CNN’s take: Silicon Valley is desperate for talented designers

Laurie Segall, CNN:

Johnnie Manzari, a prominent user interface designer for more than a decade, says he gets weekly phone calls from people asking him to recommend good designers.

“There’s a huge demand for finding talent,” he says. “Just like with engineering, one of the reasons it’s been so difficult is there just aren’t many people that are that good. Not only are people looking for designers more than they used to, but the bar they’re willing to accept has gone up.”

Several of the industry’s power players have been on design-focused shopping sprees.

This whole article reeks of being about six months to a year behind coverage in tech news sites like Engadget and Hacker News. Many traditional “engineering heavy” companies, most notably Google and Dropbox, have seen their design focus ramp sharply upward as soon as early 2011. Around then or by that summer, there were a lot of websites and apps that saw a serious bump in usability and their aesthetic quality.

I’d argue a interesting issue, largely sidestepped by CNN, is why design salaries still don’t equalize that of developers, at least in more entry level positions. It’s a hard nut to crack, yet I find the disparity, given design’s (much deserved) increasing prominence in tech land, increasingly difficult to justify.