Is this spec work?

almost 5 years ago from Robert Williams, Owner, Folyo

  • Taurean BryantTaurean Bryant, almost 5 years ago

    when someone starts to provide designer services without compensation in the hopes that they might get compensated in the future, it becomes spec work. Generally I don't like creating new things when interviewing places but as long as it takes me an hour or less I don't mind too much.

    With that said, part of why I don't like doing it is because it doesn't give a whole lot of insight as to how valuable that designer is. Divorced from any real context (biz requirements, user feedback, collaborating with other designers, real-world process), theres no way to gauge the quality of design decisions.

    To me, a useful design exercise would be one that tries to emulate a real-world environment as closely as possible. For example, you could create a hypothetical situation in which X business is running into Y problem and is strongly considering Z feature/approach to alleviating that problem. You could then ask the designer what questions they would seek answers to and why those questions are important. How would that inform their design process? At that point you're able to talk about design decisions/process/flow in a more illuminating way.

    5 points