Product and UX Designers Competencies Matrix of 15 Companies
Competency matrix are structured guidelines that outline the skills, knowledge, and behaviours required for employees to perform effectively within an organization.
Such competencies matrix are also a great tool to self-assess your design skills and see what competencies you should grow to step up your UX career.
I’ve collected competencies lists of 15 companies like BuzzFeed, Figma, Intercom, GitLab, Coursera, Basecamp, etc.
The role of competency lists for design career paths
These documents serve as a roadmap for both the employee and management, highlighting the specific criteria necessary for success in a given role.
By clearly defining the competencies expected, these documents facilitate performance evaluations, goal-setting, and professional development. They act as a tool for organizations to identify gaps in skills and knowledge, allowing for targeted training and development initiatives.
Additionally, competency documents contribute to a company's ability to maintain a high level of expertise, drive employee engagement, and create a culture of continuous learning and growth.
Competency documents are essential for UX designers career development
Competency lists are crucial within organizations because they provide a clear framework for evaluating employees, setting expectations, and guiding career development.
Competency lists provide better transparency and fairness in performance evaluations, ensuring that employees are assessed consistently and equitably. This also improves the sense of trust and engagement among team members, as they understand the expectations set forth and the path to growth within the organization. Ultimately, competency lists help both organisations and designers to be on the same page about expectations and promotions.
Below is the list of companies with their product design career progression matrixes.
BuzzFeed: Product Design Roles
BuzzFeed is a news and entertainment company that uses social, content-driven publishing technology to provide shareable content across the web. According to LinkedIn they have 1750 employees and their designers competencies list was last updated in 2022.
Their GitHub page outlines BuzzFeed's product design roles and their corresponding responsibilities, providing a clear framework for the hierarchy and expectations within the company's design team.
Individual contributors: Associate, Mid, Senior, Staff, Principal.
Managers: Manager, Senior Manager, Director, Senior Director.
Design, Tools and Process, Product Thinking, Transparency, Communication, Mentorship, Culture, Recruiting (for managers), Design Operations (for managers)
Open BuzzFeed design matrix on GitHub ↗
Unacademy: Design Org
Unacademy is a learning platform offering video lectures and content for competitive examinations, promoting self-learning. Their designers competencies list was updated in 2022.
Their VP of Design provides an overview of the design organization at Unacademy, explaining the structure, roles, and processes that contribute to the company's effective design and collaboration.
Individual contributors: Product Designer, Senior, Lead, Principal
Managers: Manager, Senior Manager
Hard skills: Problem definition + Scoping + Research, Holistic UX, Explorations + Final recommendation, UI & Visual design + Delivery.
Soft skills: Initiative, Guardianship, Citizenship, Mentorship + Managing.
Open Unacademy design matrix ↗
Figma: Product Design Ladder
Figma ’s VP of Design shared their design ladder as well. Since they have a flat org hierarchy, their levels are marked just with numbers and not specific design titles.
Individual contributors: Levels 1-6.
Product Strategy, Craft + Quality. Communication + Collaboration, Action + Impact, Leveling up others, Independence, Community
Open Figma product design ladder on Notion ↗
Carwow: Product Designer TOIL Progression Framework
Carwow is a platform connecting car buyers with dealers, streamlining the car buying process and improving dealer efficiency.
Individual contributors: Junior, Mid-Level, Senior, and Lead
Managers: Head of Department
Technical, Ownership, Impact, and Leadership
Open Carwow design progression framework on Notion ↗
dxw: Designers Career Progression Framework
dxw has 121 employees and their designers competencies list was updated in 2020.
Individual contributors: Level 1, Level 2, Level 3, and Level 4
Design, Technical, Communication, Delivery, Empathy, and Leadership
Open dxw designers career matrix on Google Spreadsheet ↗
Redgate: Progression Framework
Redgate is a company producing SQL Server and .NET tools, used by over 500,000 IT professionals worldwide. It has 70 employees.
Individual contributors: Product Designer-Junior, Product Designer-Mid, Product Designer-Senior, Lead Product Designer, and Head of Product Design
Managers: Product Manager, Product Manger-Mid, Product Manager-Senior, Group Product Manager, and Head of Product Management
Role, Skills, Leadership, Mentorship, Role-specific, Communication, Emotional Intelligence, Delivery, and Business Knowledge
Open Redgate design progression framework ↗
Remote.com: Product Design Career Framework
Remote.com Remote.com is a company offering international payroll, benefits, and compliance services for distributed employees and contractors.
Individual contributors: Junior Designer, Product Designer, Senior Product Designer, Staff Product Designer, Senior Staff Product Designer, Principal Product Designer, and Senior Principal Product Designer
Managers: Manager, Senior Manager, Director, Senior Director, Vice President, and Chief of Product Design
Knowledge and Skills, Etiquette, Progress, and Delivery Expectations
Open Remote.com design matrix on Notion ↗
Intercom: Product Designer Job Levels
Intercom is a customer support platform that uses messaging and automation to help businesses efficiently support their customers. It has 1300 employees and their designers competencies list was updated in 2021.
Individual contributors: Associate, Mid-Level, Senior, Staff, Principal, and Senior Principal
Managers: Group Design Manager, Senior Group, and Design Manager
Key Differences, Strategy, Execution, and Behaviors
Leadership, People Management, Business Strategy, Product Strategy & Vision, and Execution & Impact
Open Intercom design matrix on Google Docs ↗
GitLab: Product Design Roles and Responsibilities
GitLab is providing a DevOps platform for organizations to maximize software development returns through faster, more efficient, and secure delivery. It has 2,288 employees and their designers competencies list was updated in 2021.
Individual contributors: Product Designer, Senior Product Designer, Staff Product Designer, and Principal Product Designer
Managers: Product Design Manager, Senior Manager, Director, and Vice President of UX
Responsibilities, Requirements, and Interview Process
Open GitLab design competencies ↗
Coursera: Designers leveling case study
Coursera is an online education company offering courses and Specializations from top universities and education institutions worldwide. It has 3,873 employees.
Individual contributors: Associate Designer, Product Designer, Senior Product Designer, and Principal Product Designer
Managers: Manager, Director, and Vice President
Knowledge, Craft, and Influence
Organisational Effectiveness, People Management & Culture Building
Open Coursera design matrix on Designer Fund ↗
Basecamp: Titles for Designers
Basecamp is a project management tool offering a variety of customer service options for businesses.
Individual contributors: Junior Designer, Designer. Senior Designer. Lead Designer, and Principal Designer
Open Basecamp design titles list ↗
Mixmax: Product Design Leveling Matrix – 2020
Mixmax is a sales engagement platform that helps sales and customer success teams accelerate revenue at every stage of the customer journey. It has 87 employees and their designers competencies list was updated in 2020.
Individual contributors: L1: Associate Designer, L2: Designer, L3: Senior Designer, and L4: Lead Designer
Product leadership & project management, Design expertise, Collaboration and support
Open Mixmax design levelling matrix on Google Spreadsheet ↗
Trunk Club: Product Designer Kit
Trunk Club has 249 employees and designers competencies list was updated in 2017.
Individual contributors: Associate Product, Designer, Product Designer, Senior Product Designer, and Design Lead
Product Thinking, Interaction Design, Visual Design, Intentionality. Drive, and Self-Awarenes
Open Trunk Club designers career path (PDF) ↗
Addepar: Expectations for the Designers
Addepar is a software and data platform for professional wealth, investment, and asset management firms to deliver informed, data-driven results. It has 837 employees.
Individual contributors: Designer, Designer II, Senior Designer, Senior Designer II, Staff Designer, and Principal Designer
Goal, Knowledge & Craft, Leadership & Culture, Planning & Execution
Open Addepar UX designers expectations matrix ↗
Lightspeedhq: Product Design Competencies
Lightspeedhq is a cloud-based commerce platform helping small and medium businesses simplify, scale, and create exceptional customer experiences. It has 2,429 employees and designers competencies list was updated in 2017.
Individual contributors: Intermediate Product Designer and Senior Product Designer
User Research, Usability Evaluation, Information Architecture, Interaction Design, Visual Design, Writing, Prototyping, and Leadership
Open Lightspeedhq product design competencies on Google Docs ↗
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