Now more than ever, business owners understand the value of having interactive and intuitive interfaces and functionally digital products. In addition, the continued advancement and innovations in technology have seen the emergence of buyers who care about having positive user experiences, as much as the product being offered.
A good design translates to repeat, and new customers and companies are scrambling to hire the best UX designers to keep up with the competition. However, you may find it a daunting task to narrow it down with so many designers to choose from. If that’s the case, this step-by-step guide will help you understand the desired outcomes of a UX designer and make your hiring decision much more uncomplicated.
Understand That Design Is a Practice, Not a Process
One of the most typical mistakes that companies make is designing the product first and hiring a UX designer at the end. Instead, a UX designer should be brought on board from the get-go to ensure they collect the requirements and interact with the end-users to clarify any concerns.
Qualities to Look Out for When Hiring a UX Designer
It would help if you looked at a UX designer as a partner and not your employee. They should be able to understand the needs of your business and translate them into a product that’s interactive and intuitive for end-users. One of the things you need to look at is their portfolio. Otherwise, you may end up wasting valuable resources of time and money. Here are the top qualities of a UX designer who will add value to your business:
One of the most powerful qualities of a UX designer is the ability to put themselves into the end-users shoes. They should ask themselves, “If I was the one interacting with this product, would I be happy using it, and what would I wish was improved?” It’s not just about empathizing with the end-user, as a good UX designer should also focus on engineers and product managers, by being ready and willing to accept these parties’ insights and criticism.
Being Business Minded and a Strategic Thinker
A UX designer should be well-rounded and know how to be different things to different people. To a great extent, they should be indistinguishable from the product managers in how they execute the tasks and interact with other teams working on the same project.
Moreover, they should understand the business, technology, and user needs, then know how to tie them all up to create a product that serves all these purposes. Additionally, they should be good communicators, in order to establish and nurture relationships with product managers and engineers, as a means of ensuring that there is a good flow of communication and projects are completed on time.
Teacher and Facilitator
It’s easier being a student than a teacher, but the latter is arguably more important than the former. Some UX designers want to be idolized for the set of skills they hold, but a great UX designer understands that it’s better to share their knowledge than hoard it for their benefit.
One of the ways to identify you have a competent designer is by observing whether or not they share their knowledge with others on the same project or within the organization by holding workshops or webinars. A good UX designer can also answer any queries that the end-users might have to the best of their abilities.
Strong User Research
A good UX designer should be well-rounded. Unfortunately, while some may be good at creating products that interact perfectly with end-users, they struggle to collect user needs that actually help determine the kind of product users want.
An outstanding designer should be able to collect information from end-users, engineers, and product managers to create a user-centric product. They can also bring all stakeholders on board to ensure that the product gets support from the outset.
Student of Agile/Lean UX
A designer should be able to make decisions fast because design decisions can mean the success or failure of the entire project. Unfortunately, one of the bottlenecks to quick decision-making is the failure to involve the end-users from the start.
It’s therefore essential to hire a UX designer who runs project milestones by end-users and works towards creating small rollout plans to eliminate any fear from end-users and improve the decision-making times.
Hiring a UX designer is one of the most critical decisions a business can make, especially if they want to keep up or outperform the competition. Regardless of its importance, it doesn’t have to cause you a headache or cost a lot to hire a UX designer. By observing one or more of the qualities highlighted above, you’re better positioned to hire a freelance UX designer. If you’re still not sure how to go about it, you can always ask for referrals from family and friends.