Where do designers typically belong?

In typical product orgs where do designers typically belong? Marketing? Product?


Depends on kind of designers
If they are product designer , uiux designers goes to product side.

Anyone into graphics, motion design goes to marketing


^ and if they’re product designers, who sometimes help with Marketing, I’d still put them on the product since that’s their main role


@Shiyao, +1 to that ^

Ideally marketing can take help from the design team, For brand stuff and other design things.


Although there are people who can do both, product design and brand design are different roles and skillsets. Don’t fall into the trap of just labelling them “designers”
I know plenty of product designers who wouldn’t be happy if they are handed a pile of brand/marketing work, and plenty of great brand designers who are not good product designers.
If you’re planning to hire, be clear on this through the process


Definitely and I’ve seen it first-hand. I’m working on a for-dummies version of it vs product orgs to align the rest of the leadership and wanted to have something to show and talk about.


After a lot of reading and studying, I’ve concluded with the following:


  • Product decisions are done to fit within budgets, not to achieve company goals or outcomes
  • “Technology” is in service to the business
  • Focus in stakeholder needs, not customer needs
  • Big risk of building things no customer even wanted in the first place
  • Org structure: IT and tech reports to the CFO: IT is a cost center and not a priority


  • Closer to agile, but easily ends up in waterfall-like behaviour
  • Often focuses on outputs (what was delivered) instead of outcome (what was achieved)
  • More efficient delivery of output with no guarantee on outcomes
  • Stakeholder managemet still an issue and a huge time sink, as teams may not have their own goals but rather support the goals of other business divisions
  • Org structure: “Business” side of product under a Chief digital officer or similar, engineers under a CIO/CTO


  • Teams focus on business outcomes and have ownership over how to achieve them
  • Teams are given problems to solve, not features to build
  • Teams validate recognized opportunities with the business and customers
  • The people with the best know-how (the team) select the solutions based on insight they themselves have generated
  • Org structure: Modern product org layout where engineering is under CTO and product & design under CPO.

I had to simplify a lot so I can more easily talk about the subject to the rest of the management at my company.

What is missing is “worse” which is BAD but just remove the customer and you’ve got a picture of how product is run in most corporations.


That’s great, thank you for putting this together and for recommendations.


I’ve seen them report into product or engineering. Generally engineering over 90% of the time in the enterprise.


Where should data analyst belong? Is it product Quattro or he is a part of Dev team? I’m curious because I lead a data team and more often than not see people discussing Dev & Product relationships and not taking into account data/product analysts.

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Off the top of my head I would probably put data engineers under the CTO, but product analysts and data scientists under CPO. And if data scientists = data engineers (= product manager sometimes :see_no_evil: then rather put them under product than engineering.

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