Shape Up Forum

Hiring designers within Shape Up

Hey! I wondered whether anyone had any experiences or stories to share when it comes to hiring designers to work within teams that follow Shape Up?

In particular I’m interested in whether anyone does design challenges/tasks? One approach I’ve been considering is giving candidates a mini pitch that would emulate the way work happens in a typical cycle.

Hey Josh!

Designer is too broad as a job position.

Are you looking for a UX and Product designer ? A candidate who can shape bet and write a pitch?

Or are you looking for more Artistic / User Interface designer ? A candidate who can take a fat marker sketch and turn it into a high fidelity design and implement it in html and CSS ?

The skills needed for those positions are very different.

Apologies - very good point! The world of titles in design is a very tricky one.

We’re looking for a someone that could work in a similar way that designers do at Basecamp, a designer in the way that the Shape Up book describes when it uses the term. Someone who works within a project team during the cycle to create the user interface. Someone with visual and interaction design skills who can turn a pitch with fat marker sketches and breadboards into a easy to use and clean interface.

Interesting, when it comes to titles, I think Basecamp refer to this title as Designer or Product Designer, but in advertising it as such I find that we’re more likely to gain applications from people who probably fit more in the shaping side of things. Ultimately we’re testing UI Designer / UI Design Engineer to try to be more explicit at the moment.


Yes Basecamp calls them Designer.

In my organization we call the position “Fullstack Designer” in a similar way to a Fullstack Engineer. Because we want this designers to be able to write CSS and HTML and also be able to open Pull Requests on Github.

To assess the skills for that role we give them a pitch of the project so they can see the motivation and some sketches. But we give them the project already solved in terms of data and flow for the developer perspective too.

Also we provide them with our brand theme so they can use it in their designs.

Because that’s usually how that position works in our experience, they try to turn the the fat marker sketches into high fidelity with the tool they use (Figma or XD) to choose colors, spacing, maybe change any affordance or layout.

And then after the developer already connected the data and the flow they style it with their “artistic design” decisions.

We ask them to send us all the designs in their tool of choice but also make a Github PR to a repo in order to see their CSS and HTML implementation.

Hope you find it useful.