Getting good UI/UX Designers on board can seem like an insurmountable challenge, but it doesn’t have to be that way. The hiring process can be one of the most important parts of creating your ideal product; if you hire bad employees, they will not only fail to do their job well, but they will also drag down the rest of your team’s morale and performance.
There are several things to keep in mind when looking to hire designers to ensure you get the perfect people for your project. Here are 10 tips to help you hire UI/UX designers for your project.
1) Recognize Your Needs
First, before you get too excited about finding and hiring your dream design team, make sure you’ve clearly identified your needs. That’s probably obvious—but it can be easy to get swept up in all of those beautiful design portfolios out there.
A good first step is conducting some research into common usability issues (and their respective solutions). Knowing what you’re looking for before talking with designers will help ensure you don’t hire someone who can’t do anything to help fix those problems.
2) Look at the Portfolio
If you know someone who has worked with a designer before, ask them about their experiences. A portfolio is more than just an online set of samples; it’s also a way for a potential client to get a feel for how someone works and what they think about UX design as a whole.
It can also help you in deciding if your project is a good fit for that designer, or if there are features you would prefer them to focus on. Either way, looking at an interface designer’s portfolio should always be your first step when beginning any project.
3) Designers Should Have Latest Skill Sets
As a rule of thumb, you can expect that your designer should have most of the latest skills. If they do not, you’ll need to look elsewhere. See if they can build wireframes and prototypes in Adobe XD or Sketch (or whatever design tool is popular with your team).
- Can they write clean code?
- Do they know how to integrate multiple libraries into one project?
- What platforms do they use: Canva, WordPress, Squarespace?
Knowing how familiar they are with these tools will make your life easier when working together on your website.
4) Create a Sheet Containing the Necessary Hard and Soft Skills
One of your most important hiring criteria should be that you’re looking for people with specific soft and hard skills. The problem is, what do you do when a candidate doesn’t have all those skills on their resume?
This can be particularly common in UX design positions since UX designers often switch jobs fairly frequently. In cases like these, it can be helpful to create a sheet containing all of your important criteria.
Then, whenever someone comes in without certain qualifications on their resume, you can simply check off which ones they lack and then ask them how they would go about getting these skills and/or acquiring these experiences so that they do meet your criteria in 6 months or 1 year.
5) Hire designers who deliver quality work
If you’re looking to hire a designer, it’s important that you learn to recognize high-quality work. If your job is hiring someone, or if you will be a part of a team making decisions about hiring designers, look at lots of examples of their work and learn what good design looks like. It’s not always easy.
Even with more design education than most people have these days, it can still be hard to tell good designers from bad ones. By all means, look at their portfolios and ask about awards they’ve won, but remember that those awards don’t mean much unless they were granted by judges who are experts in design. Learn enough about design so that you can see for yourself whether something is beautiful or not.
6) Make sure they have the right software
Just as important, you’ll want to make sure they have all of the software they need to do their job. At some point in their careers, most designers will use Adobe Creative Suite (including Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign), Axure RP Pro or Sketch, but it’s not enough just to know what tools they use.
Make sure you understand how familiar they are with each one so you can be sure that if a problem arises during your project, there won’t be any technical hiccups along the way. For example, if your designer is proficient in Illustrator but can only open AI files on a Mac and your computer is a PC running Windows 8 – it might cause issues later down the line.
Good Read: Know the 6 stages of the UX design process
7) Look for an Experienced Designer
It can be hard to tell if a designer is skilled or not. The easiest way? Look at what they’ve done! Look at other projects they’ve worked on, check out their portfolio, ask for recommendations. Try your best to find someone who has experience working with businesses similar to yours. For example, a company in retail will be looking for a very different kind of designer than an eCommerce site would.
Even better: find designers who have worked on projects similar to yours in terms of complexity and scope. That way you don’t have any surprises down the road and know that you’re getting exactly what you need from your design team member(s). Most importantly, hire someone who will look good with your brand—and make sure you get along with them!
8) Agile/Lean UX is Vital
Agile is more than a development method; it’s also a fundamental mindset. Agile UX design brings customer value and transparency to every aspect of your project, ensuring that you’re moving quickly, getting feedback early and often, and producing quality results. The goal is iteration: Each change, or sprint, should result in improvements over your last milestone. To achieve that goal in UX design as well as other areas of digital innovation.
9) Support and Maintenance is Essential
UX design isn’t an all-or-nothing proposition. Yes, you can have a great idea and still deliver a terrible user experience. However, support and maintenance are essential if you want your customers to continue using your product.
If you go with a developer who doesn’t offer support, it may seem like they did such a good job that no changes are needed—but don’t fall into that trap! Failing to build in support from day one is likely going to make ongoing updates painful down the road.
Choose developers who have done UX design work before and are willing to provide ongoing maintenance services. You should be able keep them in-house or outsource as needed.
10) Check Communication Skills of Designers
When hiring a UX designer, it’s important to check their communication skills. You may not be able to tell from a portfolio exactly how well your designer communicates. A good way is by talking with them on Skype or even hiring them for a part-time job. Check if they are up-to-date with technology and whether they are efficient in communication by asking them about certain software programs.
Do they respond promptly? Have an agreement beforehand that any delays will be charged extra. In addition, make sure you have a phone conversation before hiring them as well as once you have hired them so that you can see how much of what they say will translate into action.
We all know how hard it is to hire a UI designer. For both parties, designers, and clients, it’s a risky game. But in order to be successful, you must take some risks. There are no shortcuts here! I hope these tips will help you find your dream designer (and, who knows? Maybe you’ll even become friends!).