4 min read

Don’t Let Your Startup Make This Big Mistake Before You Hire UI Designers

When you hire UI designers for a startup, it's easy to fall prey to pretty portfolios and social media feeds. Learn how to avoid costly mistakes and unnecessary frustration while searching for the perfect UI professional for your product.

Mikenzi RossJun 22, 2022

When you hire UI designers for a startup, it's easy to fall prey to pretty portfolios and social media feeds. As UI design is all about the visual user interface, it's easy to assume that looks are the only thing that matters.

However, as with all types of designers, there are surprisingly hard pitfalls to spot—many of which that trip up unsuspecting startups when searching for the right candidate.

But don't worry because we've put a spotlight on those traps! That way your startup can avoid unnecessary frustration, and find the perfect UI professional for your product.

First off, it's harder than you think to hire UI designers

Let's get this out of the way.

Hiring people is so much harder than it initially seems. And that's true (from brands like Design Pickle to small mom-and-pop hops), no matter your business or industry.

Not only must startups review countless resumes, portfolios, and sites like Upwork and Fiverr—but they also have to grapple with the uncomfortable element of human feelings.

Unsurprisingly, things get overwhelming—and fast.

It's easy to get discouraged by the process, especially if your first batch of promising candidates doesn't pan out.

But don't stress—because we're here to help!

Aside from another blog we've written to help startups find great UX and UI candidates, we've highlighted key elements your team should look out for when finding the UI expert right for your needs.

4 Things great UI designers do

We've already covered the UI designer job description in this post, so check that out if you'd like to learn more about how a UI designer is different from a UX designer.

Now it's time to discuss some mistakes to avoid when you hire UI designers (all types of designers, frankly.) Below we've outlined four of the most telling soft skills that great UI designers have.

They prioritize accessibility

In the modern world, failing to understand and prioritize accessibility is unacceptable. A great UI designer prioritizes all users when developing a UI strategy, knowing how to use color, typography, and formatting to ensure a product is accessible and effective for all users.

They create clear documentation

While UI design is a visual craft, it's still essential that your designer documents their work and decision-making process. This ensures clear communication between the many departments involved, and makes it easier for others involved to stay in sync.

It doesn’t have to be a super-detailed play-by-play, it should just be an easy paper trail that all parties can reference when needed.

They articulate (or demonstrate) their design process

All great UX and UI designers understand the value of a plan. They never start designing without strategies formulated from research and their unique expertise. When you hire UI designers, be sure to ask them to describe their process.

This gives them an opportunity to assert their knowledge and give you a better understanding of their workflow.

They’re familiar with the unique environment of a startup

While the fundamentals of UI design are the same, there's no environment quite like a startup environment. It takes a unique breed to handle the pressure from stakeholders, sparse timelines, and a big picture perspective. While a UI or UX designer could be highly skilled, if they can't adapt to the startup world, it can lead to stress and frustration.

Be clear with expectations and the need for flexibility when you hire UI designers for a startup—or, better yet, work with UI designers with specific expertise and strategies for startup environments.

A bonus tip that makes it wa-a-ay easier to hire UI designers

Since you've been so awesome to stick with us to this point, we've got a bonus tip to make hiring more manageable.

Best of all, it's the easiest of all tips we've shared today.

You ready?

Give The Design Project a try—and here's why:

  • We offer a 7-day free trial that lets you experience our startup-specific processes without paying a penny
  • You have full access to a team of UX and UI experts for less than the price of hiring one UX/UI designer
  • Your product gets completed more quickly and effectively because we apply uniquely developed processes and strategies designed specifically for startup products

Just remember, if nothing else, no two UI designers are the same.

They're, ya know… people… and stuff.

That means it's most important to find individuals who align with your values, are passionate about their craft, and are always excited to learn.

Whether they're college-educated or learned their craft through YouTube and Google, finding the right candidate comes down to understanding your startup's unique composition and needs.

Define your user persona, and you’ll have the best chance of finding the candidate who solves your startup's pain points!

You got this.

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