Finding and hiring a proper UI/UX designer may become a major headache for your startup. There are so many people ready to work for you yet a few of them may deal with your project.
Here’s a complete guide on how to find a UI/UX design agency.
Where to find a UI/UX contractor?
The first question to cross your mind is ‘where do people get UI/UX contractors?’. Let’s dig into the matter together!
Professional UI/UX agency
The first and most obvious option. If you are ready to invest in the success of your project — we mean to pay highly-skilled professionals for the best quality work — go to an agency specialized in UI/UX (usually referred to as UI/UX agencies). Such companies are usually run by someone who is a dab hand at it. Be sure that people working in an agency are not just ‘familiar with’ the industry, they know the ins and outs.
In most cases, when you hire a UX agency, you’ll get a dedicated project manager assigned to your project. It’s great to have someone who takes care of the entire product including budget and work scope, right? You won’t have to keep all the aspects related to UI/UX design in your mind — let professionals deal with it and sleep well. 🙂
Looking for employees via social networks like Facebook or Instagram is a working option too (btw, you can also find UX design agencies here). All you need to know is where to search. The best choice is design communities — Dribbble, Behance, or Awwwards. On these sites, you’ll find many portfolios full of wonderful visual designs.
Note: sometimes design shots that you can see are not technically feasible, so it is important that you know what exactly you need from a UI/UX designer. Otherwise, you might end up finding someone who lacks strategic thinking.
Don’t have a large budget but have much time for micromanagement? The freelance market will work for you! If you check out sites like Upwork.com or Freelancer.com, you will find hundreds of designers ‘for any taste and pocket’.
What is cool about freelance is that you’re not limited to a certain area or region, which exposes you to a wider pool of talent. You can be running a startup in the US and hire a UI/UX designer from Russia. The only con is reliability. To be exact, the absence of reliability. You are never guaranteed that a freelancer is responsible and won’t delay your work or submit substandard quality (so maybe you will have to find a UX design agency anyway, which is sad).
This one is good (yet super rare). For those who have some ties with startup guys.
Do you have a Zuckenberg on the contact list? Congratulations! In this case, you can ask them to brainstorm a few names and simply reach out to them: even if recommended UI/UX designers are too busy or not interested to collaborate, ask them to suggest someone else. Essentially, this approach is based on referrals, so you can be sure that you’ll find a person with relevant experience and expertise.
It’s always up to you to hire a UI/UX agency or get the best freelance designer for a startup. Be aware and choose wisely.
How to test a UI/UX contactor?
Let’s talk about testing and evaluating UI/UX designers. Although everyone has their own methods, we will look over the most important qualities of a good designer. Read and bear in mind.
Design (or Hard) skills
It’s vital to make sure that a designer has the hard skills needed for a successful project launch. Decide what you need before asking it from a person (there is no need to google the difference between Sketch, Figma, and Adobe XD though — a good designer isn’t defined by a particular program).
What can you do to estimate the hard skills of a UI/UX designer?
Review a portfolio: make sure a portfolio is not only full of beautiful UI designs but includes projects relevant to the industry you’re about to jump in.
Test level of expertise: evaluate their abilities to generate ideas, solve problems, or think ahead — the latter is crucial when it comes to sharing the ‘done’ UI/UX design with the devs. There is no universal list of UI/UX skills, however, it is important to determine experience level and find someone creative, innovative, and forward-thinking. You want to have a person able to look at your product from every angle, understand the industry, and see all stoppers, don’t you?
People (or Soft) skills
As for people skills, there is not much difference between those recommended for developers (or product managers, or whoever else) and these expected from a designer. The point is that they should be actively involved in the work process, thus interested in what’s going on within the project.
We won’t go over evident facts and give you tips like ‘if you see that a person is brusque and pushy, it’s an alarm’. Check out the soft skills our team looks for in potential UI/UX designers.
- Communication & teamwork
When you’re working on a product, it’s essential to have enough interaction between developers, designers, and other project stakeholders. A peaceful and productive work environment is created by everyone on the team, so we always assure yourselves a newbie is good at it.
- Critical thinking & leadership
It’s not about a leader who spurs the work process in the right direction but someone who is not afraid of taking decisions and is ready to step up to the plate. UI/UX designers should be able to think in the face of a difficult situation and to come up with solutions.
- Work ethic
There are some simple yet important skills. Being punctual and reliable, getting things done on time, taking initiatives — when it comes to product building, all that stuff matters A LOT.
Remember: soft skills are critical. UI/UX designers who cannot work ones who aren’t willing to bring empathy to solve user prob
Finding, evaluating, and hiring a designer is not the easiest task but the right approach and ‘I-can-do-it’ attitude will help you do it.
Answering the main question ‘How to find a UX design agency?’: thoroughly examine work samples (portfolio cases that display UX and then UI skillset), look for social and professional proofs (recommendations from other people), and you’ll acquire a high-level UI/UX designer who can do their job properly and cut all risks.