The design team cards help team members reflect on their own attributes, using a set of predefined ‘roles’ to identify how they might best contribute. By comparing and sharing the completed cards, the activity can also support the development of a positive team dynamic and an overall stronger team cohesion.
The template can be used in many situations. There is no strict rule for when it is best to use it. Some examples of typical use cases include:
One-off meetings and workshops: Use the design team cards as an icebreaker activity; it’s a great way for participants to get to know each other.
Design teams: Use the design team cards to map out the different design skills that each team member brings to a project; the exercise helps to align skills and to reveal potential gaps.
Cross-departmental and multidisciplinary project teams: Collaborating across diverse teams boosts creativity and innovative outcomes. Use the design team cards to map out the capabilities of each team member and how to allocate project roles and responsibilities.
Project kick-offs: Use the design team cards to get everyone on the same page when kicking off a new project, and to discuss not only capabilities but also expectations.
The design team cards introduce seven key roles in a design team: the researcher, the creative, the maker, the perfectionist, the communicator, the provocateur and the mediator.
Rather than choosing a role, each team member aligns themselves against each of the roles using a scoring system.
Once complete, team members can share and compare their cards to build an overview of the capabilities across the group.
In recognising and valuing individual and collective strengths and weaknesses, teams can work more effectively to allocate tasks.
The design team cards method is published in the book “Design Think Make Break Repeat”, which includes a total of 80 design methods along with case studies. For more details see: