How do you even begin to effectively hire a creative genius, technical wizard, and behavioral expert all in one person? That’s the challenge organizations face when it’s time to hire UI or UX professionals, but it’s not an insurmountable task.
Unlike a true unicorn, you can find this type of tech talent in the wild. The trick is narrowing down the talent pool from an overloading list of potentials to a select few who grasp your industry, align with your aesthetic, and elevate your brand.
In our experience, appraising and interviewing the best creative product team for the job doesn’t need to be complicated. Here are the guidelines and best practices we follow when hiring UI/UX professionals.
Verify Their User Centricity
The customer is king, but they’re not going to tell you their wants and needs in a royal decree. You’ll need to uncover your desired information if you’re going to develop user journeys and wireframes that engage and satisfy—and that’s where the right UI/UX team is instrumental.
Whatever the product, your UI/UX workforce needs to be able to research, draw out, and distill customer motivation, pain points, and circumstances into a cohesive strategy. Unless you’re watching a candidate’s design methodology unfold, their proactive research might stay hidden. Though vestiges of these processes are still visible, you need to ask yourself the following questions:
- Is there evidence of user testing?
- Does the candidate provide iterations of each project in their portfolio, showing the evolution of wireframes, prototypes, and other elements of the UX?
- Does your ideal candidate provide context for how feedback helped them shape the evolution of the final product?
If that information isn’t apparent or given directly, recruiters with extensive experience can begin to spot these behind-the-scenes elements, differentiating between overused approaches and fine-tuned, detailed interfaces and user journeys.
There’s also plenty of information to obtain from the interview, and asking the right questions can pinpoint the right talent for your organization. Here are a few:
- Describe a time when you conducted user research to inform your design decisions.
- What methods did you use, and how did the insights influence the design outcome?
- How do you approach designing for accessibility and inclusivity in your projects? Can you provide examples of how you’ve ensured your designs adhere to WCAG guidelines?
By taking the time to verify the user-centricity of your target audience, you can ensure that the functionality and general user experience of every product hits the mark and satisfies expectations.
Review Their Command of the Craft
Not every creative person has an expansive repertoire (think KAWS leaning on the same cartoonish caricature across his works or AC/DC clinging to razor-edged rock and yowling vocals for decades). However, any direct hire should be more than a one-trick pony. Specialized consultants have their place, but not necessarily as permanent UI/UX employees—they need versatility.
When evaluating UI/UX candidates, you want to explore their adaptability across project types and their command of diverse aesthetic elements. Keep these questions in mind as you’re reviewing their portfolio:
- Does a candidate’s portfolio showcase different aspects of UX/UI design, such as web and mobile applications, landing pages, eCommerce sites, or product redesigns? If so, little will be outside their capabilities.
- Does a candidate’s portfolio show a wide spectrum of layout, typography, color usage, and overall aesthetics of the projects? This quality demonstrates a UI/UX designer will not only be able to iterate but calibrate to achieve the needs and expectations of end users.
Again, there should be a rationale to every decision. Nothing should be chosen to simply keep up with the Joneses. By asking questions like the following during the interview, you can determine the thought process that motivated the candidate’s decisions:
- How do you approach selecting colors, typography, and visual elements to create a cohesive and appealing design?
- Can you provide an example of a project where your visual design choices effectively enhanced the user experience?
- How do you tackle new projects to achieve the best outcomes?
- What do you do to accelerate your delivery speed when you’re working with new mediums or design elements?
Beyond possessing a variety of influences and aptitudes, top candidates should also be attuned to the latest UI/UX trends. This means embracing interactive elements, animation, the near-3D stylings of neomorphism, and/or other innovative implementations. Since trends evolve at a breakneck pace, it’s important for any candidate to not only be able to articulate their thoughts on modern UX (even if they don’t like a particular movement) but also their strategies for staying competitive.
Search for Signs of Teamwork and Optimal Outcomes
If you’re choosing to hire UI/UX professionals, you want to employ people who think of the bigger picture. That comes across in a few different areas, from collaboration to results-driven focus. Here’s what to keep in mind:
It’s tricky to see how UI/UX professionals work together just by looking at their portfolios, but there are some indicators of how they function as part of a team.
- Check for examples of their work with agencies, diverse clients, or even their peers.
- See if a candidate’s work is showcased elsewhere. This can illustrate their ability to build relationships and understand various audiences.
The interview is where most of this information comes to light, especially if you’re asking these types of questions:
- Can you share an example of a project where you had to collaborate with cross-functional teams or stakeholders?
- How did you effectively communicate design ideas and handle conflicting opinions or feedback?
Your UI/UX team shouldn’t be thinking in a bubble. Whenever possible, they should find ways to attune themselves to the goals of the finished products. This way, they can adjust when requirements miss the mark and deliver added value beyond the original scope.
During the interview, make sure to ask the following questions:
- How do you measure the success of a design after it’s been implemented?
- Can you share a project where you analyzed user feedback or data to iterate on the design and achieve better outcomes?
- How do you align your deliverables with your employer’s or client’s goals?
Work with the Right Partner
At this point, most businesses are responsible for creating some type of digital experience, whether for their customers or their own people. Yet wading through resumes, evaluating portfolios, and conducting extensive interviews to look for exceptional talent takes lots of time and puts a lot to chance, especially if your leaders or internal HR employees have limited UI/UX experience.
Working with Dexian IT Solutions can help to bring a higher quality candidate through your hiring funnel. Our track record for excellence and our understanding of UI/UX space has allowed us to build an expansive network of over 10,000 vetted consultants. For projects where you need specialized professionals for a short-term engagement, we offer a Team as a Service (TaaS) operating model that gives you access to numerous resources with extensive UI/UX experience.
And the results of our client experience draw even more talent and customers to seek out our aid. When one of the largest banks in the United States was spearheading its digital transformation, it needed help hiring a large UX product team. This team’s responsibility would be to build out the existing style guide, create components, and conduct research.
Dexian IT Solutions quickly responded with highly skilled designers and developers. We placed 52 consultants (over a third of their final team) in roles such as UX Researchers, UX Architects, Visual Interaction Designers, UI Developers, Content Strategists, and Web Producers. Now, the project is in full swing, and the transformation is moving forward smoothly.
No matter your UI/UX need, we can find the multifaceted professionals necessary to elevate your brand to where it needs to be.