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Hiring UI/UX designers - a definitive guide

A UI/UX designer is a professional who designs and creates the user interface and user experience of a product, such as a website or mobile application.

They work to make the product easy to navigate, visually appealing, and efficient for the user. They use design software and various tools to create wireframes, prototypes, and mockups. UI/UX designers collaborate with developers, project managers, and other designers to ensure the product meets the needs of the users and the business. They also conduct user research, testing, and analysis to continuously improve the product.

Credit: igexsolutions
In short, UI/UX designers are responsible for making the products easy and enjoyable to use by focusing on the end user.

What do UI/UX Designers do?

Some of the responsibilities of UI/UX Designers are: 

  • Gather and evaluate user requirements in collaboration with product managers and engineers
  • Illustrate design ideas using storyboards, process flows and sitemaps
  • Design graphic user interface elements, like menus, tabs and widgets
  • Build page navigation buttons and search fields
  • Develop UI mockups and prototypes that clearly illustrate how sites function and look like
  • Create original graphic designs (e.g. images, sketches and tables)
  • Prepare and present rough drafts to internal teams and key stakeholders
  • Identify and troubleshoot UX problems (e.g. responsiveness)
  • Conduct layout adjustments based on user feedback
  • Adhere to style standards on fonts, colors and images

What skills do UI/UX designers have?

UI/UX designers are responsible for creating visually pleasing and intuitive software products that meet the needs of their users. To do this effectively, they need a variety of skills.

Some of the top skills that UI/UX designers have include:

  1. User research and testing: UI/UX designers conduct user research and testing to understand the needs, wants, and pain points of their target users. This helps them to design software products that meet those needs and provide a seamless and satisfying experience.
  2. Interaction design: UI/UX designers create the overall structure and flow of a software product, and use interaction design principles to make it easy for users to navigate and accomplish their goals.
  3. Visual design: UI/UX designers use visual design principles to create an aesthetically pleasing and visually appealing interface that is consistent with the product's branding and design guidelines.
  4. Wireframing and prototyping: UI/UX designers use wireframing and prototyping tools to create mockups and prototypes of their designs, which they use to evaluate and test different design options.
  5. Communication and collaboration: UI/UX designers work closely with other stakeholders, such as product managers, developers, and business teams, and they need to be able to communicate and collaborate effectively to ensure that their designs align with the product's goals and vision.
  6. Adaptability and flexibility: UI/UX design field is constantly evolving and changing, UI/UX designers need to be adaptable and flexible, able to learn new design tools and technologies as they become available.
  7. Technical knowledge: A good understanding of web and mobile technologies, and how to design for different platforms and devices, is essential for UI/UX designers.
  8. Problem-solving: UI/UX designers are problem-solvers, able to identify and solve design challenges and create solutions that meet the needs of both users and the business.

Keep in mind that there are different types of UI/UX designers, some may have more expertise or focus on a certain skillset, depending on the company or the project they're working on.

What tools and technologies do UI/UX designers use?

These are some of the most popular tools and technologies used by UI/UX designers:

  1. Sketch: A vector graphics editor and digital design tool, used for creating wireframes, mockups, and prototypes.
  2. Adobe Creative Suite: A collection of graphic design, video editing, and web development tools, including Photoshop, Illustrator, and XD.
  3. Figma: A browser-based interface design tool, used for creating wireframes, mockups, and interactive prototypes.
  4. InVision: A digital product design platform, used for creating interactive prototypes, animations, and user testing.
  5. Axure: A prototyping tool, used for creating wireframes, mockups, and interactive prototypes, and also can be used for creating documentation and user testing.
  6. Prott: A prototyping tool that allows you to create interactive wireframes and mockups.
  7. Adobe XD: A user experience design software developed and published by Adobe Systems, used for creating wireframes, mockups, and interactive prototypes.
  8. Balsamiq: A rapid wireframing tool, used for creating simple wireframes, mockups, and user flow diagrams.
  9. Marvel App: A web and mobile app prototyping platform, used for creating interactive wireframes, mockups, and user testing.
  10. Zeplin: A collaboration tool for UI designers and developers, used for creating styleguides, sharing design assets, and creating developer-friendly design specifications.

Why is UI/UX Design important?

Investing in UI/UX design is crucial for any business because it directly impacts user satisfaction, retention, lead generation, and brand reputation.

A well-designed website or app that prioritizes user needs and provides a consistent experience can lead to increased customer satisfaction and loyalty, as well as improved brand perception. Additionally, a strong UI/UX design can help a business adapt to changes in user needs and trends, and ensure consistency in brand image and user experience across all platforms.

Overall, investing in UI/UX design can have a significant impact on a business's bottom line.

To summarize, the main reasons UI/UX matters for your business are: 

  • User satisfaction 
  • User retention 
  • Greater potential for lead generation 
  • Stronger brand reputation 
  • Adaptability (to changes in user needs and trends) 
  • Consistency in brand image 
  • Consistency in user experience
Credit: grm.digital

What are the types of UI/UX designers?

Credit: Miro

There are several types of UI/UX designers, including:

  • Interaction designers, who focus on the overall flow and organization of a product's interface
  • Visual designers, who focus on the aesthetic and visual elements of a product's interface
  • Information architects, who focus on organizing and structuring the content and information within a product's interface
  • User researchers, who conduct user research and testing to inform design decisions
  • Content strategists, who focus on the written and spoken language used within a product's interface
  • Motion designers, who focus on animation and motion within a product's interface

Of course, many designers often have skills in multiple areas and don't fit neatly into one specific category.

What is the difference between UI designer and UX designer?

UI designers and UX designers are both important roles in the design and development of software products, but their focus and responsibilities can differ.

UI (User Interface) designers are responsible for the visual design and layout of a software product's interface. They focus on creating an aesthetically pleasing and visually appealing interface that is consistent with the product's branding and design guidelines. They are responsible for creating the look and feel of the product, including the layout, typography, color scheme, and visual elements such as icons and images. They work on creating wireframes, mockups, and prototypes to evaluate and test different design options. They also ensure that the interface is consistent and adheres to the company's design guidelines and standards.

UX (User Experience) designers, on the other hand, focus on the overall user experience of a software product. They are responsible for researching and understanding the needs, wants, and pain points of the product's target users, and then designing a product that meets those needs and provides a seamless and satisfying experience. They conduct user research, testing and usability testing, to gain insights and feedback about the product, and use that information to improve the product's design. They also work closely with product managers, developers, and other team members to ensure that the product's interface is intuitive and meets the product's goals. They focus on creating a structure and flow that is easy to navigate, and that supports the user's goals and objectives.

In summary, UI designers focus on the visual design and layout of a software product's interface, while UX designers focus on the overall user experience of a software product and work on creating a structure and flow that is easy to navigate and that supports the user's goals and objectives.

What's the difference between product designer and UI/UX designer?

Product designers and UI/UX designers in a software company both play important roles in the design and development of software products, but their focus and responsibilities can differ.

Product designers in a software company are responsible for the overall design of a software product, including its form, function, and user experience. They consider the product's strategy, goals, and target market, and then create a design that meets those needs while also being visually appealing. Product designers work closely with other stakeholders, such as the product management, development, and the business teams to understand the product vision, goals, and the target market, and translate that into a design that aligns with the product's strategy. They may also work on creating wireframes, mockups, and prototyping for the product, to evaluate and test different design options.

UI/UX designers in a software company focus specifically on the user interface and user experience of a software product. They are responsible for designing the look and feel of the product's interface, as well as its overall usability. They conduct user research and testing to ensure that the product is easy to use and meets the needs of its target users. They work on creating wireframes, mockups, and prototypes to evaluate and test different design options. They also work closely with product managers, developers, and other team members to ensure that the product's interface is intuitive and meets the product's goals. They also ensure that the interface is consistent and adheres to the company's design guidelines and standards.

In summary, product designers in a software company focus on the overall design of a software product, its interface layout and design, and the design of different features and functionalities in the product, while UI/UX designers in a software company focus on the user interface and user experience of a software product, creating wireframes, mockups and prototypes, conducting user research and testing, and working closely with the development team to ensure that the product's interface is intuitive and meets the product's goals.

Sample Interview questions for UI/UX Designers

Some questions for UI/UX designers might include:

Hard Skills

Logic & Skills
  1. How would you define UX Design?
  2. How is UX Design different from UI Design?
  3. What is meant by design thinking?
  4. What are the important skills for a UX Designer?
  5. How do you conduct the UX evaluation of a product?
  6. Design a Bank chatbot, Speed Costco checkout and an app for kids?
Tools
  1. Describe universal design
  2. How would you practice universal design for an asset used on multiple platforms like Web and Mobile running on various devices like laptops, tablets and mobile phones
  3. What tools do you use for prototyping?
  4. Based on what analytical tools, data, and KPIs have you evaluated your previous designs?
  5. What are the major differences between designing for web and mobile?
Behavioral / Soft Skills
  1. How do you respond to negative feedback? 
  2. Tell me about your most/least successful UX design project.
  3. How would you improve the UX of our product?
  4. Have you ever disagreed with your team’s recommendation? What did you do?
  5. What are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced as a UX Designer?

Boolean queries for UI/UX designers

Here is an example boolean query for a UI designer on LinkedIn:

("UI designer" OR "User Interface designer") AND ("software" OR "app" OR "web") NOT (developer OR engineer)

This query searches for profiles that contain the terms "UI designer" or "User Interface designer" and also contain the terms "software", "app" or "web" but exclude the terms "developer" or "engineer" in the profile.

And here is an example boolean query for a UX designer on LinkedIn:

("UX designer" OR "User Experience designer") AND ("software" OR "app" OR "web") NOT (developer OR engineer)

This query searches for profiles that contain the terms "UX designer" or "User Experience designer" and also contain the terms "software", "app" or "web" but exclude the terms "developer" or "engineer" in the profile.

Which companies are really well known for UI/UX?

Here are a few examples of well-known software companies that are known for their focus on UI/UX design:

  • Apple: Apple is known for its focus on design and user experience, and its products are widely considered to be some of the most intuitive and user-friendly on the market.
  • Google: Google has a strong focus on design and user experience, and the company's products are known for their simplicity and ease of use. Google has a dedicated team called "Material Design Team" that focuses on creating consistent and beautiful user interfaces.
  • Airbnb: Airbnb has a strong focus on user experience and design, and the company's app and website are known for their simplicity and ease of use.
  • Uber: Uber has a strong focus on user experience and design, and the company's app is known for its simplicity and ease of use.
  • Adobe: Adobe is known for its focus on design and user experience, and its products are widely used by designers and creative professionals for web and graphic design.
  • Microsoft: Microsoft has a strong focus on design and user experience, and the company's products are widely considered to be some of the most intuitive and user-friendly on the market.

These companies are known for their emphasis on UI/UX design in their product development process. They invest a lot in research, testing, and design, with a goal of creating products that are easy to use and visually pleasing. They also have a culture of design and collaboration, with teams of designers and researchers working closely with engineers and product managers to create the best possible user experience.

What is the compensation range for UI/UX designers?

According to Glassdoor, the median base salary for UI/UX designers in San Francisco is $115,000 per year as of 2021. The salary range for UI/UX designers in San Francisco is typically between $85,000 and $160,000 per year.

According to Indeed, the average salary for a UI/UX Designer is $88,845 per year in the United States as of 2021.

Tips for recruiting UI/UX designers:

Here are a few tips to help a recruiter effectively identify and recruit UI/UX designers:

  1. Understand the difference between UI and UX design: It is important for the recruiter to understand the difference between UI and UX design, and the specific skills and qualifications required for each role.
  2. Know the industry standards: Familiarize yourself with the current industry standards for UI/UX design, including best practices and design trends.
  3. Look for a diverse range of candidates: UI/UX design is a field that benefits from diversity in terms of backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives. So when recruiting, look for candidates from a wide range of backgrounds and with different types of experiences.
  4. Look for a range of skills: UI/UX designers should have a combination of design, technical, and problem-solving skills. So when recruiting, look for candidates who have a balance of these different types of skills.
  5. Understand the importance of portfolio work: A portfolio is a crucial tool for UI/UX designers, as it allows them to demonstrate their design skills and process. So when recruiting, be sure to review portfolios carefully and ask specific questions about the design decisions and problem-solving process behind the work.
  6. Understand the importance of soft skills: UI/UX designers must have strong communication, teamwork, and problem-solving skills. Be sure to assess candidates' soft skills during the recruiting process.
  7. Understand the importance of experience with various design tools: UI/UX designers should be proficient in various design tools such as Adobe Creative Suite, Sketch, Figma, InVision, etc. It's important to assess a candidate's proficiency with these tools during the recruiting process.
  8. Understand the importance of experience with prototyping and testing: UI/UX designers should be able to create interactive prototypes and conduct user testing. Be sure to assess candidates' experience with these processes during the recruiting process.
  9. Understand the importance of experience with responsive design: UI/UX designers should be able to design interfaces that adapt to different screen sizes and devices. Be sure to assess candidates' experience with responsive design during the recruiting process.
  10. Understand the importance of design thinking: UI/UX designers should be able to apply design thinking methodologies to solve problems. Be sure to assess candidates' experience with design thinking during the recruiting process.

While this tips will get you started, it's important for a recruiter to understand the specific needs and requirements of the company and the role, and to tailor the recruiting process accordingly.

Conclusion

In summary, UI/UX design is a field that involves creating user-centered designs for digital products and interfaces, such as websites and mobile apps. There are different types of UI/UX designers, including product designers, UI designers, and UX designers, each with their own specific skills and responsibilities. Some of the top skills for UI/UX designers include user research, wireframing, prototyping, and visual design.

Recruiting UI/UX designers can be challenging, but there are some key tips to keep in mind such as understanding the difference between UI/UX designers, focusing on the portfolio, and asking the right questions during the interview process. There are also several tools and technologies that UI/UX designers commonly use, such as Sketch, Adobe XD, and InVision. Additionally, compensation for UI/UX designers can vary depending on location and experience, and it's good to have an idea of what to expect when recruiting.

Finally, It's important to look at multiple portfolios to get a sense of a candidate's skills and experience, as well as their design style and aesthetic.

About Rocket

Rocket pairs talented recruiters with advanced AI to help companies hit their hiring goals and knows technology recruiting inside out. Rocket is headquartered in the heart of Silicon Valley but has recruiters all over the US & Canada serving the needs of our growing client base across engineering, product management, data science and more through a variety of offerings and solutions.

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