Are you working in a start-up and need expert assistance with UI / UX Design? Do you have an existing software product that is in need of a design overhaul? Would you like a second opinion on a quotation or advice you´ve been given on a project? Do you need help tying in your corporate identity and branding to your software projects? If you are looking for UI / UX design support, here are some things to bear in mind when you are hiring.
What are you looking for?
Consider the practice of UI and UX design to be like that of an architect. Instead of bricks and mortar though, its digital. Ensure you have a conversation with your designer about goals, budget and the vision you have. The what, why and how will be the first things to discuss. After that, several iterations should follow. Refining, re-sketch, plan. Revise revise revise. Everything should be planned before executing the construction phase, just as if you were building a home. The deliverables you should be looking for from your designer are the blueprints and schematics that will ensure your concrete plan can become a solid reality.
The design phase is where designers and their clients work out the how and what: how it will work, what will it do and how it all fits together. This phase defines the scope, features and functionality, and how the interface will behave.
UX projects typically consist of three main phases, a research phase, a design phase and a further research phase, designed to test and validate the designs. The research phase is to get the project background and gather requirements in order to make design decisions later in the project. During this phase a good designer will try to learn as much about the client’s business, objectives, users, and competitors as possible. He will also consider the look and feel of competing products or legacy systems. The validation phase identifies if the design phase decisions will actually work with the intended audience. Further rounds of design and testing will be necessary to solve the problems.
The evaluation of your design candidate should revolve around three key criteria. Their portfolio, which is number one, then the resume and interview. The portfolio review is the critical factor. Ultimately it is the work that counts. Be sure your designer provides a portfolio in the format of a modern, responsive design that scales across a number of platforms. A portfolio will provide the first and best impression of the capabilities of your candidate.
Visual design plays an important role in the project and can determine whether the user experience succeeds or fails, by bringing the final look and feel to a product. This will be achieved by creating a visual language of styles (including typography, colors, layout schemes, spacing, imagery, and texture) that work together to communicate the appropriate tone and emotion to bring the user experience to life.
Don´t expect designers to be big on written content. Nevertheless a one-page tightly edited resumé format is a critical element for review. Employers know that the more experiences a designer has, the more difficult it will be to communicate clearly. An employer wants to see how the designer uses this format to market his brand in a clearly articulated way. Check also that all the elements line-up: the words on the website, the message on the business card and ultimately the Linked In profile, too.
Is it a fit?
One of the main concerns in UI / UX Interaction Design is to find a balance between a good and modern design and facilitating users to transition to a new service or platform. Interview the candidate about his philosophy and approach to projects, to see if they match up with the approach outlined above. A good UI/UX designer knows that a good design is like an investment, delivering a good ROI for his client. He knows his employer´s goal is business-oriented and not just about how it looks. So increasing sales, productivity, adding value and helping the client get smarter lies at the core of identifying a designer who will ultimately be the right fit.
In conclusion, choose a designer that ticks all the boxes. Ensure the portfolio is top-notch. Check the resumé. And finally, establish in the interview process if this is a designer who achieve a communication edge when addressing your audiences. Following these three steps it should be easy to identify if the rapport is there.