With the ever-increasing focus on the design of an app's interface along with the experience that new and regular users have on web and mobile apps, the demand for talented, creative and offbeat UI/UX designers has seen new highs.
Simply put, a UI(User Interface)designer is responsible for curating the interface of the app that you want your customers to use. A UX (User Experience) designer is responsible for making sure that every new app users and regular app users have an easy and smooth experience while interacting with the app.
These two components of the app development process have to synergise continuously so that the app is not only visually and aesthetically appealing but also lets customers access information easily and seamlessly.
But what do you need to keep in mind while hiring a UI/UX resource that fits your requirements? In this article, we shall touch upon a few such points:
Mapping the Spectrum
The scope of UI/UX development has been expanding ever since the concept first came to be. The introduction of new platforms and the shift by consumers to different types of devices play a major role in gauging what kind of designer you’d like to have on your team.
In scenarios that change so rapidly, you want someone who isn’t averse to a sudden change in user preferences. You need someone who can see a change in trend coming from afar. Someone who is not only technically insightful but also looks forward to new challenges that push their creative skills.
Essentially, you need to hire people, not skills. It’s a given that a UI/UX designer will know how to design. You want someone who has the attitude to accept fluid situations and can easily modify their design style to suit whatever is popular. Someone who understands the product, and by extension, who’ll be its primary users, the location where it’ll mostly be used and the kind of buyer persona that the app should most likely cater to.
Skills can be taught, honed and upgraded. A willingness to be malleable to the changing landscape of design is hard to come by. You need to be clear about the problem that you’re trying to solve and then bring in people to help you with your problems.
One very important aspect of this is that you need to give them creative freedom. You have to let them understand the problem and look at their solution with an open mind. The only way that truly creative people can thrive is in an environment where new ideas and concepts are adapted continuously.
The Impact of Past Experience
It is always nice to have someone on your team with sizeable domain experience but don’t let that be an end all be all criteria. People with relatively lesser experience can be a great asset purely based on their ability to problem solve and explore creative solutions based on the product they have to design.
Try to look for people who think about the tiniest aspects of the overall UI and the User Experience, and its impact on the final deliverable. Having that keen eye for detail can be a great trait to possess in the long run.
Previous experience is a good frame of reference, but that’s all it is. It is neither a confirmation nor a negation of what you expect them to bring to the table. Look at the kind of projects they’ve worked on, the clients, the platforms for which they’ve designed solutions and the depth of their subject knowledge to get a holistic idea of what they’ve learnt and unlearnt in all their years of designing UI/UX solutions.
A designer's portfolio is what really speaks for them, after all the talking. Having a look at their portfolio can make it clear as day, whether the particular individual, irrespective of experience and domain knowledge, will be a good fit for the brand of design you’re trying to work on.
Having a comprehensive understanding of the breadth of their work, along with the quality goes a long way in helping you decide if they’ll be a good fit for you. Look for a concept and a context when going through their work, and that’ll give you a clear picture of the talent and creative skillset they possess.
De-Construction and Re-Construction
Of the many important requirements of a good UI/UX designer, the ability to de-construct a creative mandate and re-construct it to curate something that reflects the client’s persona is probably the most critical consideration you have to make.
De-Constructing and Re-Constructive a creative mandate would involve:
- Understanding the client
- The industry they work in
- Their customers
- The scope of creative license in their industry
- Their understanding of UI/UX
- Their goal behind a UI/UX design exercise
- Their expectations from the final outcome
- Synergising your design philosophy with their product/services
- A study of any previous UI/UX design iterations, if any
- Empathy for the client and their customer base
- Merging your expertise with their vision
Creating a stunning UI design and merging it with a smooth UX design can be an uphill battle during the best of times. It doesn’t help that the landscape keeps changing so frequently due to the relative nascency of these concepts. In the midst of all this irregularity, you need to create a structure that allows you to be open to the most offbeat of ideas and also lets you pick people who won’t only bring in design expertise but also bring in an attitude of continual change.