Business | 12 min read
Hiring a UX Designer: Should I Hire a UX Designer Before a Developer and How to Do That Right?
Let’s say you have a project for a mobile app product. To make a successful app launch, you need to hire both a UI/UX designer and developer.
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However, who should go first? You understand that you will need both to talk and collaborate simultaneously, but would it be better to start with a developer first? And what about a web designer?
Whereas UI/UX designers deal with various interfaces, mobile applications, interfaces of ATMs, terminals, payment systems, web designers are responsible only for the design of websites. Web designers are highly specialized workers.
If you hire a developer first, he can build stuff that may or may not be of any value. Developers need handoff from the design team to make sure the machinery is running smoothly. They need easy access to the project information without having the second guess.
If there isn’t any handoff, something will go wrong. Hence, you may spend a lot of money and time for rebuilding and re-marketing. When there is a ready-made design — you have a prototype of the product and understand its functioning.
Shortly, the project from an ideological (verbal) state transforms into a living one (with the help of developers).
It is crucial to hire a dedicated website designer first. The reasons and aspects of hiring are presented below.
The Difference Between UI and UX Designers
UI and UX designers refer to very different aspects of the product development process and the design discipline. The abbreviation UX stands for User Experience and implies the user experience from working with the product.
The UX designer's job is to design an interface that will allow you to achieve your goals. For example, a UX designer analyzes user scenarios, develops page transition logic, and makes A/B tests.
UI stands for the user interface, the visual appearance of the product. The task of the UI designer is to make the interface coherent, beautiful and understandable. The UI designer is responsible for the physical characteristics of the digital product.
In a nutshell, UX design is all about the overall feel of the experience, while UI design is all about how the product’s interfaces look and function.
The key responsibilities of a UX designer
Testing sample applications, websites, and software to assess the ease of design;
Make different researches to establish the best overall design elements for UX experience;
Develop wireframes and prototypes around customer needs;
Create surveys to gather feedback on users’ satisfaction with the company website and products;
Create seamless navigation through various digital programs and interfaces to enhance user experience;
Conduct the track of the human-computer interaction (HCI).
The key responsibilities of a UI designer
Assist UX designers in creating wireframes, storyboards, user flows, process flows and site maps to effectively communicate interaction and design ideas;
Develop UI mockups and prototypes that clearly illustrate how sites function and look in association with a UX designer;
Develop a modular design system: a library of user interface components that can be re-used to create more screens and features in the future.
Create a visual language for the UI, including icons, illustrations, and photo treatments;
Optimize a UI layout: a UI designer might receive low fidelity wireframes at the start of the project, and the purpose of optimizations is to make button positions more consistent between screens.
UI design and UX design involve different sets of skills, but they are integral to each other's success. UI/UX designers manage to mix these sets.
UI/UX designers are responsible for the design and implementation of all the experiences a user has when interacting with a digital product, such as a website or a mobile app.
The UI/UX designer ensures seamless web/mobile design and successfully implements UI/UX best practices across digital products.
The key responsibilities of a UI/UX designer are the following:
Collecting information about the project and its target audience;
Designing a specific scenario;
Style development, drawing up instructions for fonts, colors, and sizes;
Creation of layouts and prototypes;
Drawing the interface in graphical editors.
You should hire UI and UX designers separately, if you already have an existing interface component branding and just need a better UX integrated — or vice versa. Otherwise, hiring separate designers for UI and UX will cost you double.
However, if you have a big and long-term project, you’d better hire UI and UX designers separately. As a result, designers have a clear division of responsibilities and you get a well-structured project workflow.
Hiring a UX designer is a quite tough process that can make you nervous. Don’t worry, we’ve rounded up 5 hiring UX designer questions that you must ask your candidate.
Essential UI/UX design Interview Questions
Why do we need wireframes? Do you use/create wireframes?
While hiring a web designer, make sure that he/she can “read” and understand the given wireframes. In most teams, the UX designer is responsible for creating wireframes because he/she collects the necessary information about the users.
However, this does not mean that your UI designer should not know anything about wireframes: there are teams in which wireframes are created by the UI designer as well.
How do you use prototyping in the design process?
Similar to wireframes, prototypes are typically created by a UX designer. Therefore, every UI designer must understand why prototypes are needed and how to apply them to the process.
How do you communicate with other designers and developers?
You can decide whether to hire dedicated website designers or not according to the answer. Since both UI and UX designers work directly with the developers, the designer has to show how comfortable he feels in communication.
Moreover, check whether your future designer can create an easy to handoff design or not. To make a successful handoff, a good designer-developer collaboration is crucial.
What is the atomic design? What are the elements of atomic design?
Atomic design is about designing individual elements and their combinations, instead of designing entire web pages. This is a basic explanation of the essence of the methodology. If your potential app designer for hire names all 5 components of atomic design, it will be a great benefit.
Can you stand for your design solutions?
Ask the candidate to take any example/project/site/application from the portfolio and tell you about various aspects of the design of individual elements and the project as a whole. The answer to this question perfectly reflects the candidate's design thinking.
Platforms for Hiring Designers
Finding and hiring talented designers or design agencies is a serious challenge. To help you cut through all of the pitfalls, we’ve picked top platforms for hiring.
Platforms for portfolio
The most popular platforms for the portfolio are Dribbble and Behance, Clutch. When going through a designer’s portfolio on the presented platforms, you must know what to look for. Focus on what’s inside the portfolio.
A UX portfolio should show how and why the designer contributed to the project and the result. Here’s what you should analyze when looking at a UX portfolio:
the interface of the portfolio;
clear problems definition;
initial user research findings;
the way the wireframes are presented;
insights of user testing;
final solutions and designs;
what design skills are shown in the project;
For instance, in our portfolio, we emphasize all the listed features. Agree? When screening a UX portfolio, emphasize the quality and depth, not quantity.
A portfolio is a visual representation of work, whereas a blog enhances designers to make written expertise on particular topics in design. Having a personal blog for sharing your skills with a design community shows your high level of proficiency in design.
After all, only not many designers have a blog. From the articles in the blog, you can assess the designer’s professionalism and knowledge depth.
If you like the narration and thoughts, please follow the link to the portfolio, contact app designer for hire.
It is crucial to identify the purpose of hiring a web designer and then decide whether they will become an in-house specialist, a freelance designer, or an outsourced design agency. To consider what option suits you best, let’s analyze the pros and cons of each.
Freelance UX Designer vs. Outsource Design Company
Before hiring, there is one vital point to consider — the hourly rate for both freelance designers and outsource companies depending on their country of origin. For instance, the average rate of Ukrainian/Belorussian/Polish designers will be $22-40 per hour. It is 3 to 4 times lower than any software development company in the UK, the USA, etc.
The rates of outsourcing design agencies for hire range from $100-200 per hour in the USA and Western Europe to $8-10 per hour in India, Nepal, and Pakistan. Ukraine is the perfect country charging $25-50 hourly while offering a high level of competency.
Hiring a freelance UI/UX designer is an ideal option if you are looking for a skilled specialist without limitations to a specific region.
The main advantages of hiring a freelance UI/UX designer are moderate hourly cost, easy-to-access remote skills, and flexibility to deadlines.
Cost. Compared to full-time employees, freelance UI/UX designer hourly rate is definitely lower. It means that you only need to pay them for the number of hours that they work.
Easy-to-access remote skills. If you are looking for a UX designer, don’t limit yourself to a certain area or region. It exposes you to a broader talent pool and ensures that you get nothing short of the best.
Deadline. If you have a time-sensitive project and need a UX designer to get started on it ASAP, a freelance UI/UX designer is your best bet. Freelancers tend to start working on short notice and can perform quick solutions.
However, there are some disadvantages you should consider while hiring a freelance web designer.
Lack of reliability. Although most freelancers get involved in the project quickly, they might go unresponsive, delay your work, and submit substandard quality.
Poor communication. Since a freelancer might not necessarily be in your city/country, communication could become tough, especially due to different time zones. Tools like Slack, Skype, Trello, Basecamp could make things easier, but think twice and analyze things well.
Slow and tough hiring. Sometimes it takes too much time to find a freelancer without additional recruiter’s assistance. Design agencies have in-house HR managers, so the hiring won’t bother you.
If you decided to hire a UI/UX design agency, it means that you are ready to invest more of your budget into your digital products. Hence, you get the best quality work and utmost professionalism.
Proficiency. A UI/UX design agency implies work with professionals. These agencies are often run by people who are familiar with the industry inside and out. So, hiring a design agency means to get an upscale service and professional approach.
Quality. Each project goes through a rigorous quality check before it is delivered to clients. So, you get the digital product that meets clients’ expectations flawlessly.
The only disadvantage of hiring a design agency is a higher price compared to freelancers. For instance, our studio follows a systematic approach that includes research, planning, analysis, goal setting, and prototype creation.
All this requires extensive knowledge and experience. Hence the price will be reasonably high.
The right solution is to hire a UX designer before the developer. But the best course of action is to get a software development company on board that has specialists in both design and development. So you get not only the design but the whole working application.
By hiring a company like Cadabra Studio you gain additional skills: analytics, UI/UX design, mobile, and web development, etc. We are a team, so we have an established business process. Feel free to contact us.