Consumer to enterprise: why designers are moving

female-designer

Inundated with apps, ads, data, and options at every turn, users have less tolerance for poorly designed products. A successful brand must create products that are not only beautiful, but also provide a user experience that is intuitive and enjoyable. As the internet becomes increasingly saturated, the importance of design has become paramount—one of the most vital functions in a business. AirBnB, and other successful consumer tech companies led by founders with design backgrounds, has demonstrated the value in bringing in creative talent at an earlier stage in the company lifecycle. So much so, that design and user experience is now often driving the development of new sites, apps and products just as much as engineering.

The consumer start-up route is often considered to be the most exciting career path for an innately creative and innovative designer. However, our design specialist recruitment team is currently seeing a significant shift in the hiring market as enterprise companies are placing just as much emphasis on the importance of design as consumer companies. Many enterprise companies are now actively seeking designers with consumer start-up experience to create products with interfaces that delight their end users. As companies realize that the tools they provide must be adopted – rather than just installed – to be effective, they are looking for designers with the skills to make enterprise tools more consumer-like and ultimately more enjoyable to use. With this increase in the importance of design to both consumer and enterprise businesses, designers now have more opportunities to consider. 

As companies realize that the tools they provide must be adopted – rather than just installed – to be effective, they are looking for designers with the skills to make enterprise tools more consumer-like and ultimately more enjoyable to use.

Here are a few reasons why designers could consider moving from consumer to enterprise:

  1. Venture capital investment in the enterprise space continues to grow. According to a MoneyTree Report, investments in emerging enterprise software companies increased 30% during the first half of 2015.
  2. Designing for an enterprise company is an opportunity to provide end-users with an efficient tool that helps make strategic business decisions. A great enterprise product could potentially be used in an everyday office environment by millions of users.
  3. The fact that enterprise products typically have longer release cycles can mean that you will have the opportunity to spend more time on design projects than you could at a consumer tech company. This in turn can contribute to greater career stability, less attrition within a company and thus the potential to work in stronger and more collaborative team environments.
  4. In the past, sales executives were always the most highly valued employees within enterprise software companies. But, as the role played by designers is becoming increasingly important, philosophies are shifting toward delighting end users with attractive and easy to use products.
  5. Enterprise products very rarely have to rely on advertising to monetize, meaning your design will not be compromised or diluted.
  6. There are opportunities for designers to emerge as thought leaders in the enterprise software space. In addition to design chops, enterprise designers with a broad understanding of other technical skills and business operations can contribute a unique and valuable insight in the larger tech scene – especially as the enterprise space is in the spotlight and Venture Capital interest remains high.  
  7. Another positive of working in the enterprise space, where organizations are often driven by revenue rather than engineering, is that many product changes are the result of user feedback and input with the interface. This makes many changes flow from design to engineering instead of the other way around.

Enterprise tech is currently a dynamic and rapidly evolving space and we are helping many designers find fulfilling roles at some of the top names in enterprise in the San Francisco Bay Area. If you are a designer looking for a new opportunity, please get in touch:

Anna Meyer, Senior Consultant (Data & Design)
E:  anna.meyer@robertwalters.com
T:  415. 549. 2000

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