… An explanation

Mills Baker’s answer to Why should designers work at Quora?

Product Design Manager at Quora (2016-present)

If you’re working on an unsolved problem that depends heavily on design, you’ll structure your organization and roles to empower design. This is as true at Quora today as it’s been historically at Apple, with some key distinctions relating to the types of products we make. For us, empowerment means a few things specifically:

  • Design reports to the CEO, not to a non-design product executive
  • Design is deeply involved in both company and product / team strategy
  • Design at Quora is optimized for speed and autonomy, so we can learn extremely rapidly and can’t be blocked by the necessity for endless consensus building; thus designers at Quora code
  • Functional groups at Quora take one another seriously: designers aren’t handed “product ideas” and told to draw UIs for them
  • We work to make design ever-faster and easier, building new abstractions that simplify work in the product (on both native and mobile)

Designers at Quora can conceive of ideas, build them in the product, test them in our Analysis Framework on millions of users live, and can ship to production at their speed.

Designers Will Code by David Cole on Emesis

Director of Design at Quora

The fact that these components all stay current with live data automates a lot the engineering work. If a designer is making a form that submits an answer to a question, the existing list of answers will show the submission as soon as it’s posted, without anyone writing new code telling it to update. This means that changes on the interaction or visual level usually require no engineering support whatsoever. And because we run constant deployment, and designers can push to production, a Quora designer can make changes and see them live on the site in minutes.

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