Ask DN: What's the designer-to-developer ratio where you work?

over 8 years ago from , Design

I was poking around Quora but results are probably outdated. From my own experience, I've seen the ratio of designers to developers hover around 1:5. Would love to hear what the ratio is where you work.


  • Taulant SulkoTaulant Sulko, over 8 years ago

    Developers! Developers! Developers!

    11 points
  • Matt CastilloMatt Castillo, over 8 years ago

    I work at an up-and-coming startup and it's pretty much me and around 20 developers. We're always looking for more devs, but design isn't growing much at the moment.

    10 points
  • Andrew ZimmermanAndrew Zimmerman, over 8 years ago

    I have no idea. I'm taking a wild guess here but I'd peg it at a minimum of 1:20 and could be as much as 1:200.

    I work at a company in the Fortune 500 (just out of the 250) with thousands of employees and a similar amount of contractors. The design department on the business side numbers around 10 designers (none are interactive designers). I am unaware of any designers within the IT side (90+% of IT is outsourced).

    I get to review some projects that come before a review board before deployment. It is obvious that the "design" was done by developers or product owners, not dedicated designers. I'm trying to change that, but it is not a quick-fix.

    2 points
  • Rober GonzálezRober González, over 8 years ago

    1:4 in our team

    1 point
  • Kevin SuttleKevin Suttle, over 8 years ago

    Caveat: totally unofficial. I don't know what it is now, but when I started ~2 years ago, it was 1-75. Then again, IBM employs a quarter of a million people, and as far as I know, that includes the largest group of designers under a single company (~1000?).

    1 point
  • dave benton, over 8 years ago

    3 designers to 5 developers.

    1 point
  • Tom Nassr, over 8 years ago

    Its closer to 3:3 here. Thats also because we use Meteor for our application, so 2 of the 3 designers also code from time to time and 2 of the 3 designers do development from time to time.

    1 point
  • Matt SoriaMatt Soria, over 8 years ago

    I work at a small design studio called Firebelly Design, which is definitely a design studio (lots of branding and print design), so here it's usually about 2:1 (currently 4 designers, 2 developers).

    1 point
  • jouni helminenjouni helminen, over 8 years ago

    1 designer to every 15-20 developers.

    We're hoping to change that by hiring a few more, so if you feel like working on design for a next generation mobile/desktop operating system (Ubuntu) in London, drop me a line at jouni.helminen@canonical.com :)

    Looking for junior/midweight with mobile and web experience.

    0 points
  • Jonas S, over 8 years ago

    What types of companies do you work at with this ratio?

    0 points
  • Spencer HoltawaySpencer Holtaway, over 8 years ago


    0 points
  • Matt WalkerMatt Walker, over 8 years ago

    2 Designers / 45 Developers

    8+ Products that are all interconnected with each other.

    I am up to my eye balls in work.

    0 points
    • Derek Punsalan, over 8 years ago

      Curious to know if you've requested additional design seats, and if so what type of counter arguments you're receiving.

      0 points
      • Matt WalkerMatt Walker, over 8 years ago (edited over 8 years ago )

        We get external assistance from contractors to do special tasks that maybe we don't have the time to do, like making a custom icon set for our suite of products, but that's about it for now.

        Despite the heavy presence of developers and our heavy work load. We're ahead of everyone else. Development has a backlog of work from us to implement, the reason for this is because out of the 45 developers we may only have about 3 front-end devs that actually implement the work we're doing.

        We're actively looking for more front-end devs. I think once the backlog of work that's been completed starts getting implemented quicker we'll need more full-time help with our work load to make sure we keep the pace up.

        It's a bit crazy.

        1 point
  • Tyrale BloomfieldTyrale Bloomfield, over 8 years ago

    1:5 Works out pretty well, We are also all distributed. Then 1 PM to that team as well. We are full stack designers.

    0 points
  • Cihad TurhanCihad Turhan, over 8 years ago

    1:5. If it's not a design centered company, the ratio is always around 1:5

    0 points
  • Bevan StephensBevan Stephens, over 8 years ago


    0 points
  • Spencer HaizelSpencer Haizel, over 8 years ago

    3 designers - 7 developers.

    0 points
  • Andy DevendorfAndy Devendorf, over 8 years ago

    1:3 in our group

    0 points
  • Mike ArndtMike Arndt, over 8 years ago

    Like many others here, we have a pretty large amount of engineers per designer. 9:2 right now but looking to hire another 4 engineers.

    0 points
  • Dirk HCM van BoxtelDirk HCM van Boxtel, over 8 years ago (edited over 8 years ago )

    1:4 design dev ratio, IT team of 5, in a company of about 40.

    I'm currently stationed as an in-house designer for a company in dental practice management. We built and maintain things like a patient surveys app, practice finance systems, work-flow/time management tools, an e-learning app, a dental real-estate sales site, a job board, a recruitment app, etc.

    It occasionally gets quite tough, since I manage;

    • UI for all our sites, apps, and their new features (includes UX research)
    • Marketing related design (from concept to campaign monitor/print, including code)
    • A bunch of micro-sites for our brick & mortar services
    • Copy writing for all our products and services
    • (re-)Branding of our new and existing products and services

    Just thought I'd explain why I'm in a 1:4 ratio, yet on occasion struggle to keep up. And to be honest, it's a bit weird reading this back, or even writing it in the first place. Like I hadn't looked in the mirror for a while.

    0 points
  • Luca Candela, over 8 years ago

    We have 2 designers (plus me) and 30 developers but most of them are focused on backend. We have a huge backlog of "design debt" to recover though and we're hiring for both design and front end development.

    Designers are never enough, I was the first person with any design skills before I started hiring and people immediately found things for me to do that nobody could tackle before.

    0 points
  • Nathan CooperNathan Cooper, over 8 years ago (edited over 8 years ago )

    1:6 currently. Soon to be 1:10.

    0 points
  • Mackenzie DavidsonMackenzie Davidson, over 8 years ago

    Small studio - 1:2

    0 points
  • Nick SloggettNick Sloggett, over 8 years ago


    0 points
  • Maciej ZadykowiczMaciej Zadykowicz, over 8 years ago

    Um, 10 designers and about 300 developers with the company, though it's more like 1:7 ratio in the office where I work. It's ok, we get along just fine.

    0 points
  • Søren ClausenSøren Clausen, over 8 years ago (edited over 8 years ago )

    We are 2 designers and about 20 developers. Right now were looking for another designer, and even more devs..

    0 points
  • Deny Khoung, over 8 years ago

    Prior experience 1:7, which is somewhat manageable. The engineering heavy startups I've worked with lean towards 1:12. In these scenarios, not all features get immediate design attention and designers are playing a constant game of catch-up.

    John Meada's KPCB Design in Tech presentation says it's around 1:5 for early-stage "design-conscious" startups: http://cl.ly/image/1P1X031p472i

    You can view the whole report here: http://www.kpcb.com/blog/design-in-tech-report-2015

    0 points
  • Crampa ...Crampa ..., over 8 years ago

    Sounds about right. We have 3 designers and 12 developers ..but we really need more developers!

    A few of our developers, including me, started in design and have moved onto front-end/fullstack development.

    What did Quora say?

    0 points
    • Derek Punsalan, over 8 years ago

      I actually didn't find anything for results in the past year. There was one comment regarding the ratio at Github from 2011 thought it safe to assume that ratio was outdated.

      0 points