Designer's Exploitation


Luckily, in Poland, the law protects designers to a great extent. If you are able to prove that this other designer executed your idea on request from your ex-client, or somebody used your work without you giving them rights to do so, you can take it to court and it’s 90% chances you’ll win. The remuneration is few times higher that the salary you’d get, obviously :slight_smile: This is a recent change, dating few years back and it has given designers so much room to breathe it feels weird as for an Eastern European country :slight_smile:

But before these times, you’d have be extra careful. Sometimes, watermarking your designs wouldn’t help. So we’re really grateful for this update in law.


This is the BEST SOLUTION ever!!!


Sorry to hear about it @Rei_Hino

I am going through a similar phase in interviewing and asked to do “design exercises” . I sometimes do it if I like the company/want to work/like the challenge. But I have an ulterior motive, I plan to spin the work I did into a case study and add it to my portfolio :wink:

That way even if I don’t get the job, I still win. They can’t take away what is mine, if I make it public first :blush:


For whatever it’s worth, I don’t think the biggest concern is people stealing your work. While I admit it’s possible, I’ve never actually seen a verified account of this happening.

My biggest concern is from an ethical standpoint. I recently came across a guy that spent 30+ hours on a project for a job with Google that he didn’t get. He was not paid, did not get any feedback, and was just given a “Sorry, we’re moving on with other people” spiel.

How can companies possibly justify this?


@Sridhar I can see how this could benefit your portfolio, but I wouldn’t send it to them. I’d complete the task, wait for the interview process, and then post it on my portfolio. Why should they be getting something I’ve worked on without any compensation? A spot on the portfolio, in my opinion, is just not good enough. There’s hundreds of other big brand digital products I could rework and post as a “redesign concept.”


Of course what you say is right. My suggestion holds true when you are up against the wall and have no other options. Feel free to ignore/improvise.


It’s true but we do not live in an ideal world so just making the most of the situation.


Based on the conversation we had here, I followed up with the design community and many shared similar experience. I wrote an article on Medium about it. Do have a look.


Another recent experience:

I told the interviewer specifically before doing the assignment all I ask in return is some feedback if I am to do their assignment. They were in full agreement.

Then, the generic pass. I ask again via email. No reply.

This is getting abusive and I’m trying really hard to give these companies the benefit of the doubt, but it’s getting more and more difficult.


I am so sorry that this happened. :frowning:


Wow, talk about unprofessional! I’m really sorry that hiring managers are being such jerks to you. You don’t deserve that kind of treatment - honestly, nobody does. In my opinion, you dodged a bullet - anyone that would do that to you is not someone you want to work for.

I don’t know what to tell you at this point, except that this is something that has to change. We really should start calling out companies that do this.


I know. At this point, I’m just sharing my stories, I should create a blog dedicated to just this :laughing:


I tweeted out a link to this thread yesterday, and it really struck a chord with my UX Twitterverse. From Palestine to Hungary to the US, this is surprisingly and unfortunately common.

It’s a small consolation, but it may help to know you are not alone.


I’ve been reading some Tweets on this very subject as well. Jared Spool asked on Twitter (link):

Questions for hiring managers of UX design & research positions:

If you do in-interview design challenges, what do you hope to learn about the candidates you can’t get any other way?

For those who don’t do them, why not?

I enjoyed the responses from Peter Merholz:

Design challenges are a scourge. There’s literally nothing you can learn in a design challenge that you can’t learn by having them walk you through the decision-making of a project in their portfolio. It sets up an exceedingly false context, and favors a narrow band of thinker.

The language is telling. A design “challenge” suggests a suspicious, even adversarial relationship in the interview process, and many of these responses demonstrate that. Which I feel is a horrible mindset. “Prove your worth to me!!!"

Design challenges only arose within tech companies, where engineers typically have engineering challenges. To prove design was ‘rigorous’ like engineering, design teams started this practice. But design != engineering.


My thought on the topic is that obviously there is some confusion when it comes to the nomenclature where UX and UI Designer are used interchangeably. That’s wrong.

And another thought is that, unless you want to be a UI Designer, don’t do the assignments that involve creating beautiful interfaces. UX is about usability, not about interactions in the sense what color hovered button should be (correct me if I’m wrong). I know I’m limiting myself in my search but I pass on these tasks. I want to do UX, not UI.

And I had an opportunity to take part in the best job interview ever, where the company was searching for a UX designer, asked basic questions via phone and invited me for the interview. They wanted to see how I think so they asked questions and gave me exercices during an interview.

And a disclaimer. If anybody read my post in a topic that talked about being a generalist, I’m past that phase now. I’m thinking about specializing, even though wide scope of tasks is sometimes nice too.


Exciting! What area are you thinking of specialising in?


I’m taking baby steps and decided to exclude UI for now. It’s not as fun as thinking and concluding. And we’ll see what future brings :slight_smile:


That’s really brave. Good on you. I look forward to hearing how it goes.

split this topic #39

6 posts were split to a new topic: Who owns the rights to our work when we leave an organisation?


How did you manage to say ‘no’ to them? I have complteted two stages of recruitment process and now I’m asked to do an assignment for 3 to 5 hours. I need to say no for a simple reason I don’t have time after work to spare, at the moment. I really don’t know how to say ‘no’ but still keep the door open (maybe they’ll come up with a different idea of checking me out, who knows).