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Evaluation Framework

The framework, influenced by the work Medium’s Engineering team shared, assigns an increasing point value to each level.

We’ve noted attributes and actions that approximately describe each level, but these are only to help provide some guidelines. We can’t list everything, but these examples should be enough to give a starting point for evaluations and ideas for areas of growth.

The spirit behind these examples is that these things are done consistently, continuously, and excellently. They are bullet points — not checklists. It’s human nature to want to accomplish tasks and advance, but we must be careful to avoid doing things simply to receive points. These attributes and actions should flow from your passion, skill, and growth as a designer — not as someone looking to check things off a list.

These things must be tracked and measured over significant periods of time — of course there are always exceptions to every rule, but this is how we should generally approach evaluations.

It’s also important to keep in mind that although there are points, this is not a game or a competition. Everyone has different skills, ambitions, and pace. These factors will vary, not only from person to person, but from year to year as individuals advance through life and career stages.


We’re providing a tool that will help managers evaluate their designers and help them visualize the overall composition of their teams. It will also help designers self-evaluate and provide direction for any areas that they want to focus on.

How to Evaluate People

A key attribute of the evaluation process is that it is an open dialog. As you go through each of the skill levels have a candid conversation with your teammate. The rubric is not perfect and as you come across anything from typos to philosophical differences, please share corrections, thoughts, and ideas in comments on the source material.

The major steps in the evaluation process are:

  1. Record — the point of evaluations is to measure and track progress. For each skill, make notes of evidence that supports the designer’s level during the given time period.
  2. Prioritize — rank the skills from 1-5 so the designer can have a way to prioritize their energy over the specified period of time. This prioritization should balance the goals and needs of the company, team, and designer.
  3. Act — together, create concrete tasks and goals for each of the skill areas that the designer will be focusing on. As a manager you may have more insights into company and team needs, but synthesizing those with the designers skills, desires, and potential are critical for the success of all.

We send a survey to the various project or product leads twice a year that asks questions related to core skills. This helps each manager understand how effectively the designer is serving their team.

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