IT Team Management Tips

What to Look for in a UX Designer When Hiring One

Learn which skills a UX designer should have to hire the best specialist and get an easy-to-use user experience design for your project.

It might be quite challenging to evaluate the skills of the UX designer, especially if you are not a designer yourself. If you are currently looking for a UX designer, and you don’t already have one on your team, you might find yourself in a precarious situation where you don’t know what kind of expert you are looking for, what questions to ask, and how to determine whether the person you interview is up to the task at hand. Being experts in outstaffing, the Intersog team knows exactly what to look for in a UX designer, what should a UX designer know, and how to recruit a person who matches your requirements precisely. 

User Experience is essential for the vast majority of customers, and 8 out of 10 customers are willing to pay more for an app that offers an improved customer experience. That is why hiring a truly professional UX designer or a team of designers is a must if you want your product to be commercially viable. Today, we are going to discuss the skills, qualifications, and qualities you want to see in the person you hire for the position of UX designer so that you know what to look for.

What Are You Looking For?

What you want to achieve is a compelling and natural user experience. You want your app or any other type of software product to be easy to use, fairly simple, and intuitive. At the same time, you want to keep your users engaged; you don’t want them to use your app without giving it any thought whatsoever. 

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For these reasons, you want to hire a UX and UI developer with a good portfolio who can create exactly that – an intuitive yet compelling design that makes your users want to come back for more over and over again. It must be smooth and flawless, but it also has to make your users interact with the app. That is a fine line between the app that might feel annoying because of its imperfections and the app that challenges the users enough to keep their minds engaged.

Only the top designers with a profound understanding of user mentality and an extensive technical skill set can hit that mark. So, here are the key skills and qualifications you should look for when hiring UX designers.

Soft Skills

Soft skills are the basis of effective cooperation with whatever kind of expert you are trying to hire. You want your potential employees to be cooperative and responsible, but the UX designer soft skills have to go beyond that. A professional UX designer should have a highly developed empathy and basically read the minds of the future users, understand their behavior and their preferences, and have a profound understanding of human psychology. 

This is much more than just coding, this is a rather complex and broad set of qualifications only a few professionals can pull off. Other than that, you want to make sure your potential employee is a team player. The UX/UI designer will have to cooperate with the development team at each stage of the software development life cycle to make sure the app corresponds to the initial concept. So, your potential employee has to be cooperative, friendly, responsive, and have a deep understanding of human psychology.

Strategic Thinking

Your designer has to be a business and strategic thinker who can foresee the market trends and come up with innovative designs for your app that would hit the users just right. The markets change and move, and you can allow staleness in neither design nor functionality. Balancing out the user vs business needs, finding the best solutions to roll out necessary changes fast, and avoid redundant spending is one of the crucial senior UX designer skills.

Your designer has to be a problem-solver who seeks close cooperation with the project managers and comes up with ideas on how to lead the development process to accommodate both your business needs and the expectations of the users. There has to be healthy dialogue between the project manager and the UX designer for well-rounded decision-making. 

Investigative Mindset

Apart from being a creative person, your designer has to have an investigative mindset to create innovative designs that do not only match the current trends but set the new ones too. For an idea to flourish, it has to be based on knowledge acquired via thorough market investigation. That is why one of the most important skills required for UI/UX designer is the ability to observe, analyze, and foresee market trends.

You want your UX/UI designer to be in a constant search for new ideas to improve your product. A good designer is always on the lookout for new designs and ideas that would improve the usability of your product, customer satisfaction, and increase revenue. Investigating the market and the users’ attitudes is essential for making educated predictions and actually giving your user base what they desire most and what they are ready to pay for. 

Design Leadership

A UX designer has to take the responsibility for the product from time to time. The involvement of the designer is crucial throughout the SDLC, but at times, the designer needs to take charge of the product and show leadership skills to guide it in the right direction. It is especially true for the initial stages of the process.

Taking the lead throughout different stages of development and making sure everything goes according to plan is part of the UX designers’ job, so you want your potential employee to be a proactive individual who is not afraid of responsibility.

Hard Skills

Though soft skills such as creativity and strategic thinking might arguably be even more important for UX designers than hard skills like coding, you still want your employees to be fairly competent in a number of ways. The hard skills of the UX designer often intertwine with their soft skills as they have to put their creative vision into an actual product. The goal here is to create a product that reflects your vision and the vision of the designer based on research and profound understanding of the target audience.

Prototyping

Before actually developing an application, it is essential to create a prototype to understand what the actual app would look like, what its functionality is going to be, address the immediate design issues, and see whether the concept is viable, to begin with. Here, the designer has to have a perfect command of prototyping tools like Marvel, Canva, Figma, Balsamiq, or any other tool with similar functions. 

The prototype might be anything, from hand-drawn sketches and models to high-fidelity digital mockups. Anything goes, as long as it reflects the core idea of what the application design is going to be.

Interactive Design

Aesthetic appeal is not enough; the application needs to be interactive, and the interactions between the user and the app need to be intuitive and well-defined. Each interaction has to bring value to the user and serve a certain goal. You cannot allow or afford any redundancies – each tap on the screen has to bring results or else your users will end up confused or worse – annoyed by your app.

The job of a designer is to make sure the user experience is satisfying and engaging. The goal is to make your users want to use your app and make them come back for more of your stuff, whatever it is that you are trying to give them. The experience has to be borderline addictive, and that is how you achieve commercial success for your app.

Coding

Some of the UX designers come from an engineering background, and the difference between them and the actual developers is not that significant. A designer has to have at least some knowledge of coding languages and frameworks like HTML, CSS, Vue.js, and other relevant frameworks. Though good coding skills are not essential for the designer, they would certainly be a huge plus for you. Although UX designers can be quite well off without even having the coding skills, you might still want to hire the one who can code or at least have a good understanding of what is going on inside that code.

Information Architecture

A designer needs to be good at organizing, analyzing, and prioritizing information. This is essential for making the right choices throughout the design process and managing the information flow. If the information is not structured and prioritized well within the application, it may lead to a rather bewildering and frustrating user experience.

How Do You Choose a UX Designer?

Let’s say you have a number of candidates you’d want to interview but you don’t really know how to choose the right one. How do you actually determine whether they are worth your time and attention? There are ways to trim off some of the candidates based on their seniority level alone. 

Junior Designers

Juniors are generally considered to be low-skill novices who’ve been in the business for less than 2 years. There’s nothing wrong with hiring junior designers for your project if you already have a solid team and a couple of seniors who can help the new guy around and offer necessary supervision along the way. Juniors usually have all the UI UX designer competencies, just on a really basic level. These people need experience and training before they can be full-fledged and independent players on your team.

If you don’t have any designers on your team already, it is better not to hire juniors. You might be lucky and hire a real prodigy who can do as good a job as seniors do, but in most cases, you are going to end up with a designer who lacks the necessary knowledge and experience.

Middle-Level Designers

Now we are talking about people who can hold their own in almost any kind of team working on most types of projects. Mid-level designers are the ones with anywhere between 2 and 5 years of experience. It might depend on the personal talent of the designer, and some reach higher levels of proficiency in a shorter period of time.

You don’t always need to judge professionals by the time they’ve spent on the market. One person could work on more projects in a span of three years than the other would in a decade, so the time on the market is not always the showcase of their abilities.

Senior Designers

Generally, senior experts are the ones who’ve been perfecting their skills for 5 years and more. These are the A-listers who can work on literally any kind of project without supervision. They lead the charge and they propel your project to new heights. These are the people you want to hire if you want to see the best results.

UX Designer Hiring Tips

To evaluate the UX designer technical skills and hire the person who matches your requirements, you need to follow a certain interviewing pattern. Asking the right questions is the key to making the right choice, so here’s how you hire the best UX designer for your project.

Check Their Portfolio

It is important to know what your candidates have been working on before, so you must see their portfolio before you even enter any negotiations on salary and whatnot. See what kinds of projects they’ve been involved in and see how they handled their direct duties. 

What is really important here is the versatility of their designs. You might like or dislike some of their previous designs but it is always a good sign if they are different. Hiring a one-trick pony is not a good idea, so even if you don’t really like some of their work but you see they can come up with creative ideas that stand out from one another, you may want to hire that person.

Interview

After that, you want to talk to the candidate, see what kinds of UI UX designer competencies they possess, and have a closer look at what they actually did throughout their journey. Ask what kinds of problems they solved on their previous projects, what did they do exactly, how they handled the problems they’ve faced, and ask them to show the real results of their performance.

It is important for you to not just look at the resume, you must also find out whether the candidates made a viable contribution to the project and whether they were the ones behind the positive results. It is easy to put a project on a resume claiming credit for the collective work and tell people you have all the UX designer required skills. What is hard is to explain to other people what you did on the project. So, if your candidate can give you the specifics of their involvement in the project, most likely they know what they are talking about. 

Compatibility with the Team

You have to consider how well your candidate would fit within your existing team and whether they’d be able to cooperate with the project manager and the developers in an efficient and amicable manner. You don’t want any conflicts disrupting your workflow and delaying the project delivery.

This is especially true when you hire remote developers from other countries. Cultural differences can influence the quality of communication within the team, and you would need a person who can blend in easily. 

How Can We Help?

Intersog operates a vast talent pool of developers and designers to augment your team and deliver tangible results fast. We partner with industry leaders around the world providing them with the best UX/UI designers, project managers, dedicated developers, and QA experts to help them achieve their digital transformation goals fast and without redundant spending.

Here, we can get you the best UX designer who matches your team and project requirements in a matter of days so that you do not have to spend months of your time going through the recruitment process. It is our goal to give you the best IT experts and help you achieve a competitive edge by producing professional and visually appealing solutions that drive your product to market and provide the ROI you expect.

Final Thoughts: Finding a Perfect Designer

There are many things to consider when hiring a person for an important position on your team. A UX designer is one of the most important figures making critical decisions throughout the software development life cycle. These decisions would often mean the difference between your product’s success and failure, so you should pay close attention to choosing the right person for the job.

You have to evaluate the soft skills of your candidates, see whether they have the creative mindset you need, and how they cooperate with the team. Next, you have to evaluate their technical skills to know whether they can carry out the solutions you need. All of that is critical for knowing who you are hiring and whether they are up to the task. 

Intersog can help you lean that process down and cut the hiring timeline by simply giving you a selection of the best designers who match your requirements precisely. With our flexible approach to hiring and a vast talent pool, we can help you hire a designer who would surely bring value to the project and make your target audience love your product even more.

Your IT success partner
Intersog has been recognized as a leading IT solutions provider in the United States and beyond. The company has been providing tech consulting, staffing and software development services for Fortune-500 companies, tech startups, and SaaS enterprises for more than fourteen years.