Where the designers are

People often ask me “Where can I find a designer to work with me?” Most of the good matches I’ve seen have been made through referrals and introductions. If you know designers, or people who work with them, ask them if they know anyone who can help you. Check your LinkedIn connections for designers and ask for an introduction through someone you know.

You an also try these design-related sites that accept job postings.

Good Experience
– There’s a jobs area on this site, and Mark Hurst also includes job listings in his email newsletter

Boxes and Arrows
– Create an account and you can post jobs directly from this page

The Interaction Design Association (IxDA)
– I believe there’s also specific newsgroups for jobs, not sure where they are located on the site.

Silicon Valley Product Group (SVPG)
– This is less specifically focused on UX jobs, but I have seen some listings in Marty Cagan’s newsletter. I can’t find any jobs area on his site, so you’ll have to contact Marty for more information.

If you want to try face-to-face networking, and maybe learn something about design at the same time, you can hang out in the places where designers hang out. Some good places to start include:

  • The Interaction Design Association (IxDA) has local events and an annual conference
  • AIGA events (The professional association for design)
  • Startup events (easier in urban areas like the Bay Area and and NYC)
  • Meetups (look for the words “UX” “User Experience” “IxD” “Design” and “Startup”)

You can also work with a recruiter who will learn about your position and help you locate and screen the ideal candidate. I know a few recruiters who I personally recommend, please contact me if you’d like an introduction.

BTW: If you’re looking for a designer who has experience with Lean Startup, (and honestly, there aren’t many of them) there’s a special list exclusively for lean startup jobs. I have mostly seen postings there for developers, but it might also be a reasonable place to try. Read the guidelines carefully. The list is closely curated and only open to hiring companies (no agents or recruiters).

Good luck, and let me know if you find other good places I can add to my list.

One thought on “Where the designers are”

  1. Great post Lane, here’s a few more places and ways to look for designers.


    And if you want to throw the net wide (read: expensive) you’ll get a lot of attention from designers (no guarantees it’ll be the right ones though) by advertising on The Deck ad network which has nearly cornered the market on design related blogs.


    Finally, if you’re looking for new entrants to the profession a good way to sort the wheat from the chaff is to offer a free workshop at a local university put on by your company. Those who show up are more passionate than those that don’t and if you structure your workshop well you get to see what they’re capable of well ahead of any interviews.

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