We strongly agree to Steve Jobs thought, “Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works”
A very crucial part of a website is the feel of browsing. The experience has the potential to drive customers towards the website. The journey of a customer on the website resembles the stopwatch reference to a clock. You have only 5 seconds to impress the customers, the time at which the stopwatch will fall, the customer decides to stay or leave the website. If they choose to navigate to another, then there is a concern.
A few months back, we received an inquiry regarding UX designing. Our client ended up selecting an incompetent UX designers team and then regretted it. They fell into online mumbo jumbo and false promises made by the UI/UX design company. This cost them a severe drop in the traffic and impacted their annual revenue badly.
Finally, they decided to get out of it by rectifying the mistakes. We tried to understand their problem, and could easily relate to the wrong practices adopted by them while hiring the UX designers. We explained them in-depth about the qualities of a UX designer and the main difference between a regular UX and an effortful UX. You can have a glimpse of our explanation here.
And hence, we decided to come up with a guide that would escort our valuable clients for selecting the UX designers of their dream. So let’s begin our guide on evaluating a UI/UX designer for your project.
A Forbes study shows that companies who focus more on customer experience, grab 4 to 8% higher revenue than those who do not. Also, 84% of companies who gave efforts in improving their customer experience observed an increase in their revenue. These statistics confirm the importance of design behavior in luring customers.
The reason for this criticality is, on every $1 invested in UX, you have $100 in return. Hence, you need to judge the team against structured criteria and ensure their efficiency in harmonizing the design and experience.
In this guide, we have covered topics like,
What is a UX designer? How to hire a UI/UX designer, the required skill sets, and platforms where you can find UX designers.
What is a UX designer?
A UX designer defines the behavior of your product design. It gives life to a skeleton body of the website. All the user’s journey’s nitty-gritty requirements are taken into consideration by them for defining the screen flow, navigation, language, messages, and more. A UX designer polishes the website and takes it to another level.
The prime focus of a UX designer should be the experience and intricacies of user behavior. They need to work in collaboration with the product engineers and UI designers to design an outstanding UX.
Where can you find UX designers?
There are many ways and platforms available to find a great UX designer. One of the effective ways is to go for targeted outreach.
It is a more reliable approach to find a trust-worthy UX designer. Sit with your team and ask for references they have or a UX designer they have previously worked with. Chart out the names of UX designers and dial them up.
As goes by the title, you need to make the first call and reach them out. Target outreach approach is all about collecting referrals from friends & colleagues and finding someone with UX designing expertise.
Online UX design communities:
The Internet is a go-to and huge platform to find UX designers across the globe. UX designers out there are all open to showcase their skills and portfolios. The only thing you need to do is make the right selection.
You will find a pool of online communities having multiple UX designers under the hood. Go to these platforms, browse the designer’s profile, check if they can meet your requirements, and finalize the team.
But before you approach them, you need to set your benchmarks and define the particular things you are looking for in a UX designer. Dribble, Behance, Coroflot and Awwwards, Designer Hangout, Mockplus community, UX Mastery Community, and How Design, are a few to name. You will have an awesome opportunity to communicate and find a skillful UX designer.
UX job boards:
The quest to find the best UX designer for your project ends once you land on these well-known UX job boards. You can find an experienced team of UX designers on UPXA Job Bank, IxDA Jobs, AIGA Design Jobs, UX Job board, Just UX jobs, Indeed Job Search, Toptal, and Authentic Jobs.
What are the options available for choosing a UX designer?
It is not an easy job to find the right designer on the first go. You need to brainstorm the options and pick up the best-fit. This being said, you will find multiple options for choosing a UX designer.
You can hire a freelancer designer, set up your in-house design team, or outsource it to a mobile app development company, it’s up to you. All the options come with the benefits list and shortcomings; however, whatever option you choose should be competent to fulfill your dream.
How to initiate the hire?
Like, good habits start from home; likewise, hiring begins by identifying your UX requirements and deliverables. Invest your valuable time and sit with the team to understand your UX requirements.
Once you know what you are looking for, list them out, and then initiate the hiring process. Following is the step by step procedure to move forward with hiring.
Research & Uncovering requirements:
For executing a strong design strategy, you need to research and define your product goal. Understand your project flow and decide where you would empathize with your audience and which element should be placed where and why!
Define the Specifications, Deliverables & Timelines:
The next step to simplify the process is to embrace the project specs and design a clickable prototype. You can also go for building wireframes but, it wouldn’t be as effective as building a prototype. A clickable prototype will allow you to test your product early and iterate it if required.
Just as the phrase goes, “Try and Try, until you succeed”, you need to investigate and analyze if your product prototype is as per your expectations. Think of the deliverables you have decided, perform UX audits, and redefine the great user experience elements.
Document the final move:
Once you have achieved the list of user experience requirements that will amplify the feel of browsing, the next and final step is to document the same. Prepare a legal document having the project’s scope, timeline, assumptions, and make a move forward.
You may not have a complete understanding of each UX discipline, but we are sure, the above steps will take you through the basics of the concept. These are the preeminent things you need to know before hiring a UI/UX designer.
In the next section, we will discuss what things might fail miserably if you do not pay enough attention to your product’s User Experience.
How can bad UX ruin your product?
Customers stay on your software not because of the design, but because of the experience they receive. Some extremely negative impacts result from a poor UX design, and we are sure you do not want to encounter them ever.
Poor user experience is likely to instigate website/software abandonment. Since the prime focus of setting up a website is to attract and engage users, it is important to curate an experience that your users will remember.
Low search engine rankings:
With the constantly changing Google’s algorithm, you can assume that Google wishes to give its user experience of a lifetime. They wouldn’t settle for anything less when it comes to applications and websites. If you have a poor UX, it can affect performance, accessibility, page speed, etc. It will drastically lower your search engine rankings.
Negative brand image:
Audiences are likely to report a cognitive experience that drains off their mental peace and mobile battery. They will share their negative perceptions and express their grievances. You would be surprised to know that around 91% of people regularly/occasionally read online reviews over the website.
However, the solution to keeping yourself away from this negativity is by delivering unique user experience and increasing customer loyalty.
It is quite obvious that your valuable customer will shift to your competitor’s website if you fail to impress them with a stellar experience. Hence, you only need to focus on this major ingredient of the application without wasting any time, your user experience.
With poor UX, you degrade the quality of service:
A poor UX may cause glitches in the overall service quality. You may end up listing incorrect prices, or wrong information listing if you do not concentrate on user experience. These glitches may ruin your brand’s reputation completely.
We are sure that you definitely do not want to encounter any of these adverse effects because of a poor UX.
We would like to share a case study that would justify the importance of user experience in driving a pool of customers. It is a story of a globally known customer-platform, HubSpot.
HubSpot’s home page has around 4 million users per month widely distributed across 90 + countries. Based on the customer’s feedback, they decided to redefine the user experience over the platform. The team iterated the platform from scratch, researched, analyzed, and tested new methods for copy messaging, incorporated visuals, and revamped the website’s user experience.
No doubt, the team underwent a number of mockups, conducted interviews, developed prototypes, but the end result was something they waited for. They observed a doubling or say tripling effect on the conversion of which the entire HubSpot team is really proud of.
If focusing on one major aspect, UX would earn them a great revenue, you can imagine the importance of your website. User experience is more about convincing new users while you please the current ones.
Let’s come back to our main focus topic of the blog,
Skill-set to look for in a UX designer:
Before you analyze a UX designer, remember your end goal: “To provide a stellar user experience”. This will help you in better judgment and finding a UX designer with the right acumen. Look out for the following qualities in your prospective UX designer.
User behavior study;
Hands-on experience of using tools & resources;
Collaboration with the other team members;
Wireframing and UI prototyping;
Iteration and testing;
Coding and architecture;
Creative mindset and strategic thinker;
Visual communication skills;
How to hire a UX designer for your project?
By now, you would have already known the checklist before hiring a UX/UI designer. In the next section, we are going to let you know the steps that will help you finalize the UX designer.
You would have shortlisted a few UX designers from your networks and online platforms. Now it is the time to finalize your potential UX candidate.
Ask them for a case-study:
The best way to judge a UX designer candidate is by understanding their capabilities of solving a real-project problem. All of your shortlisted UX designers would possess the skill-set mentioned above, but only a few will have the skill to handle the complexity.
Ask them about their project approach and steps taken to remove the past project's redundancy and website improvement.
Their approach to workflow and tools:
A UX designer who does not adopt a strategic approach or have any experience working with tools is literally of no use. Ask them about how they managed to complete the previous project, what tools they equipped themselves with.
Inquire about the UX tools they commonly use for the projects. This question will let you know their competency to work with the tools you prefer for your project.
Ask for Portfolio, Sketch files, and previous work:
You should not be missing out on looking into the previous projects completed by the UX designer. Analyze the sketches and reports provided by the designer and check their approaches. Investigate to find out if they can meet your methodology and style of working.
Their preferred working environment:
This question is of paramount importance because it will let you know whether you should go ahead with the candidate or you should drop. A UX designer has to collaborate with UI designers, product designers, product managers, and many of them. The prospective should be comfortable working with a whole bunch of creative minds.
Anything, in particular, you should be taking care of while hiring?
Yes, there are pretty naive mistakes that one is likely to make before hiring a UX designer. We would like to make you aware of the same. Have a look.
Merging multiple roles:
A UX designer handles only the complexities related to user experience, period! Do not expect the UX designer to work outside his/her domain; they can not.
Quantifying the UX portfolio:
One who has handled 50 projects is comparatively good compared to one who has completed 30 projects is a wrong assumption. You need to judge based on the portfolio, work done, and work style.
Expecting a quick turnaround:
A UX designer will take his/her own time for work completion. You can not expect the task to be completed in a day.
Hunting the right UX Designer:
Here comes an end to our guide to hiring an experienced and reliable UX designer. We hope that by using our insightful blog, you will thoughtfully initiate the UX hiring process. You can also reach us out for hiring our UX designers. You are just a few taps away from hiring our resources.