Hiring Guide for UX Designers in Today’s Competitive Market22 August 2023
All product companies inevitably reach the stage where a designer's skills become vital. Yet, the question remains - how to hire a UX designer? With more businesses recognizing the value of user experience, demand for UX designers continues to grow. Furthermore, today's hiring landscape is vastly different compared to five years ago due to increased competition and shifting professional expectations.
As a product design agency, we're always scouting for fresh UX talent, and are acutely aware of these changing dynamics. We've sourced insights from our lead designers who play an integral role in our hiring process to provide pointers on what to look for during interviews.
When does your team require a UX designer?
A question often asked but let's clarify. Question what you need - a UX designer or another role?
It's easy to muddle design job roles given their various facets. UX designers focus on crafting an effortless and enjoyable product usage experience, collaborating with the entire product team through research, user flow creation, structure, wireframes, prototypes, and testing phases. If you're searching for someone to revamp your website's visuals including illustrations, typography, and animations – you might require a UI designer. Someone skilled in both aspects is a UI/UX designer.
Product designers follow the product through every stage of development, carrying more responsibilities than a UX designer. They focus not only on the design but also the product's evolution after its launch.
Interaction designers, however, concentrate solely on moments of interaction between a user and the product, duties that are closely aligned with UX designers but more specific.
Once you've established that you need a UX designer, the next step is determining the skills they should possess.
What skills to look for?
Here are some hard and soft skills vital for a UX designer:
- Proficiency at using UX design tools, such as user flows, user journey maps, wireframes, etc.
- Expertise in graphic editing software (Figma, Sketch, Adobe products), prototyping tools (Invision, Framer), animation software (optional)
- Insight into UX research methods and tools like usability testing and Google Analytics
- Knowledge of design thinking methodology
- Understanding of basic psychology principles and their application in UX design
- Recognition of the importance of design metrics
Now, let's explore how and where to locate UX designers.
How to find UX designers?
If untouched territory, searching for a designer might seem daunting – thankfully we have several tips. In an ideal situation, word-of-mouth would suffice, as is common with numerous other professions – hairdressers, dentists, etc. If no suitable connections avail themselves, refer to platforms like Clutch for B2B reference. For freelancing UX designers backed by reviews, consider platforms like Upwork, Fiverr, 99designs.
LinkedIn is a practical medium for sourcing UX designers. By examining profiles of experienced designers employed by aspirational companies, you can create a profile of your ideal candidate. LinkedIn profiles usually link to portfolios, offering a comprehensive view of potential hires.
From presenting a designer's portfolio to showcasing numerous compelling design cases, Behance is a designer's paradise. The platform encourages sharing of work processes, design reasoning, and their impact on final outputs.
If time is of the essence, your company’s social media can be an effective avenue to seek recommendations and attract interested candidates.
Having covered the process of finding a UX designer, let's delve into the practical considerations –Cost.
How much does it cost to hire a UX designer?
The average salary for a mid-level UX designer in the US is approximately $115K per annum. However, rates can fluctuate based on experience level, location, and collaboration type. For a broader perspective and tips on hiring a designer without overstretching your budget, refer to our detailed article.
The role and expectations of UX designers can differ greatly based on a company's size, industry, and the complexity of projects. To prevent misunderstandings, clearly specify the job description and expected tasks the candidate will handle. If the process of hiring and in-house training seems daunting, you might consider enlisting a design agency. Krock Digital Solutions is a pragmatic design agency whose priorities are goal-oriented functional design, not just flashy visuals. We have a team of experienced UX designers who can jump on your project as fast as a week after you contact us.