Is your team on the lookout for new UX design talent? There’s a big pool to fish from, but how do you make the best ones bite? That’s what you’ll learn in this article.
Successful companies know that user experience can make or break a business. Things shouldn’t just look good to consumers, they should feel good – and work great. In a team of developers, programmers, marketeers and more, UX designers lay the finishing touch over all kinds of products. But some have a more magical touch than others.
This read is chock-full of advice. To help you find what (or who…) you’re looking for, here’s what to expect:
Buckle up, we’re diving straight in.
UX design feels like it’s all about the visual, but it’s much more than that. Many managers will have the urge to just look at portfolios, and frankly, in the early hiring stages, that’s all you can really do. But if you’re not testing skills later on in the interviewing process, you’re missing out on a lot of valuable information. Here’s how to crush both.
It’s easy to get blown away by gorgeous graphics and captivating color use, but that’s not all that UX design is about. When looking at portfolios for UX design specifically, pay extra close attention to those who explain the ‘why’ behind their work. You don’t just want to see the end result, you want to see the research methods used, the way they understand the target demographic and, ideally, the data showing what their UX has improved.
You can’t ask a UX designer who’s only being interviewed to design a full page or screen without pay. You can however give smaller tasks or let them edit existing content to see their skills in action. Using TestDome alternatives like TestGorilla, you can create a smooth evaluation process. These types of tests don’t just help you evaluate the candidate’s skills – they can also get a better picture of what you’re looking for and if they want to commit to that.
Where do all these cool kids with UX design skills hang out? Here are their hiding spots, and how you can lure them into your office, too.
If your business is in need of UX designers, then you should be at design conferences. They happen all over the world, all year round. You’ll know that the designers attending those are the most dedicated ones in their field, so find ways to connect with them there. Whether it’s with a stand of your own, or by sending over your creative team to learn and network: make sure you’re there and adding value.
Are there no design conferences happening near you, ever? Then it’s time to host events of your own that will attract top talent. Of course, this doesn’t need to be just for UX designers, but you can pick a theme. You could host events with speakers and demos that are pointed at creatives, or researchers, or marketing in general. You can also give people the opportunity to be speakers or contribute in another way at those events. These types of events can be a superb resource to get to know ambitious, dedicated and passionate people.
Want to draw attention to your business and get more visibility in the UX design community? Host small, fun design challenges (with prizes, ideally). Not like Thursday did – asking for copy for their billboard with ‘exposure’ as the reward. Make sure that the challenge shouldn’t be something your own team just doesn’t have time for – it’s not outsourcing work. Keep it light and show real appreciation, and watch the community come to life.
Creatives know creatives. Chances are, your current or past creative employees, or any other employees who have worked in companies with other UX designers, know a good one. Start a referral program and reward people for useful recommendations. It can be that simple.
Interact with the design community on platforms like LinkedIn. You can use polls to get opinions and get traction, and then publish case studies to get the real discussion going. Don’t just pop out of the woodwork when you need something: contribute with valuable content at least weekly.
What if they were right under your nose all along? Most people nowadays possess more than one skill set. Social media marketers who know how to run ads. Copywriters who dabbled in code. And there could be someone who would make for a great UX designer, with a little bit of training. Make sure your team has access to courses that could help them upskill like that.
(Don’t use this to get people to do two things at the same time, though.)
Now that you know how to get the conversation started, it’s crucial to know how to keep it going. AKA: what do UX designers want from an employer – apart from the basics?
Now you know where to look for them and what they want, it’s time to focus on what to look for in a UX designer. We’ll skip over the practical skills related to design tools and such, because those are the basics. Instead, we’ll zoom in on what soft skills a great UX designer will have.
A great UX designer is someone who knows how to solve problems. Focus on this in the interview questions. Instead of asking: tell us about this project, ask: what was the main problem here and how did you solve it? Makes it all the more specific for them, and you.
Look for people who keep their skills and knowledge up to date. Simply ask how candidates like to learn new things, not just if. This will give you a much clearer view of who has a strong learning strategy in place.
UX designers need to communicate a lot. With users, with other designers, with developers: try to gauge whether or not the person in front of you is a good communicator and if they would fit into the team.
Ask candidates about small things in previous projects. This will help you see whether they consciously take even the tiniest design decisions, or if some are just part of a larger process.
Anyone can (and will) say that they are a passionate UX designer on their resume, but read between the lines. Listen to how people talk about projects, what new things they have learned and what they want to do with UX design in the future to uncover true passion.
Last but not least: UX design is all about empathy. It’s about creating experiences for others, that they feel safe, valued, understood and appreciated in. They create accessible websites, apps and products. While there’s no real test for empathy you can use in the interview process, it is something you can pick up on (and on the lack of it, as well), so keep this one in mind!
Is the job ad written? Their future laptop ready to be shipped? And is your team excited to elevate the products they create with great UX? Hopefully, the tips in this article will speed up your search. If you’re looking for more information on the job market for UX designers, put yourself in their shoes by reading these career tips for aspiring designers.
About the author:
Vicky is a freelance copywriter with more than five years of experience in copywriting and content management. Having been working remotely since before it was cool, she wants to do things differently, in every way of her work. She has been working for SaaS brands, small businesses, coaches and companies in a wide and wild variety of sectors for over five years, empowering them to adopt a tone of voice that is daring and different.
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