LOL “Avoid CVs that emphasize the terms “UX” and “Creative”. Especially avoid “Creative Directors”. ~ gov.uk/service-manual…
— Peter J. Bogaards (@BogieZero) March 14, 2013
Looking at the specific guidance, most of it is very good:
How designers work
Designers and front-end developers should work together in one team, designing in-browser. This is a better way of working, avoiding silos and ensuring that decisions are made with complete awareness of the implications.
As a result, the people you hire should already have worked like this, or at least understand it.
When building a team ask to see examples of work and ask the designers to talk you through their contribution….
I totally agree with this. Designers and front-end developers working together in harmony is a wonderful thing and in turn enables us to create wonderful things.
But I’m not so sure about the next piece of advice:
Avoid CVs that emphasise the terms “ux” and “creative”. Especially avoid “creative directors”. These people are probably not a good fit for your team.
On a purely practical level, if you threw away every CV that had the word “ux” or “creative” on it you’d probably be left with a very small pile — if you had a pile at all. Being flippant for a second, imagine this structured as advice for a football coach:
Avoid CVs that emphasise the terms “striker” and “defender”. Especially avoid “captains”. These people are probably not a good fit for your team.
Looking firstly at creative: if a designer isn’t creative, what are they? Isn’t that the entire core of a designer? “Creative designer” seems like a tautology. Creative director is named as such as it describes a position of leadership, seniority and experience. If you’re looking for someone of mid or junior experience, then no, they probably won’t be a good fit.
If I’m not looking for the word creative in a CV, what words should I look for? Digital designer? Visual designer? Web designer?
Now looking at ux, this is where my feelings are slightly stronger. Why should I avoid “ux” designers? If you’re trying to build “user-centred products” then the designers who strive to build such things are often marketing themselves exactly as UX designers. There’s no definition of what UX is either on this page — nor any explanation of why they should be avoided.
Instead of UX designer should I be looking for interaction designers? Information architects? Web designers? Multimedia designers? Interactive designers?
I’m really curious as to why GOV.UK gave this particular advise. It doesn’t give any reasons why creative and ux designers should be avoided — nor what to look for instead. I was hoping to get some insight into this by looking at the Job description templates but unfortunately they’re hitting a 404 page at the moment.
I hope they can clarify this advice in the future — otherwise I think their advice is likely to confuse more than assist.