you wrong us, shall we not revenge?”
Ok, maybe not to that extent, but you get the point. As I read more about the growth designer, I started understanding the area of focus for this role is driving business growth and meeting the customer’s needs.
Here is a good description of a Growth designer from Pony.studio:
“A strategic contributor to the product development and optimisation process with a wide spectrum of skills: product strategy, interaction, visual and UX design, data analysis, strong business flair, and user empathy. Growth designers are equally focused on scaling the business and delivering a user-centric product, often acting as the bridge between the two.”
Angel Steiger, Dropbox’s Director of Growth Design, helps to clarify this role and any misunderstandings in an interview with First Round Review:
“A good growth designer is very strong across the board in product thinking, interaction, visual design and customer empathy. Those details address problems at different layers of customer awareness and interaction. Design is also a very user-centric discipline, which isn’t necessarily the reputation of growth teams. Growth designers, as guardians of the user experience, will push the growth team to ensure everyone is focused on business success — through the lens of user success.”
You may be asking what the difference between a product designer and a growth designer is? The main difference between the two roles, from what I understand, is that the growth designer is focused more on helping the business grow in areas such as customer acquisition, retention, engagement, or customer satisfaction. A growth designer is still responsible for the overall user experience of a product, but their responsibilities encompass key growth metrics.
Every company has different goals for its product, and a growth designer may not be as critical of a need for some. However, for startups, it seems like a great fit to help their product and business survive in an ever-changing business landscape.
What are your thoughts on this title? Is it a buzzword, or do you think it is a specialized role that is much needed? As always, share your thoughts in the comments below.
May you have a wonderful and creative day! ✌🏽
Yes, these are front facing business developer type folks.