Career Progression for Design Teams: The 6x6 Framework

A Simple Framework for Brand and Product Design

Personal growth isn’t linear so why should our professional growth be any different?

Signposts. Not Box Ticking.

The Challenge with Frameworks

A Case for Dual tracks

Principle and Staff titles allow for greater influence without people management responsibilities.

Six Levels


  1. Qualitative data
    With smaller sample sizes, identifying the right problem, deploying the appropriate generative or evaluative method, synthesising insights, and ensuring consistent action.
  2. Quantitative data
    With larger sample sizes, identifying the right problem, collecting actionable insights with structured methods, running experiments, and spotting patterns.
  3. Illustration
    Creating an image to communicate an idea, process or thought. Visualising concepts by drawing.
  4. Writing
    Expressing ideas, processes or thoughts within a range of written styles for the appropriate audience.
  5. Concept Design
    Facility with methods, process and tools to demonstrate proofs-of-concept in low- and mid-fidelity.
  6. Execution Design
    Facility with visual design principles including, but not limited to colour, type, composition and scale. Ability to execute against existing patterns and styles.


  1. Evangelism
    Frames and elevates the design offering to the broader community and beyond.
  2. Communication
    Shares the right amount of information with the right people, at the right time. Listens actively and empathetically.
  3. Planning
    Delivers well-scoped outcomes that meet goals, on time and budget
  4. Belonging
    Builds a positive and rewarding culture internally
  5. Initiative
    Drives improvements and effects positive organisational change outside of mandated work
  6. Coaching
    Provides strategic support to help build and develop talent

Leanne P.

Final thoughts



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Brent Palmer

Design leader and manager @fast. Previously @carwow @Zendesk @PayPal @TrendKite @Spredfast.