Would you like to have a ‘magic button’ that brings in $500 million per year? Then this story about a consulting service GfK is what you need.
One of its clients with low revenue from their site approached the company to do the UX research. After examining the website and interviewing its users, experts found the pitfall: a poorly-designed “Buy” button.
Users simply couldn’t find it and had a hard time clicking on it. So, the company decided to add a button below the products. As a result, this led to an additional half a billion in revenue per year.
So, is it only possible to increase your profit with the help of special UX research? Definitely, not, if only you forgot to hire a UI/UX designer who can do this job.
Wondering how to find a great UI/UX expert and not waste all your resources while hiring them? Let’s try and answer these questions by addressing the matter in detail.
Before hiring such experts as UI/UX designers, your first task is to find out who they are. This might be tricky as an expert like this works on both the digital solution's user experience and the user interface.
First, they identify the user’s needs and pain points, draw up and validate a prototype, which are UX tasks. Second, they design visual elements that make a product beautiful and memorable, which are UI tasks.
Matthew Cogswell, an independent consultant with 15+ years of print and UX/UI experience, has his own vision of this sphere. He suggests considering UX as how a car drives or protects us from any accident and UI as the car's design.
Therefore, the ultimate goal of any UI/UX designer is to make the product easy to navigate and meaningful for users while at the same time attractive.
Since UX/UI designers are experts in two different spheres, their list of activities is much longer than a standard one.
UX/UI designers create wireframes – the low-fidelity mockups that present the structure and layout of your product screens and suggest the visual data displayed on them. Wireframes convey the overall direction of the user interface. In case you are building the app, they will become the backbone of your back-end.
However, you might need not just mockups but a working model of your digital solution. A UX/UI designer can create the prototypes allowing you to test both interface and interactions. They can also design the visual elements for your UI, choosing the color, typography, and creating animations.
A UX/UI designer can research your users' behaviors, experiences, and motivations. For this, they use qualitative and quantitative methods. User research is valuable not per se but because it helps solve your users' problems, which contributes to great UX.
Competitor research can help improve your product and get ahead of the game. For example, they might find market gaps – some valuable features other products don’t have, so you can implement them in your digital solution and enhance the UX/UI design.
Information architecture is an integral part of designing your product. It’s a blueprint of the design that UX/UI experts generate into wireframes and sitemaps. The key IA goal is to help users focus on their tasks.
UX/UI designers create the structure that supports the visual components of an interface. Well-made layouts will help your users make sense of the content and highlight the essential information on a screen.
The aesthetics of your product is part and parcel of your business image. You can influence what your audience sees and feels with the typography and colors you use.
Visual design is about implementing colors, images, and content in a way that enhances a UI design or interaction with your product. For this, designers prioritize content on screens and introduce animated effects of crisp illustrations to make the UI more appealing.
Interactivity is a hot point in both app and website development. Different elements of interaction design implemented by UX/UI specialists can significantly enforce user experience. For example, animation effects can transport users between different navigational contexts or reinforce the hierarchy of UI elements.
An accomplished UI/UX designer uses A/B testing and other techniques to determine whether their design performs in a desirable way. Measuring and testing user behavior can significantly improve the user experience.
However, it’s vital to note that the list above is the ideal picture of UI/UX designer activities. Not every candidate might have the expertise to handle all these tasks.
The truth is that you probably don’t need all of them. That’s why you’d better find a designer capable of performing not all the tasks but the job currently required for your business.
A great example of how hiring a UI/UX designer doesn’t mean starting everything from scratch is one of our cases — Perfekto. This YC startup already had a solid brand system when we met for the first time. However, with a clean UI and intuitive UX, Awesomic designed a new mobile-friendly website.
“Okay, but aren’t UI and UX different? Shouldn't our company have two independent experts?” If such thoughts are bothering you, here is the answer.
Yes, UX and UI can be viewed as separate design fields. Yes, you can have both a UX and UI designer working together on a single project, having distinctive roles and responsibilities.
On the other hand, these spheres are inextricably linked. According to the InVision study, most employers looking for UX designers are searching for UX/UI experts because they want their candidates to have UI skills.
So, what should you do: hire two independent experts or one universal soldier? It depends on your product, deadlines, and budget.
To weigh the pros and cons, you have to distinguish between UI and UX designer skills. Here are the most important of them grouped by the activity type:
Therefore, UI designers create everything users see on a screen, including text, icons, backgrounds, and even animations. UX designers take care of how all these elements move and how the users interact with them.
Put simply, if you want your expert to work on the “look and feel” of your app, a UI designer is who you need. If your task is to make your app easy to use, a UX designer is the one who can help you.
If you realize that you need a UX or UI designer only, you can still turn to the role that wears two hats. However, keep in mind that experts who have skills in both UX and UI usually charge more.
If you decide you need to hire a UI designer, check out our guide for tips and insights.
Have you come across situations when the terms UX/UI designer
and UI/UX designer were used interchangeably with no difference
At Awesomic, however, we noticed that sometimes the combination
of letters a designer puts first indicates the field they have more experience in.
If “UI” is ahead of “UX”, their primary set of skills might include delivering visuals. If they are a “UX/UI designer,” they might have
more expertise in delivering UX solutions. It’s not the rule, though,
but something you might find helpful to pay attention to when hiring
a UI/UX designer.
Have you come across situations when the terms UX/UI designer and UI/UX designer were used interchangeably with no difference in meaning?
At Awesomic, however, we noticed that sometimes the combination of letters a designer puts first indicates the field they have more experience in.
If “UI” is ahead of “UX”, their primary set of skills might include delivering visuals. If they are a “UX/UI designer,” they might have more expertise in delivering UX solutions. It’s not the rule, though, but something you might find helpful to pay attention to when hiring a UI/UX designer.
Okay, so now you know who exactly you’re looking for, but how to choose the best candidate? Let’s assume you have a variety of resumes in front of you. Do you have any ideas about what you should pay attention to? Here are some tips for you:
If a designer mentions brand names of some top-notch companies they collaborated with, don’t get carried away by it. It is more important what they did for a particular project and the range of the challenges they solved.
They might have worked for a not-so-famous-yet startup; however, they might have directly contributed to the growth of the business.
Check out the level of responsibility your candidate previously had and correlate it with your particular needs. Sometimes the title might be exactly what you’re looking for, unlike the list of responsibilities required for your company.
Many experienced UI/UX designers have their expert blogs, websites, or even apps. Besides, they could have a YouTube channel or TikTok account. All of these variants show off their knowledge and skills.
The best scenario is when candidates have a couple of them. That confirms they’re real experts in UI/UX design or at least do their best to become ones. However, it’s still vital to check what content they create to ensure their expertise.
When hiring a UI/UX designer, checking their clients’ feedback is a must-have. Pay attention to all the details you can find in the digital world. Yes, even to comments on some forums where they have been mentioned.
What if there is no information about candidates’ past activity? That's a red flag unless you're ready to hire a talented but inexperienced designer.
Evaluating resumes is only halfway, even one-third, as the most crucial part of hiring UI/UX designers is assessing their portfolios. They could give you a comprehensive view of all the candidates’ skills
It’s a good idea to start with assessing candidates’ most recent cases. They're supposed to be of the highest quality, as they show the full designers’ potential. If you can’t find the recent cases easily, that points out the candidates’ lack of organizational skills
If a portfolio includes some of the earlier works, try to trace candidates’ professional growth. Can you notice how they improved their skills? Additionally, you could ask candidates to elaborate on that if they can walk you through their portfolio.
Think of a candidate’s portfolio as a chance to find out their mindset. If it’s full of stunning visuals, it’s great. But, as mentioned, it’s the range of design challenges they solved that matters most. So, don’t get distracted by good-looking cases only.
Ask candidates to comment on a design case that seems the most difficult or interesting. Get to know how much research went into each design, how they came up with the design concept and the reasoning behind essential details.
There is a possibility that some of the tasks candidates accomplished are under NDA. Usually, such tasks are among the most interesting ones. To avoid losing the chance to learn about candidates’ experience, you could simply ask them to describe those cases.
When we assess designers before they start working on the platform, we find it helpful to discern whether they just created visuals or actually solved business problems? Both options are fine – it’s for you to understand how their experience correlates with the design challenges you face.
Apart from inquiring about skills, experience, and tools they use, some specific questions allow you to discern whether a particular candidate is a right fit.
If a candidate is insensitive to feedback, it can wreak havoc on all your design endeavors. Ask them to recall the time when they were criticized and how they handled it. What you wouldn’t want to hearis a rebel story – that would be a red flag.
You might also ask them to give an example of a situation where their opinion was different. How did they handle the situation?
Creatives are notorious for being sensitive, and therefore, they are prompt to experience burnout. Ask them if they ever faced such a challenge and how they dealt with it? A mature designer can manage themselves and has some healthy strategies for coping with burnout.
Especially in early-stage companies, it’s important to understand whether a candidate is a good “cultural fit.” For this, you should know your values and choose people who resonate with them. But make sure your efforts don’t veer into a ditch where new hires all look, think and act exactly alike
If you are interested in learning more about interviewing a designer, check out our dedicated article on the topic.
According to the Buffer 2021 State of Remote Work, a jaw-dropping 97,6% of employees prefer working remotely, at least at some time, for the rest of their career. Since we all live in a remote work era, some extra pieces of advice might be useful talking about UX/UI designer online interviews.
Depending on the type of meeting you’re hosting, you might need a specific set of tools. For most interviews, Skype, Google Hangouts, or Zoom are enough. However, you might need some other tools to recreate the in-person experience, for example, a whiteboard application so a candidate can draw out their ideas
Before every interview, always ensure that you have set the process for you and your candidates. Sometimes, when interviews go digital, this aspect is forgotten, which might end up with poor results.
The goal is to have consistency between in-person and online interviews. Make sure you understand who is measuring what and what questions you are going to ask.
If they have excellent technical skills but can't efficiently work in a team, it’s a wrong choice for you. A designer needs to communicate with many other team members, especially in a remote environment. In order to check that, take some extra time for discussion of this.
Besides understanding how candidates work in a team, it’s crucial to ensure whether they have a full idea of their industry. By that, we mean not only the basics but a connection with the upcoming trends and changes. To ensure that, take the time out of the interview for some test or atypical discussion.
At Awesomic, we have our system of assessing the candidates to understand their competency quickly and accurately. Designers, product managers, and HR experts developed this approach which saves time and money. So working on the platform you can be sure in designer’s hard and soft skills.
1 task on trial period
There's a talent deficiency in the design market. IBISWorld Employment Statistics 2003–2027 confirms this reality, showing
us the number of 0.6% graphic designers in the US Annualized Employment Growth 2016–2021.
Finding a creative UI/UX designer with the right skills who has a good ‘cultural fit’ is a challenge. Fortunately, we prepared four key ways
for you to overcome it:
There's a talent deficiency in the design market. IBISWorld Employment Statistics 2003–2027 confirms this reality, showing us the number of 0.6% graphic designers in the US Annualized Employment Growth 2016–2021.
Finding a creative UI/UX designer with the right skills who has a good ‘cultural fit’ is a challenge. Fortunately, we prepared four key ways for you to overcome it:
The easiest way is to contact those experts with whom you’d like to work. Those can be either designers you have collaborated with in the past or the ones whose portfolio you’ve seen and enjoyed. If they are busy or not interested, use the power of networking or referral systems.
If neither of these helps you, think of social media platforms where you can DM potential candidates. According to Glassdoor, 79% of job seekers use them in their job search.
You can post your UX/UI vacancy on any job search engine. However, using job boards that specialize in UX design is probably the better option. Then you can be sure that your post will reach the targeted audience. UX Jobs Board, Toptal, Just UX Jobs are examples of such job boards.
There are also plenty of online communities where UX/UI designers share portfolios and showcase their work. Dribble and Behance are probably the most well-known platforms of this kind. You could post a vacancy there as well. The price tag for Dribble starts at $299 billed monthly.
You can also hire a UI/UX designer on some popular freelance platforms like Upwork or Fiverr.
These are usually the places with some low-cost offerings. Besides, the freelance networks are pretty expanded, so the search would be time-consuming. Browse the dedicated "design" section on a particular platform to determine whether it can work for you.
Please check this guide for detailed information on searching for designers via popular freelance platforms and their pros and cons
The challenge with all the options mentioned is that you put the burden of assessing and hiring the candidate on your shoulders. You can avoid all of this hassle using design subscription platforms that help you find a UI/UX designer by using powerful algorithms or customer manager help.
For example, Awesomic is an app that matches your design tasks with the best-fit UI/UX experts. Working with the platform, you pay only for a subscription to the service without hidden fees, hiring process participation, and stress.
Whatever product you are building — a website, an app, or software — creating deliberate and thoughtful UX/UI is a must. Hiring a UI/UX designer who will deliver the project and get the business results required is a complex and essential task.
To succeed in this, you should take care of up to a dozen aspects, including looking for the candidates, assessing their resumes and portfolios, providing interviews, and many more.
For that, you have two scenarios. The first one is dealing with all these issues on your own. The second one is saving your time, money, and resources with the help of a dedicated design platform with top-notch experts, like Awesomic.
The UX/UI designer is responsible for working on both – the user interface and user experience of a digital solution.
After identifying the pain points and user needs, they create and validate the prototype. At the same time, they design visual elements to make a product attractive. Their goal is to make the digital solution meaningful and easy to use.
UX/UI designers hold many roles and responsibilities that include:
• User research
• Wireframing and prototyping
• Сompetitor analysis
• Information architecture
• Color and typography
• Visual design and elements
• Interactivity and animation
• Testing and iterating
UX and UI are closely connected, however, they can be regarded as separate design fields. A UX designer and UI designer can collaborate on the same project, having distinctive roles and responsibilities.
UX designers are usually engaged in user research, competitor analysis, prototyping, wireframing, and testing.
UI designers’ primary responsibilities are design research, visual elements, UI prototyping, branding, and interactive elements.
For those who are looking for full-time designers, Glassdoor statistics say the average salary of the UX/UI designer in the US is $101,735 per year. However, this number differs depending on the designers’ location and their level of expertise: