Individual Contributor

The individual contributor (IC) career path starts with people beginning their design career and is designed to help grow them to seasoned industry leaders.

To provide room for growth and relevance in the market, each skill is assessed on an exponential scale.
To provide room for growth and relevance in the market, each skill is assessed on an exponential scale.

Each skill is split into 5 levels in an approximately exponential scale. This is designed to accomodate early-career designers leveling up at an appropriate rate, and prevent the inflation or creation of essentially meaningless job titles that serve to confuse rather than reflect the true value a mid and senior level designer brings.

Support | Starting their professional journey

Experience Little or no professional experience in the track.
Titles Intern or Associate level
Tenure 1-2 years

  • Early-career designers, recent graduates or people new to the design field.
  • Has a basic foundation from formal or informal education, but little-to-no professional experience.
  • Requires hands-on mentoring and outside direction for most work.
  • Is still learning the value and application of feedback.
  • Similar to the traditional apprentice model, this designer copies and produces work that more experienced designers establish.

Build | Mature knowledge

Experience Mature knowledge to build and create, starting to help others to grow
Titles Mid-level Designer
Tenure 2-5 years

  • A designer that has established themself as a capable contributor and is able to apply and share the knowledge they've gained from a few years of professional experience.
  • Self-starter, able to produce value with little direction while proactively seeking and applying feedback from others.
  • Effectively uses and extends what others create.
  • Applies best-practices successfully, is able to understand and apply underlying principles behind successful designs, copying while adding their own synthesized take on the work.

Lead | Responsible for the success of others

Experience Lead teams or projects, driving culture and processes at Liferay.
Titles Senior Designer
Tenure 5-20 years

  • Senior-level designers are recognized, resident experts in a few verticals.
  • Able to successfully balance quality and quantity to deliver value.
  • Create economies of scale, develops and effectively shares useful tools and best-practices.
  • Designs at an increasing resolution — beyond layouts or pages to entire projects and applications.

Strategize | Organizational leader

Experience Proven success internally, becoming noticed in the industry.
Titles Staff Designer, often a project or program leader
Tenure 10-20 years

  • A high-level performer with a proven track-record for driving change at the organizational level.

Architect | Industry leader

Experience Helping to shape the industry.
Titles Principal Designer, or upper-level management.
Tenure 15+ years

  • Designers at this level are recognized industry experts in their respective verticals.
Last modified on 2020.01.17
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