UI design is more than just fancy icons and buttons that you add to a product, application, or website: it is the discipline through which you marry your digital product’s user journey with the optimum user experience.
Since it is such a crucial aspect of your business’ success, it is evident that the UI designer(s) with whom you entrust the design of your product’s user journey interactions will play a huge role in how potent your product can be. For that reason, the more skilled your UI designers are, the higher your chances of product victory. To be more concrete, UI designers who have the right strategic, technical, and communication skills are the kind of professionals who will create compelling user narratives that coincide with smooth user journeys for your product’s users.
Who Needs to Hire Top UI Designers?
If you want to guarantee your digital product’s success in a highly-competitive market, then you need an expert in UI design to get the job done. While you may be capable of developing a decent user journey on your own by following online tutorials, precision and accuracy in your design requires a well-trained professional, i.e a top UI designer. This guide is for:
- CEOs and entrepreneurs who are looking to launch or improve a digital product.
- Recruiters who need to onboard UI designers for their digital projects.
- Any businessperson who wants to boost customer acquisition and conversion.
UI Design: The Customer-First Approach To Digital Product Success
UI Design occupies a special place within the world of user experience (UX). While many consider it to be synonymous with the latter, UI design is unique in the sense that it emphasizes visual interaction with a digital product. This differentiates it from UX in the sense that the latter’s purpose is to gauge how a user feels when interacting with a digital product. The principles of UI design are what constitute the very fabric of successful digital products.
UI Design encompasses:
- Determining user interface designs
- Creating compelling and aesthetically-pleasing visuals
- Design patterns, colors, tones, and spacing that impact a user
- Predetermining user expectations to tailor-made designs
- User research
Expert UI designers will assist you in creating stellar design narratives which integrate powerful visual patterns with user expectations to help you nail your designs from the get-go. In doing so, you’ll save time and money by getting your design done well from the start, and you’ll also maximize your chances for high conversion on your digital product.
The Challenges With Finding UI Designers For Hire
Because UI design is such an in-demand professional discipline, recruiters need to be on high alert. After all, there are many unsuitable candidates lurking at every corner who may claim to be the ideal profile for your project yet wind up being a misfit. It’s quite common to come across these types of undesirable candidates on freelance platforms, a digital space that many recruiters tend to frequent.
Once you post a job application, you can be sure that applications from prospective freelancers will come in droves. Most of these will swear to provide you with high-quality, fast turnarounds on supposedly-epic designers for very low hourly rates. If it sounds like an unbelievable promise, then it’s because it is.
Besides, verifying qualifications on freelance platforms is never easy, and there’s no telling whether they’re good for you. Some candidates may appear ideal on paper yet when they join your project they wind up making a complete mess of your digital product.
Another significant problem is the challenge of detecting fraudulent freelancers who make claims about their experience and skills that are not true. On popular, high-traffic freelance platforms, some crooks will do anything to scam someone out of their money. Since UI design is such a necessity, some phoneys compile make-up portfolios of designs that they robbed from real UI designers and present them as their own. For that reason, businesses that use these open, non-vetted spaces always run more of a risk in determining who’s legitimate or not.
That said, there are several expert UI designers who have the credibility and legitimacy to successfully participate in the interactive design of your digital product. You just need to find them.
How this Interviewing Guide Will Help
We will begin by cross-examining the main factors that separate top UI designers from those who don’t meet the grade. Following this, we’ll get into a step-by-step process that you can leverage to source the best UI designers for your project.
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This guide has three main objectives:
- Easy filter through unskilled, unqualified, and unfit candidates.
- Save time and money when hiring UI designers.
- Attract the best talent for your digital product design product by presenting your initiative as something exciting to do.
Essential UI Designer Skills
While it may seem like a swell idea to hire a freelance UI designer who charges $20 an hour and has a decent-looking portfolio, it may very well be a costly error. Although you may come across UI designers who charge low rates, there are a number of dangers that you ought to look out for, such as:
- Unsharpened or limited skills
- Propensity to miss important deadlines
- Misinterpret instructions
- Difficulty communicating or following up on project timelines
- Unethical ways of resolving problems
- Making mistakes that end up costing you in the long run
- Inability to meet the needs of your specific project
- Unwillingness to provide help, assistance, or guidance in the management of your project
Expert UI designers don’t pose these risks to your business, nor do they mislead you with titles such as “top” or “senior”.
While there are UI specialists who do carry those titles, they are aware of the fact that these honorific class names can’t be measured based on years of experience or qualifications alone.
After all, there are UI designers with 10 years of experience who are not worthy of the title “senior”.
Controversy, there are also UI designers who can be considered top-level despite not having attained qualifications or several years’ worth of experience.
Instead of using qualifications and experience as measuring sticks, these are the real factors that separate top-class UI designers from the rest of the pack.
1. Breadth and Depth of Technical Skills
As is customary within the software development niche, technical skill sets form the basis upon which any UI designer offers their services to a business. These interface professionals need to be versed in both investigative user practices as well as wireframing and prototyping in order to provide the design products that they offer.
These crucial technical skills include:
- Investigative skills that include user research, user testing functionalities, and data analysis tools
- Familiarity with prototyping tools
- Knowledge of interaction design methodologies
- Understanding of visual designs
- Familiarity with common design patterns
- Understanding the importance of customer-centered design
- Knowledge of Adobe
- Ability to prepare deliverables (reports, etc)
More Advanced Skills:
- Vast knowledge of best information architecture practices (usability/user-friendly solutions)
- Correct schematic layouts of colors, icons, typographies, and graphics, among others
- Using Salesforce, Hexowatch, or another data visualization software
- Has worked as a UX/UI designer or on UX design projects
- Solid understanding of Figma, Photoshop, Marvel, or other digital product prototyping/wireframing tools
- Merging user needs and expectations with the final product/mobile app design (wireframes/mockups)
- Creation of user behavior tracking strategies
- Using web architectural features to reduce ambiguity in graphic design creation
- Deep knowledge of web design concept best practices
- Adequate use of visual design features (icons, colors, etc) to create a positive user experience
- Experience gained as a product designer (UI/UX designer or member of design team) developing templates for SaaS solutions
Any and everyone who has an interest in the UI design process can cover the basics. With it, they will be able to provide basic consultancy on the type of direction your project should be heading towards in terms of product design. They may also be able to do up some prototypes of possible interface layouts for your digital product.
However, the more complex your project, the more important it is to align yourself with expert UI designers who have the skills needed to guarantee success.
2. Communication and “Soft” Skills
Communication and soft skills alike are crucial facets to a positive working relationship. After all, technical skills are no good if the software professional can’t communicate or work effectively. All-rounded UI designers demonstrate exemplary:
- Critical thinking
- Work ethic
- Willingness to collaborate with others
- Common sense and decision making
- Timely delivery of projects
Be sure to go through this article on developer soft skills for more information.
3. Have a Thorough Understanding Of The Online Business Arena
UI designers can have a powerful impact on the success of your digital product. Those at the top are aware of how they need to ensure cohesion between digital product designs and their respective purpose i.e to be sold or consumed within virtual spaces. For that reason, the best UI designers strive to keep their know-how of online business as sharp as ever while maintaining the high degree to which they hold their technical skills. This includes the following:
- Evaluating the latest interface design trends and their impact on digital business performance
- Product and interface scalability moving forward
- Mastery of data management and UI design software tools to save time
- The relationship between UI design and search engine optimization (SEO)
- The impact of user experience of conversion rates
- Innovative UI solutions to combat high bounce rates detected for web pages
- Understand the future of mobile apps and operating systems (iOS, Android)
Tips for non-technical people:
In summary, an expert UI designer will have the following traits:
- The ability to communicate their technical skills to you in a simple and clear manner. They easily break down why certain design trends and software are the best options for your project.
- The ability to communicate their concerns and collaborate well with others on your project. They are receptive to feedback and are quick to assimilate instructions and deliver as required.
- The ability to fully understand your project vision and your overarching business goal. These types of professionals do not need to be spoon-fed. They are independent, autonomous UI designers who assimilate your vision and produce interactive interface designs that coincide with your ultimate goal.
Important points to consider when you hire UI developers
Keep the following key points in mind when you hire UI/UX designers and developers:
A. Hire UI developers based on an assessment of the relevant experience
UI design for the web is vastly different from mobile UI design. Even within mobile UI design, UI designers face considerable differences between Android and iOS.
Do you have a web development project? Alternatively, are you developing mobile apps? Look for UI/UX designers with relevant experience. Don’t think of user interface design as one great “one-size-fits-all” activity.
B. Best UI developers have considerable hands-on experience in creating appealing user interfaces
You will surely review project portfolios when you hire UI designers. Ask the UX designers about the websites and/or mobile apps that they have worked on over the years. Don’t limit yourself to reviewing only the recent UX design work.
Expert UI designers learn considerably over time. You want to evaluate whether the user interface designers you interview have had this progression. Hire designers that have learned how to create user-friendly interfaces as a part of their job. Learning on the job is crucial to all professionals, and top UI designers aren’t exceptions.
C. Smart UI designers have several important competencies
You need UX/UI designers to have the following competencies:
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Empathy: They need to understand user problems from the perspective of end-users.
Commitment: Hire a UI designer that’s committed to your project objectives.
Passion for excellence: Above everything, the best UI designers are those that want to do a great job.
Communication skills: UI designers need to communicate effectively with clients, front-end developers, back-end developers, testers, etc.
Problem-solving skills: UI design can be a complex task. The development team must work in line with the UI design. You need a dynamic and result-oriented team. Experienced designers need a great deal of problem-solving skills for working effectively. They need problem-solving skills, and that’s even more true for complex projects.
D. There are several risks of hiring freelance UI/UX designers
We recommend you hire dedicated UI/UX designers from a trustworthy software development company like Devteam.Space. This hiring approach mitigates risks for you.
You might think that you will find great talents at a low hourly rate if you hire freelancers. However, you will find it hard to gauge their real professional experience.
Freelance UI/UX designers might simultaneously work for clients worldwide. You might not get enough bandwidth from them.
You will need to manage the work of freelancers in a different time zone. Freelancers might leave your project mid-way. You will need to find their replacement, furthermore, freelance platforms don’t offer any project management support.
The biggest advantage of hiring from companies like DevTeam.Space is that you get skilled, committed, and experienced UI developers and designers. They will work full-time for you, which helps you to meet the project timeline. DevTeam.Space offers project management support too.
E. Robust communication is important when working with remote UI developers
You could hire UI designers and developers that work remotely. Indeed, this gives you access to a global talent pool. Remote teams have made considerable positive differences in many organizations.
You need to set up an effective communication process with remote teams though. Remote team members should feel that they belong to the team. Ensure that they get all the information needed for their tasks.
F. The right organizational culture is important even for the best UI/UX designers
You need a client-focused culture in your organization. Your team should share a common goal of making clients successful. Foster a climate characterized by collaboration and teamwork.
Even the top UI/UX designers need a conducive organizational culture to succeed.
G. Hire UI/UX designers from trustworthy providers
Trustworthy partners like DevTeam.Space follow stringent vetting processes for developers and UI/UX designers. Our designers have created visually appealing and intuitive user interfaces.
They have considerable experience in tools like Adobe CC. They know how to use interactive elements and other elements effectively.
Our developers and UI designers have worked on many complex projects. They don’t need a learning curve, and they become quickly productive in your project. Hire UI designers from us to expedite your project.
H. It’s important to establish accountability measures with UI/UX designers
UI designers and developers should clearly know what you expect from them. You need to create well-defined milestones. Explain the deliverable dates to the team. Describe the quality standards expected, and check whether the design team understood them.
I. Up-to-date knowledge of UI/UX design processes, methods, tools, and practices is important
The field of UI/UX design is a dynamic one. New approaches, processes, methods, tools, and practices frequently emerge in this field.
During interviews, evaluate whether the UI designers keep their knowledge up to date. Assess whether they study the latest trends.
You might need to check this for aspects like information architecture, competitor analysis, user research, visual design, etc. Find out how they offer a smooth workflow to end-users. Also, evaluate whether they keep their knowledge up-to-date on other services provided by UI designers.
J. The UI/UX design team must work closely with the development team
You need a collaborative effort on the part of your team to design or develop a great digital product. Your team will never meet the business objectives if they work in silos. Working in silos results in end-user dissatisfaction as well as high development costs. Your leadership and project management efforts must ensure collaboration between UI designers and software developers.
K. Industry domain expertise is crucial for effective user interface and user experience design
User expectations can vary across industry domains, and UI design needs to factor that in. The business goals of an e-Commerce website could be very different from a government procurement portal.
User experience and user interface designers need thorough industry domain expertise to create designs tailored to a specific vertical. Proactively evaluate industry domain expertise when you interview the candidates.
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L. UX/UI designers need sufficient technical skills
Great UI designers should have enough technical skills. They don’t need to be expert software developers.
However, UI design is much more than just graphic design. Effectively designing websites and mobile applications requires technical knowledge. After all, developers need to code the mobile or web apps in line with the mobile or web design decisions made by the designers.
Experienced designers know about the web and mobile frameworks like Angular, React.JS, React Native, etc. They also know enough about native mobile app development.
Interview Questions and Answers to Identify Top-Level Developers
When looking to hire UI/UX designers either part-time or full-time, our interview processes should be done in stages. Due to the time this takes, there is no way you can comprehensively interview dozens of developers for a position. That’s why each stage is designed to cut down your candidate pool so you have more time per developer on the next stage.
- Basic screening stage – Finding the developers who meet the minimum requirements
- In-depth technical knowledge and ability – Pinpointing developers who can really understand your unique challenges
- Strategic knowledge – Homing in on the best WordPress developers who can help take your business to the next level
Step 1: Basic Screening Stage
The first stage involves eliminating candidates who do not meet the minimum UI requirements to successfully undertake your project. These questions are basic and should be related to logistics like minimum experience, location, costs, language requirements, and rates.
- How well do you speak English (or whatever language you need)? 1 – 10
- How well do you write in English? 1 – 10
- How many years of experience do you have in UI design?
- Can you provide examples of UI designs you have built?
- How many businesses have you helped with their UI design projects?
- Have you ever used Figma (or Marvel, or any software that you wish to highlight)
- Where are you based?
- Do you charge hourly or per project?
- Where are you based?
Once you have that covered, then you can proceed with basic technical questions.
In terms of basic technical questions, here are a few which you can pose to a candidate:
- What do you understand by the word ‘Figma’?
- What does it mean to prototype in UI design?
- Is prototyping important?
- Do visuals play a significant role in UI design?
Step 2: In-depth Technical Knowledge and Ability
Having quickly weeded out the most unsuitable candidates from your talent pool, now is the opportune moment to figure out which one is truly worth the investment.
The easiest way to do so is by amping up the kind of information you seek when asking technical questions. This does not necessarily equate to asking more complex questions.
Instead, it simply refers to posing open-ended questions which address a particular problem that the candidate will have to solve.
These types of questions include:
- What are the most important things to bear in mind when building a user interface and why?
- How can you make a user interface scaleable?
- How would you go about conducting user research for a UI project?
- In what ways does user research impact UI design?
- What are some of the key aspects of a business that UI designs must communicate?
There are no right or wrong answers inscribed in black and white for these questions. Instead, they require the candidate to think critically, organize, and produce responses that solve a concrete problem.
The more natural, coherent, and fluid the response, the more likely it is that the candidate is knowledgeable about UI design.
Stage 3: Strategic Knowledge
Based on the responses provided in the last round of questions, you will have eliminated some more candidates.
Now, with the remaining ones, you should grill them on business and strategy-related questions.
That way, you can get an all-rounded candidate who can assist you in your digital product’s growth from a business point of view.
Once again, these questions should be framed as open-ended questions and ought to cover topics such as:
- Content strategy
- Search engine optimization (SEO)
- Technology for scaling costs
- What type of content strategy do you think would work best for this digital product?
- How would you go about preparing a plan for SEO?
- What technology would you recommend to help scale this product throughout its life cycle?
Submit a Project With Zero Risk
UI design can be an exciting phase within digital product development. However, oftentimes, it is challenging for companies to source the right professionals to get the job done right. That said, going the extra mile and sourcing top UI designers who have the right technical, managerial, and soft skills needed for your project will be key in guaranteeing you product’s success in the long run.
With the guide included above, you will find it a lot easier to source the talent you need to take your project to the next level.
The simplest way to start scouting for talent is by completing a DevTeam.Space product specification form to access a vetted community of top software professionals, including UI designers who are ready to crush your project. Submit the form and an account manager will contact you with personalized recommendations of UI designers who will be the right fit for your project.