Hot design skills for 2019

Successful design teams embrace new trends and move with the times

By Amanda Salter

Design and technology are constantly evolving. Just look at how far we’ve come in the past 10-15 years. Digital experiences have changed dramatically in terms of functionality, navigation, personalisation, mobile responsiveness and more. It seems crazy to think that in 2006, the iPhone didn’t exist. The sites, products and services we were interacting with back then look, act and feel significantly different today.

The best design teams understand this constant evolution and embrace emerging developments, adapting and growing as the world changes around them.

As a recruiter, this can make it tricky to shape your ideal design team. You need the right mix of skills to help your organisation seize new opportunities, meet changing customer expectations and stay ahead of the competition.

To help, we’ve put together a map of the top design skills to focus on in 2019.

image showing design skills map - business impact

Design Skills Map – Business Impact

image of designs skills map of ways of working

Design Skills Map – Ways of Working

image of service design skills

Design Skills Map – Service Design

image of design skills map - digital product

Design Skills Map – Digital Product

design skills map showing user experience design skills

Design Skills Map – User Experience Design

image showing customer research skills

Design Skills Map – Customer Research

image showing digital visual design skills

Design Skills Map – Digital Visual Design


1. Prioritise the keywords highlighted in the design skills map in terms of what would give the greatest impact to your business

2. Scan CVs looking for your prioritised keywords – candidates that match should be considered for interview. Successful candidates will be able to explain what these words mean, and why they are important

3. Don’t focus on basic ‘hygiene factor’ skills – we’ve deliberately omitted these from the map. These include things like ‘can design to a style guide’, ‘can wireframe’ etc. These are basic skills that are commonly used in job specs and CVs. But they should be taken as a given and not used to identify a good, progressive candidate

View the whole diagram on Coggle

Creatives sourced by creatives

They say it takes one to know one. With a combined 30 years experience as thought leaders in the design industry, we’ve worked with some of the top talent around. Our creative network covers over 200 expert Service Designers, Product Managers, UX Designers, Researchers and more – from junior to mid-level and senior.

With all this expertise at our fingertips, we decided to launch Newt Recruits – a freelance and permanent recruitment service that actually understands what makes a brilliant creative.

Find the right person for your design team

Tired of recruitment agencies who don’t understand this domain? Want to find the right talent as recommended by people who have actually worked with them and can vouch for their worth?

Newt Recruits can help.

Contact Alex Frewin on 020 3515 1030 or email to find out more

Read all the articles in this Recruitment series

Part 1 – How to build a dream design team
Part 3 – Top three challenges in design recruitment
Part 4 – Top tips for recruiting a design team

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