Each profile is made up of a combination of three dimensions - how that individual relates to others and the design process, how they think, and how they like to work. The combination of these three dimensions makes up a pattern of behaviour and preferences that define that profile.

It's important to understand that there is no one right way to be a designer, as all design styles have their strengths. It is the diversity that makes a strong design team.

Good designers are able to move between the profiles, that is, change the way they work depending on the stage of the design process. However, everyone has a natural orientation to relate, think and work in a particular style.

Design Profile is a tool to help you gain understanding into yourself as a designer. It's about gaining insight into your design style at a particular point in time or in a particular context, and identifying how you can strengthen your design style through different ways of working and finding other designers that complement your profile.

Architect archetype image - shows stick figure carrying blueprints


People-centred | Abstract | Focussed

Architects are great at thinking about the interaction between people and the systems they interact with. Their love for working with others is a real asset and helps them develop human-centred solutions.

Co producer archetype image - shows stick figure carrying mega phone and clipboard


People-centred | Concrete | Focussed

Producers like to work with and for people. They enjoy bouncing ideas around with others and discussing in groups. They tend to be extroverts and like connecting with others.

Engineer archetype image - Shows stick figure wearing hard hats and using set squares


Design-centred | Abstract | Focussed

Engineers are great at conceptualising ideas in practical terms. They think about the big picture and how everything fits together. They like to use frameworks and concepts to understand the world.

Explorer archetype image - shows stick figure using binoculars


Design-centred | Concrete | Explorative

Explorers’ strength is in reaching innovative design directions and conclusions. Explorers often have many ideas going on in their head at once, and think these through without closing them down too quickly.

Experimenter archetype image - shows stick figure using test tubes


People-centred | Concrete | Explorative

The Experimenter’s natural tendency is to explore many ideas, and be excited by both successes and failures, seeing both as useful parts of the design journey.

Pioneer archetype image - shows stick figure using a telescope


People-centred | Abstract | Explorative

The Pioneer is all about ideas and possibilities. They like to think big picture and long term. The Pioneer likes the diverging part of the design process, feeling more comfortable with exploring possibilities than working to a conclusion.

Maker archetype image - shows stick figure making robot


Design-centred | Concrete | Focussed

The Maker is all about making things and getting things done. They are focussed on what needs to be designed and how to go about designing it. They think practically about how the process will be achieved and enjoy getting started on the work right away.

Strategist archetype image - shows stick figure writing on whiteboard


Design-centred | Abstract | Explorative

Strategists enjoy experiencing the design journey in their own world. They like to think about all the pieces of the puzzle, how they fit together and how they can be played with and rearranged.