Designer drawing a user interface prototype on a pad of paper while holding a mobile phone

Since a user interface (UI) designer plays an integral part in developing the features that the end-user ultimately interacts with, they’re critical towards making your digital product a success. But how do you ensure that you’re hiring the right individual? Consider these five common mistakes before you start scheduling interviews.

1) Basing Hiring Decisions on Portfolios Alone

Any UI designer worth their salt will have an outstanding portfolio that’s packed with a wide variety of projects; possibly from a number of different industries. Some applicants may even have numerous samples of a product type similar to yours, which would make them a great candidate to consider. However, it’s impossible to hire solely based on portfolios alone since they do not show the overall effectiveness of a project.

For instance, a layout for an application may appear sleek and spectacular within a portfolio, but that does not mean that consumers who use that product have the same opinion. Instead, try to judge the prior work of UI designers on how practical their designs are and how easy it would be for the end-user to navigate.

2) Limiting Your Search to Local Talent Only

If your business has a traditional office space, then your first inclination might be to try and hire a local UI designer. Thanks to video chat, instant messaging, and other tech tools, that’s no longer a necessity. It’s getting easier and easier to communicate and collaborate in the workplace without having to actually be in the same place.

Millions of tech-sector professionals work remotely every day and studies have shown that it can actually increase efficiency. By opening up your search to remote talent, you can find the best UI designer for your project regardless of where they’re located. That gives you a world of candidates to choose from with the skills, experience, and work style you’re looking for. You’ll likely also be able to find the right candidate faster than if you only searched in your local area.

3) Misunderstanding What a UI Designer Actually Does

On paper, a UI designer has but one task to complete for their clients—deliver renderings of a product that customers will love using. But UI design is not about hiring the graphic artist with the best overall style; it’s about finding a great designer that bases each choice on what will work best for the consumer. The only ways to know that, however, is to research the industry, employ UX principles, and listen to user feedback.

A good UI designer will enter each project with a pre-defined system in place to discover what is best for the end-user. They will then design the customer-facing aspects to be as interactive as possible without sacrificing simplicity or usability. It may sound simple, but it’s a complex process and requires a designer with expertise in UI.

4) Allowing a Breakdown in Communication

There are almost endless considerations to make in any design project, from the shape of the buttons to the accent colors to where the user’s attention is drawn to. Additional factors to consider are loading times, the proper use of white space, the navigational menu, and more. The only way to find the right combination is through communication, both with your team and through interviews with users.

A UI designer can only be as good as the team and the data around them. Without communication throughout the project, it becomes very easy for any designer to start making assumptions that may or may not work for the final product.

5) Focusing on Anything Other Than User Feedback

In a perfect scenario, your final deliverable will be a product that users feel instantly connected to. The interface should feel familiar to them and easy to navigate, with just enough text present to explain some of the more advanced features. Additionally, the layout should be devoid of any clutter so everything is easy to find and simple to use. A talented UI designer will tell you that the only way to meet these objectives is to base everything off research and customer feedback.

During the interview process, every single question that the UI designer answers should somehow tie back to customer preferences and feedback. In fact, a good portion of top designers will not even accept a project without solid user experience data to help guide them from the very start. This is definitely the type of candidate that you’re looking for.

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