When developing mobile apps or websites, you must ensure that the product is well defined and built to specifications. However, excellent technical functionality is not the only thing you should take into account. It is also essential to consider the user interface (UI), as it’s vital to creating an outstanding user experience (UX).
Having an excellent UI can increase a website’s customer conversion rate by 200%. Developing such a UI requires expert skill and understanding. This means you must hire a great UI designer.
This article discusses what to look for when hiring a UI designer so that you can find the right person for your project. Keep reading to learn more.
Alternatively, if you need to hire a professional development team, check out Idea Maker’s tips on how to do so.
What Is User Interface?
The user interface makes up the interactive elements of a website or application. It is the front-facing end of a development presented to users and is a major determining factor in the quality of the user experience.
There are several types of UI, including graphical (GUI), command line (CLI), menu-driven (MDI), and form-based (FBI). For client-facing developments, you will need to focus on the GUI, as it’s the primary form of visual communication afforded to applications, with a focus on graphic design.
What Is a UI Designer?
A UI designer is an expert at creating user-friendly interfaces with pleasing visual elements. Their job is to tailor a development’s front end to interact with its functionality while appealing to users seamlessly. By hiring an excellent UI designer, you can develop a product that appeals visually to users, increasing the likelihood of their repeat business.
Responsibilities of a UI Designer
UI designers have many responsibilities. These include, but are not limited to:
- Collaborating with the client to create and implement intuitive design solutions
- Designing the user interface of a website or application
- Creating wireframes, user flows, and site maps to show how users interact with different components
- Composing design briefs and guides
Difference Between UI & UX
Though the two are often conflated, user interface (UI) and user experience (UX) denote two separate significant components of product development. As discussed previously, user interface refers to visual design.
User experience, on the other hand, refers to the overall experience a user has with a piece of software. This includes how smoothly interactive visual elements work and how accessible the site is, both functionally and navigationally. User experience is the responsibility of UX designers.
Why Is User Interface Important?
The user interface is important because it allows users to interact with a system naturally and efficiently. A well-designed user interface can make a big difference in how easy a system is to use and how likely users are to adopt it.
User interfaces can make or break a system. A poorly designed user interface will frustrate users and cause them to give up on using the system altogether. On the other hand, a well-designed user interface can make a system easy to use and enjoyable to interact with.
7 Tips to Find Excellent UI Designers
When hiring a UI designer, there are several things to consider. These include steps you must take as an employee and a thorough understanding of their expertise. Here are several factors to contemplate.
1. Post an Accurate Job Listing
First, you should ensure that you post an accurate job description that details your requirements. Job listings can be easily uploaded to Upwork and TopTal (more on those later), giving an excellent level of visibility.
Your job description should include a precise job title, a list of responsibilities, desired qualifications, and necessary experience. This ensures that the right people apply for the position, saving you time and money during the recruiting process. Though a seemingly small step, it is crucial in finding the right person for the job.
2. Investigate Their Portfolio
When vetting a UI designer, you should always request to see their portfolio. This is an excellent way of understanding their creative process and what final results to expect from them. If they don’t have a portfolio or are bereft of quality examples, they may not have enough experience to be the right candidate.
Portfolios are one of the best ways to gauge a designer’s suitability for your project. A good portfolio will show a variety of design styles and techniques as well as an ability to take direction and feedback. It will also be up-to-date with the latest trends in UI design.
3. Customer Testimonials
Exploring the testimonials provided by a UI designer’s customers is another way to gauge quality of work and communication skills. If you discover that a designer has poor communication skills, they will likely be unable to fully understand your requirements, possibly leading to extra iterations and/or a substandard product.
If your prospective designer does not have testimonials listed on their website or portfolio, you can ask them to provide you with recent reviews. Not offering reviews or testimonials can be a warning sign and you might choose to do additional research. You could look for their previous customer experiences on Clutch.io for verified reviews.
4. Assess Software Expertise
To develop a visually appealing UI, a designer must have a solid understanding of several critical applications. This includes Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, Figma, and Mockflow. Whatever software they use should align with your tech stack, allowing for cohesive development across the front and back ends.
Without a mutual understanding of design applications, it may be difficult to effectively manage your designer and you could potentially get lost among jargon and functionality you do not recognize.
5. Consider Hard and Soft Skills
What hard and soft skills does your design have that could benefit your project elsewhere? Soft skills include interpersonal abilities, like communication skills, diplomacy, and working as part of a team. Hard skills are actual tangible qualifications and experience, such as software use, illustration, and typography.
When you hire UI designers with a wide range of hard and soft skills, you add value to your project. For example, if your designer has a strong knowledge of software development as well as UI, they can provide feedback to your developers, helping them to integrate the front and backend seamlessly.
6. Evaluate Value for Money
Next, you’ll want to consider whether their skills are worth paying for. It may sound harsh, but if a designer with a relatively limited skillset comes at a high price, they may not be a cost-effective investment. If their skills are exceptionally high-quality, however, they may be able to justify the high cost with increased efficiency.
You should weigh the skills and experience of several candidates and decide who is the best option for your particular project. It’s essential to consider both value and quality if you’re running a small business, as you cannot afford to waste time and resources, nor do you want to sacrifice product quality.
7. Coordinated Methodology
It’s vital to consider what design methodology a designer uses so that it aligns with your own. For example, if you work with an Agile methodology, you may steer clear of a designer that is used to a Waterfall methodology to avoid disparities in the development process.
You can ask them to explain their design methodology or provide you with a breakdown of their design process. This will help you understand if their way of thinking suits your project requirements and help you build a solid relationship.
Where Can I Find an Expert UI Designer?
Now you know what to look for in a UI designer, let’s look at some of the best places to source and hire them.
TopTal is an excellent place to find experienced designers with a high level of expertise. Unfortunately, there are limited options for people and candidate management, meaning you must be particularly involved in the recruitment process. Additionally, there have been several reports of TopTal freelancers dropping projects halfway through due to more attractive offers.
Upwork is another great platform to find professional UI designers, many of whom are located off-shore. You must be careful to avoid the common pitfalls of offshore outsourcing when hiring from Upwork. Otherwise, it is an excellent place to find UI designers.
Like Upwork, many freelancers on Fiverr are located off-shore. However, due to the closed nature of the platform, most of the issues associated with off-shore sourcing are avoided. The major problem with Fiverr is that work is often low-quality, as there is little to no barrier to entry.
The best way to find professional UI designers is to simply search Google for ‘UI designers near me’. This will show you all designers in your local area, making contact a breeze. Alternatively, you can search more broadly on the web for US-based web design agencies.
After reading this article, you should understand how to hire a professional UI designer. To summarize, the seven factors to consider are:
- Post an accurate job description
- Investigate their portfolio
- Read customer testimonials
- Assess software expertise
- Consider hard & soft skills
- Evaluate value for money
- Coordinated methodology
Intuitive UI Design from Idea Maker
If you’re looking to hire an experienced UI designer, consider our team at Idea Maker. We have a dedicated team of web developers and designers ready to build your project. Schedule a free consultation with us today to learn more.