Guide on How to Hire UX Designer: Should I Hire a Product Designer Before a Developer and How to Do That Right?

Dyachenko Anastasia
Dyachenko Anastasia
CEO at Cadabra Studio. UX expert and business consultant

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 website design. Web designers are highly specialized workers.

If you hire a developer first, they 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 a 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 developers’ help).

It is crucial to hire a dedicated website designer first. The reasons and aspects of hiring a UX designer are presented below.

The Difference Between UI and UX Designers

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Concept Design by Cadabra Studio

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 creates 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 about the experience and function, while UI design is all about how the product interfaces look.

In the first case, the designer must “invent” for the user a kind of convenient journey through the application based on research and analysis, which would have a clear and understandable route, provide immediate access to the desired functions and anticipate all possible wishes of the user.

In the second, the designer creates a wrapper, a kind of map for the user, which intuitively offers him all the necessary buttons and pointers. Both UI and UX work together in a tight tandem, so you can hire prototyping experts who will truly make your customers’ experience special.

The key responsibilities of a UX designer

  • To test sample applications, websites, and software to assess the ease of design;

  • To do different researches to establish the best overall design elements for UX experience;

  • To develop wireframes and prototypes around customer needs;

  • To create surveys to gather feedback on users’ satisfaction with the company website and products;

  • To create seamless navigation through various digital programs and interfaces to enhance user experience;

  • To conduct the track of the human-computer interaction (HCI).

The key responsibilities of a UI designer

  • To assist UX designers in the creation of wireframes, storyboards, user flows, process flows, and site maps to communicate interaction and design ideas effectively;

  • To develop UI mockups and prototypes that clearly illustrate how sites function and look in association with a UX designer;

  • To 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;

  • To create a visual language for the UI, including icons, illustrations, and photo treatments;

  • To optimize a UI layout: a UI designer might receive low fidelity wireframes at the beginning of a project. The purpose of optimizations is to make button positions more consistent between screens.

The 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 designing and implementing all the experiences a user has when interacting with a digital product, such as a website or a mobile app.

Do you need a redesign of your app? Or do you need a full-stack project development? Anyway, everything starts with a design. Good design predetermines a good app. Contact us if you need more information.

The UI/UX Designer ensures seamless web/mobile design and successfully implements UI/UX best practices across digital products.

The key responsibilities of a UX/UI designer are 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 UX and UI will cost you double.

However, if you have a significant and long-term project, you’d better hire UX designers and UI 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 quite a challenging process that can make you nervous. Don’t worry; we’ve rounded up five hiring UX designer questions that you must ask your candidate. But we will speak about them a bit later.

UI & UX Designer & Developer

Also, we would like to focus on the following topic that misleads many people. A UX designer vs. a UX developer. Who is more important of these two? If you are looking for designers for hire, you may come across two different specialists — a UX designer and a UX developer. However, they are not so different. Let us explain it in detail. 

UX developers are designers who must have a skill set combination of a coder and designer. A UX developer’s role is to simplify the development team’s work and quickly explain what technical parts must be implemented in a website or mobile app.

A UX developer is the one who creates interactive prototypes that are used by developers and designers to understand better how the product works. Thus, UX developers must have basic knowledge in programming (frontend development, in particular).

UX developers and UX designers used to have similar goals but different tools and tech stack. However, today technologies are actively developing, and design requirements are becoming more and more critical. Therefore, experienced UX designers have all these skills, and they can be called UX developers as well. 

Today’s digital design is not only about an attractive appearance but also about users’ steps and needs prediction, capturing their attention through a unique experience of using the product. So UX specialists conduct research, use modern data analysis tools, have basic programming skills and understand the technical aspects of implementing specific ideas.

Web Designer Vs. UX Designer

We cannot ignore the explanation of these two occupations — many people don’t know the difference between a UI/UX and web designer. That is why we need to explain the roles of each specialist.

In fact, everything is simple. As the name implies, a web designer works with web pages, not with mobile apps. A web designer focuses on the frontend part; they work on a website aesthetics (typography, photos, color, graphics, etc.). Still, they are not web developers, and they don’t use programming languages for comprehensive website development. At the same time, they have the necessary skills in CSS, HTML, JavaScript (frontend technologies). 

As for UI/UX designers, we already described their roles and responsibilities above. They work with all software types (web and mobile); they create sketches, wireframes, prototypes, mind maps, conduct detailed analysis and research, collaborate with frontend developers, etc. When you hire UX developers, you hire more experienced specialists with a more extensive skill set.

How To Recruit A UX Designer

You need to know a few steps on finding UX designers for hire and evaluating their skills. Our short guide will help you do it properly.

  • Gather your requirements. It is necessary to prepare your requirements, describe your needs and expectations, particularities of the product, build a business plan. There is a guide on app business plan creation we want to share with you.

  • Find your candidate. Then, you need to pay attention to platforms and websites where you can hire app UX designers. There are tons of them, but we kindly recommend dealing with trustworthy websites only. You will find below the section describing sites and ways to find the best UX design team.

  • Check their portfolio. Analyze the portfolio of the candidate you liked. Find out whether the company can build the product you need, have enough expertise in this specific area or not, what products they created before, etc.

  • Interview your candidate. It is impossible to find out everything about your candidate without interviewing them. You should ask them a few mandatory questions, and answers will help you form the right decision and evaluate a candidate. These questions are contained in the next section.

    However, there are additional steps you can take for evaluation. 

How To Evaluate A UX Designer

Let’s consider three basic points.

  • Determine what you want. We have already mentioned that you need to gather all your requirements. Thus, you can evaluate your UX design team only when you know exactly what you want. So before you hire UX designer, make sure you both have a clear understanding of the business needs, the project goals, and have a clear idea of the result.

  • Evaluate their hard skills. What tools do designers use? What techniques are they skilled in? During an interview, ask all questions about the design team skill level to ensure that your product will be created wisely.

  • Don’t forget about soft skills. Even if you hire app designers who are highly qualified, but it will be tough to communicate with them, your project may fail. You must cooperate with designers who are willing to communicate with you and who want to do their best. The design team must represent the values of your company.

Wrapping up, your goal is to ensure that the designer understands what you want from him/her, has sufficient technical and artistic skills to complete the tasks, and can communicate effectively with the team.

Essential UI/UX Design Interview Questions

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Concept Design by Cadabra Studio

What should I ask a UX designer about? That is the first question that may appear in your mind. When you hire a dedicated UI/UX designer, we recommend you ask them the following questions.

  • Why do we need wireframes? Do you use/create wireframes?

    While hiring a web designer, make sure that they can “read” and understand the given wireframes. In most teams, a UX designer is responsible for creating wireframes because they 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 a UI designer as well.

  • How do you use prototyping in the design process?

    Similar to wireframes, a UX designer typically creates prototypes. 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 UX and UI designers work directly with developers, a designer must show how comfortable they feel 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 creating entire web pages. This is a necessary explanation of the essence of the methodology. If your potential app designer for hire names all five atomic design components, 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. 

Do not be amiss to consult with the technical team and collect industry-specific questions that are important to them. For example, the specific requirements for a mobile application designer in the field of fintech may be slightly different than for a healthcare UX specialist.

What Companies Hire UX Designers

We mean companies that need to hire UX designers for their projects. You might say that every software needs to have UI/UX design; it cannot exist without it. However, there are projects where good UX design means more than a lot. 

  • Government organizations. Many government websites need redesign since they are antiquated. And citizens want to see user-friendly designs where they can implement different procedures.

  • Healthcare. Considering changes COVID-19 made in our world, remote communication became more widespread. And when patients can get assistance from their physicians remotely, it is a great benefit. Healthcare software should provide all users (patients and doctors) with an intuitive and straightforward design. Check some relevant examples here.

  • FinTech. Financial organizations are also the ones who hire UX designers. Apart from secure access and encrypted transactions, users should understand how everything works quickly. And skilled specialists will help build the right design. 

  • E-commerce. Web and mobile app design are critical for e-commerce companies. The right design not only provides a path to purchase but also helps to “catch and keep” the users and push them to complete the purchase through the features’ simplicity, usability and speed.

In other words, marketplaces like Amazon, streaming services like Netflix, and other user-oriented websites must have a well-thought UX design. 

When To Hire UX Designers

All startups and companies that plan to launch a new product should hire designers once they have a detailed understanding of what they need. UX designers are the first ones who will start working on your project. Moreover, if you have a software idea but have no time to elaborate on this idea further, the UX design team will take over all these processes. 

Also, many IT companies have a business analyst on the staff. Business analysts are involved in analyzing data/input information, documenting solutions, visualization, and presentation ideas. Cadabra Studio is always ready to provide business analysis services that help designers and developers make your software awesome.

The guide about business analyst roles and responsibilities will prove to you the importance of this specialist. 

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.

It is also worth considering that the cost of services often depends on the specifics of the work of the designer or team, his experience and industry. Freelance mobile app designers may have different salary preferences depending on the complexity and scope of the project.

Freelance UI/UX Designer

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’s 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 specific 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 work, and submit substandard quality.

  • Poor communication. Since a freelancer might not necessarily be in your city/country, communication could become challenging, mainly due to different time zones. Tools like Slack, Skype, Trello, Basecamp could make things easier, but think twice and analyze things well.

  • Slow and challenging hiring. Sometimes it takes too much time to find a freelancer without an additional recruiter’s assistance. Outsource design companies normally have in-house HR managers so that the hiring won’t bother you. 

Be prepared for the fact that such cooperation requires more management and communication efforts. You have to control the designer’s work by yourself, monitor the performance and set tasks. Sometimes it is easier and more profitable to pay more to the studio than to spend time solving such issues.

UI/UX Design Company

If you decide to hire a UI/UX design company, you are ready to invest more of your budget into your digital products. Hence, you get the best quality work, and utmost professionalism with an outsource UX agency.

  • Proficiency. A UI/UX design company implies work with professionals. These agencies are often run by people who are familiar with the industry inside and out. So, hiring an outsource design agency means getting a premier service and a professional approach since you hire a UX team entirely at your disposal.

  • 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.

  • Transparency and discipline. Professional UI/UX design studios work transparently and smoothly, in total sync, as they have a precise interaction mechanism with customers and customized work processes. The client only accepts reports, makes edits and shares ideas as needed. Everything else is the responsibility of the team, which consists not only of designers but also managers and analysts.

Thus, the customer gets a full range of services, including team performance control and schedule compliance monitoring.

The only disadvantage of hiring a professional design agency is the higher price compared to freelancers. That is, it will be higher. For instance, our company follows a systematic approach that includes research, planning, analysis, goal setting, and prototype creation. All this requires extensive knowledge and experience. Hence the hourly rate for UX designer at a professional company will be higher.

On the other hand, if we consider how much time customers can spend on setting up workflows and managing freelancer’s work, the cost of professional studio services is not that high.

Where To Hire A UX Designer 

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 and websites to hire user experience designers.

Where To Find Designers’ High-quality Portfolios

The most popular platforms for the designers’ portfolios are Dribbble and Behance, Clutch. These are the best sites to hire UX designers. When going through a designer’s portfolio on the presented platforms, you must know what to look for. 

A UX portfolio should show how and why a designer contributed to the project and the result. Here’s what you have to analyze when looking at a UX portfolio:

  • the interface of the portfolio;

  • clear definition of problems;

  • 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;

  • key metrics.

For instance, in our portfolio, we emphasize all the listed features. Agree? When screening a UX portfolio, pay attention to the quality and depth, not quantity.


A portfolio is a visual representation of work, whereas a blog enhances designers’ ability to write expertise on particular design topics. Having a personal blog for sharing your skills with a design community shows your high proficiency level 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, follow the link to the portfolio, and contact the 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, analyze the pros and cons of each.  

However, if you don’t have enough time to look for different software development companies, you can entrust your project to us — we won’t let you down!

Final Words  

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, web development, etc. We are a team, so we have an established business process. Feel free to contact us.

Frequently Asked Questions

The Healthcare industry is known for complex processes explained by the high level of responsibility.

The cost of medical app development depends on several factors like your needs, set of features, technology stack, and so on. Though our business analytics make sure to not spend an unnecessary penny.

To make a mobile app screen, you need to create a user flow diagram for each screen, draw wireframes, select design templates, and colors, create layouts, and create an animated prototype.

We usually take our clients through the following steps:

  1. Planning and Research; 
  2. Prototyping;
  3. Design;
  4. Development;
  5. Testing;
  6. Release;
  7. Maintenance.

You will participate in every stage of the development process and get regular updates.

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