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UX designers use data-driven metrics to create digital apps that are user-friendly, easy to navigate, and intuitive for customers. That’s why UX design has become such a buzzword these days; everyone wants a website or application to deliver exactly what their users are looking for. But selecting the right UX design professional is inherently more complicated due to the precise skill set an individual has to have. This article will shed light on some of those skills and explain how to avoid the most common mistakes in hiring a UX designer.

1. Not Understanding What Makes a Great UX Designer

Think of a UX designer as a customer satisfaction expert. Their job is to leverage user insights, feedback, and analytics to identify areas of a digital product that need improvement and find design solutions that address those issues and create the best possible experience for the user. A solid UX designer will be able to identify a clear process from start to finish and explain why each step is vital to designing a user-friendly digital product.

A lot of website developers and graphic artists incorporate some of the above elements into their initial design process, but that does not make them an actual UX designer. Be sure to look for a candidate who understands how people process information and can empathize with the user.

2. Seeking Creative Talent Over a Technical Approach

The UX designer that you ultimately choose to hire may or may not actually build apps and websites. Others could have extensive backgrounds in graphic design, illustration, copywriting, video production, and/or search optimization. These types of skills can help a candidate to deliver great results, but the only way to have an application that’s truly optimized for user experience is to seek someone with technical skills like cognitive psychology, wireframing, and interaction design.

Simply put, it’s always a good idea to focus on each candidate’s technical approach for obtaining feedback from your ideal customers. For instance, if users are getting frustrated because it’s too difficult to find certain features, you’ll want a candidate to be able to explain their process for gaining these types of insights. These are the only types of metrics that will show what really matters to your visitors and how to make them happy.

3. Having Too Many Requirements

It’s easy to enter into a new design project with numerous pre-conceived expectations about how a digital product should look, feel, and operate. Each of these initial choices will limit the UX designer’s ability to find what works for new and existing customers, however, so it’s important to be as flexible as possible in this regard. The more you’re willing to test through A/B testing, the better the overall results will be.

That’s not to say that your major brand elements should not be included in initial wireframes and mock-ups. It simply means to trust in the methods and expertise that UX designers use to determine optimal layouts, content, functionality, and images.

4. Focusing on Design Elements of Former Projects

While it may seem like common sense to rely heavily on a UX designer’s portfolio to determine their overall skill, this is often a mistake that can have a negative impact on your project. After all, the most important criteria for hiring a UX designer is their ability to make decisions based on user feedback, and that may lead to some styling choices that you wouldn’t personally prefer. If the decisions appeal to customers though, then it’s the right choice.

The only way to know for sure if certain design elements were UX inspired is by asking about the designer’s process and what results were achieved because of it.

5. Asking Your Best Customers for Feedback

It may seem like common sense to turn to your most loyal customers and ask them for feedback about your website or app, but it’s important to realize that this segment of your customer-base is not always the most reliable choice. That’s because they’re already familiar with your technology and how to access the features they’re looking for. In other words, their opinions are already influenced by their experience and opinion about your company and may not reflect the opinion of a wider audience.

An outsider with no knowledge of your brand may have a completely different opinion of your user experience. That’s why it’s essential to choose a UX designer that has experience in gaining unbiased feedback from focus groups, surveys, and other methods.

6. Expecting a Quick Turnaround Time

Even though top UX designers may be very proficient with their process to identify what’s important to your customers, it’s unrealistic to expect dramatic results in a short period of time. The basis of UX design is using scientific theory to create maximum user satisfaction and increase the rate of visitors that convert to actual customers. The best approach to achieving these goals is through accessible, usable, and aesthetically pleasing design.

If a quick turnaround is your primary goal, then it may be better to seek out a UX designer later in the refinement process. However, this could lead to much higher costs and a slower launch since your digital product may have to endure more rounds of revisions before it’s optimized for consumers.

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