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Roaming Designer 101

Chingu will soon be introducing a new role for their cohorts — the Roaming Designer.

Confused? Intrigued? Read on for a guide on the Roaming Designer with examples from the Chingu Developer Network (CDN) project.

A Roaming Designer is someone that will be matched with one or more cohorts to provide design assistance. These cohorts will usually be lacking a designer so it will be the RD’s job to fill those shoes. Once assignments have been made, an RD should meet/chat with the cohorts to learn about their project’s concept and vision, style inspirations (if any), and project schedule. The two parties will then determine what design work is needed and a deliverable schedule for the RD to complete her work.

Here are some helpful questions to guide the initial meeting:

(1) What is the goal of your project? What are important features that the layout should have?

(2) Do you have an existing sketch or mockup to work off of?

(3) Do you have a website or app whose aesthetic you really like?

(4) What would the deadline be?

(5) What deliverables / end products are you expecting?

Halfway before the deadline, the RD should have produced an initial mockup for review by the cohort. This is to ensure both parties are on the same page in terms of aesthetics, functionality, and UX.

For CDN, a significant amount of time was spent on the initial landing page for the site, iterating on an aesthetic that would convey the global nature of Chingu. This was time worth investing because once the aesthetic was nailed down for the landing page, the rest of the site’s style and layout would naturally fall out.

V1: Too kiddy; V2: Night-time to be more adult! But needed more global-ness; V3: Closer but not quite there
Final Version: a globe and a variety of landscapes to represent Chingu’s global-ness

This will depend on what was negotiated with the team as well as what programs you use to mockup the project, but at the very least, an RD should produce:

(1) Interactive layouts with basic links between the pages.

(2) Theme colors, fonts used, component sizes, and all assets created

XD Design Spec Page: Colors and Fonts on left, Component dimensions on right

(3) Optional, but helpful: a run-through of the project

A Roaming Designer’s work is concluded when a team accepts the final deliverables with all feedback addressed. Because a Roaming Designer provides design work for multiple teams, she/he will ideally complete all the work for each cohort within a week of the initial meeting, to give all teams a fair amount of time. Additional time for a cohort can be requested, but may result in cohort assignments changing to balance the workload and ensure each cohort gets some design done.

This may seem like a tight timeline, but it also means Roaming Designers have a hand in many different projects and can produce several “shipped” portfolio pieces in a short amount of time, perfect for budding designers getting their feet wet!

Hopefully, this introduction clarifies what a Roaming Designer is, how RDs fit into the Chingu cohorts, and what the expectations are. Leave any questions or comments below! Thanks for reading!

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