Anyone who has been through the process of looking for, evaluating, and hiring UX designers will tell you that it is no simple task. First, you need to find a UX Designer, then you need to evaluate them against structured standards, and then finally, you need to convince them to join you. Of course, all that is easier said than done.
One day each business comes to a point where their only way forward is to hire UX designers. Currently, user experience has become a priority for a wider range of companies, so the demand for UX designers is rising. And as the competition is much more fierce the expectations of the professionals are not the same as they were a few years ago.
Since UX design plays such a vital role, businesses often find themselves in a rough space when it comes to hiring a UX designer. This is because there are almost a million UX designers on the LinkedIn network alone, which are either working as a freelancer, as part of a UX agency, or providing their services as in-house UX designers to businesses. Choosing one between these three options is not an easy task. This article will give some insight into how to hire UX designers.
Evaluation to Hire UX Designers
First, you have to understand your everyday needs and then which specialist will fit the most. There are so many related design jobs that it is manageable for employers to mistake one for another.
UX designers work with the product to make it easy and enjoyable to use. They work closely with the rest of the product team at all the stages of product design, from research to developing user flow, building structure, wireframes, and prototypes, and then testing them all.
UI designers work with the visual side of the interface. If you want someone to change illustrations, typography, and animations on your website to make it trendier, you will be looking for a UI designer. UI/UX designers who master both skills are very common. They should be on your shortlist, as well.
Graphic designers work with visuals. They can develop logos and corporate styles, create images for social media, or design T-shirts. Many UX designers come from graphic design backgrounds.
Other professions that may be confused with UX design are a front-end developer and interaction designer. Front-end developers work with code and serve as a link between the user interface and developers. Interaction designers are close to UX designers but have narrower responsibilities since they only focus on the moments of interaction between the user and the product.
2 Ways to Hire UX Designers
In this section, we will discuss the ways that you can hire UX designers and how to do so.
1. Hire a freelance UX designer
When it comes to hiring a freelance UX designer, there is no shortage of options. In 2020, about 36% of the US workforce was freelancing, and this figure is expected to rise almost by half by the next decade. Therefore, hiring a freelance UX designer could prove to be an ideal option if you are looking for skills that are not limited to a certain region.
When compared to full-time employees, hiring a freelance UX designer or UX Strategist is a cost-effective option. If you go by an hourly rate, you only need to pay them for the number of hours that they work. The latter means that if an hour is not worked, then that hour is not paid. You only pay for the time the freelancer is working. This is certainly a better option compared to hiring an agency or full-time employee if the workload is not consistent.
2. Hire a UX agency
If you are ready to invest more of your budget into your company’s success, meaning the best quality work and utmost professionalism, you should hire a UX agency.
A UX/UI design agency is professional. These agencies are often run by people who themselves have years of experience as UX designers. This makes them familiar with the industry inside and out. There are very few problems these guys have not dealt with yet.
Given the fact that top UX design agencies care about their reputation, they tend to be professional in their approach. Unlike freelancers, agencies carry a heavier burden when it comes to receiving a bad review. Agencies are generally smart to have a range of talents diverse enough to execute all kinds of projects perfectly. In more practical terms, agencies usually have UX researchers, UX architects, interaction designers, etc.
2 Basic Skills Needed to Hire UX Designers
Here, we will tell you what you need to be looking for in a designer. These characteristics are the basics of every good UX designer and you should not hire someone who does not rely on these elements.
1. Design Skills
You will surely want to know if they can do this job efficiently. How can you find out? By reviewing their portfolio, asking questions, and giving design exercises, among many other things.
Regarding experience, you want to know if they have sufficient experience in UX design. You find this out by doing an exercise on problem sets. Are they able to identify, question, and prioritize problems or not.?
Talking about the user-centered process, do they base their design decisions on user insights? In their idea generation, are they able to quickly generate high-quality solutions? In their systems thinking, do they understand how their solution will fit into users’ lives? Regarding visual appeal, is their design appropriate for the audience? These and other questions can give you a pretty general idea of the designer's quality.
2. People Skills
How can you find out if they are good with people? By doing one-on-one interviews, cover letters, and back-and-forth emails. In communication, are they good listeners and/or persuasive speakers? In collaboration, are they able to work efficiently as part of a team?
Regarding cultural contribution, do they represent your company’s values? In leadership, do they take proud ownership of their work and decisions? You can get a pretty good idea of the quality of the designer by asking these questions.
Hiring UX designers is something difficult because one must canary out a process in a strict way if one intends to find a top-quality UX designer.