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As some of you might now, in addition to Toggl, we are also developing an online Gantt tool – Teamweek. Here I share our experience with outsourcing designers for this team calendar app.

Teamweek doesn’t have an in-house designer. We have developers, managers, customer support people but no designers. No-one to fire up Photoshop in the morning and make Teamweek beautiful. It might sound crazy at first but here are some good reasons to outsource your product design.

When we started working on Teamweek New last year, we had no internal debate about whether we should start another hiring process or contact the best UI designer we know. Of course we called Tõnu.

“Great designers don’t work in law offices, banks or large retailers. Some do have a position as the sole creative in a small startup, but most of them love to team up with other designers instead. Learn from them, share thoughts and work. Therefore it often makes more sense to not hire a full time designer but to team up with a studio for recurring gigs.”

One of the main benefits of working with these guys is that you can get a second, fresh, opinion on whether you’re headed in the right direction. Yes, it’s not always the naked truth, and sometimes we do end up hitting the wall with our heated disputes, but it’s so worth it! As an added bonus, you often also get new ideas for the next improvements, or even just for decorating your home.

If you think about it, it’s like having many lovers – you don’t get tired of each other and you’re constantly challenged. In order to stay on top of your game, you must come up with fresh ideas and stay inspired. You can’t let yourself get lazy in your comfort zone.

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Last but not least. We are really good at developing and know nothing about fonts, colors or layout. So it can get a bit lonely here since we can’t stop talking about Ruby, Python or if OS X is superior to Linux.

Thus, when you stay focused and maintain a clear vision for your product, there should be no problems with dedication, communication or deeper understanding. Great designers are people who can do their job even when they don’t feel like it. Period.