Good UX designers – How do you spot them?

How Do You Spot

Good UX Designers?

These days you will see on job boards that many startups are hiring UX designers to give their products or service an edge. Should you be concerned if your startup is not hiring one?

But let’s take a step back. What do these designers actually do? Let’s take the story of iPhone as an example. It was a revolutionary product that led to the fall of the great businesses like Nokia and Blackberry. These companies didn’t think that iPhone was a threat with it keypad-less phones. But Apple was confident. Their product designers made different iterations and conducted many experiments with focus groups. They gathered data that the iPhone was revolutionary because of the effective use of touch input tech. This was a key business goal that Steve Job wanted Apple to accomplish. We all know how the story went.

In software companies, UX designers are like product designers. People often confuse, that as designers, they should be able to come up with beautiful websites and well-styled mobile apps. While aesthetics does matter in a good User Interface, User Experience designers focus on how the design of your website or product achieves your business goals. This is done through extensive customer experiments and data gathering. Thus, UX is more of a science than art.

A good UX designer can help to make your product functional, accessible and reach your business goals faster.

So how do we know a good UX designer?

4 Good Questions

To Ask UX Designers

1. Do they understand Visual Hierarchy?

It’s not just about making the site or product to look good. Which assets are placed on the first page, above the fold or below the fold? Where is the best placement for conversion? A good UX designer will be able to explain the Visual Hierarchy of a site. Based on their answers, you can tell if this designer has a logical mind and experience.

2. Have they conducted user experiments?

Having a logical mind is important as designers have to craft experiments to validate their design assumptions out. UX designers should be able to show you their process and the tools they use to conduct these experiments. You are looking for designers that show competence in this area so as to add value to your business. With validated learning, you can make informed decisions and changes to your business on the fly. Steer clear of UX designers that cannot exhibit this ability clearly.

3. Do they understand your business goals?

Understanding your business goal is paramount to get the best out of your UX designer. It is not just about the general information about your business. Who are your target users and the types of personas that your users fall in? If you are in the business to sell to the millennial generation and retaining their attention is your top goal for the quarter, your UX designer should be able to come up with a wireframe design that shows this increased in retention.

4. Is user flow correctly reflected in the wireframes?

After understanding the business goals, a good UX designer can articulate the user flow in their wireframe designs. What we are looking for is clarity in the explanation of how the design would affect user activities. Like for a restaurant booking app, ”By adding more content and pictures to the listing, we are pushing the call to action button below the fold, hence getting fewer bookings.”

Interested in hiring but where to find them?

Having a good UX designer in your team or startup will help your product to be user focused and validate business decisions. They are a good resource to have and there are different options of hiring them, base on the stage that your business is in. So where do we find them?

• Interns

Polytechnics have courses that focus specifically on UX design and you can hire interns during their student’s industry attachment for 6 months. This would work if you have someone in your team that is UX trained to direct him or her. You can get these interns by posting on internship portals like Glints.

• Freelancers

The good thing about freelancing is that you can get really good designers to work with you on projects remotely. Only a good option if you are able to manage and delegate work to teams remotely.
Of all the hiring sites, we can only recommend Upwork for freelance UX designers.

• Straight up hiring

Having a UX designer to join you long term after figuring out their responsibilities is good next step. As UX designers are highly sought after in the Tech scene, it will be good for you to post your listing in tech related job boards or groups. This way, you can ensure that your listing will be seen by most of UX designers looking for full-time jobs. Startup Jobs.Asia

• UX Design as a Service

Here at Xiao Xiao Media, we are a team of designers that are offering UX services for startups. For companies that are looking at hiring for UX designers one-off projects or long-term projects without the usual manpower cost associated with it. Do contact us to see our portfolio and request a quote for your UX design.

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