How to Hire UX Designers: A Comprehensive Guide From Northell

5511 Updated 07.13.2023
Anna Holishevska

Design Team Lead at Northell


Table of contents

Customers come to your site for a product or service, but the experience they gain affects user retention. On average, 8 out of 10 customers are willing to pay more for a better service. So who is responsible for creating a great customer experience on your website? You’re right! A UX designer. 

Together with our recruitment team, we’ve created this article that reveals how to hire the UX designer to become a valuable part of your dream team!

4 Types of Design Jobs: When Should You Hire UX Designers?

Firstly, you need to pick a project or product that your new designer should work on and make a list of all the tech requirements and results you expect to get. This step is paramount in understanding what type of design jobs you need to do and gives you a clear idea of the most suitable candidate to fit your company’s needs. So, let’s look at the common design professionals to define when you should hire a UX designer.

UX designers

UX designers don’t just provide design results. They define how a product works and feels to make it easy and enjoyable to use. Thus, there is no one-size-fits-all solution for each design problem or project, as there can be many ways to solve or approach a specific problem.

The job of UX designers is to explore these ways to solve a user problem and create meaningful user experiences. Their work ranges from solving technical problems to navigating and revealing the intricacies of user behavior. They participate at all stages of product design: from research to developing user flow, building structure, wireframing, prototyping and testing. 

As such, the job of a UX designer is complex and painstaking, requiring specific set of skills, which we will cover in the following sections.    

Graphic designers

Graphic designers work with all kinds of visual assets. They create logos and corporate style, branding books, a graphical overlay for social media posts, formalize the layout for a print ad, and similar. A graphic designer’s main job is to use various design elements and techniques to create exclusive visual concepts and cultivate ideas to attract users.  

Product designers

Product designers provide full project support throughout its path: from idea implementation to development and receiving user feedback. They are responsible for studying product problems, developing design solutions that solve those problems, and implementing changes based on user feedback and business strategy.    

Northell has all the required design staff to convert your business requirements into compelling design solutions. Choose the design service you need at Northell! 

Find out more about our: 

UI/UX design services

UI design services 

UX design services

What is Important to Check to Hire a Great UX Designer?

To portray the ideal candidate for the role of a UX designer, it is critical to validate the designer’s hard, soft skills, professional experience, and other important markers of a candidate’s fit for your project. Experienced Northell’s recruitment team has compiled a useful list of skills, qualities, and personal traits to expect from a great UX designer. 

Hard skills

Familiarity with UX design basics. A UX designer should be well-versed in user flows, user journey maps, wireframes, prototypes, etc.

Proficiency in creating information architecture. UX designers should organize and plan the structure to help users solve their problem when interacting with the product faster. 

Mastery of the best UX design tools. The common tools are graphic editors (Figma, Sketch, Adobe products), prototyping tools (Invision, Framer), and other specific ones. 

Good knowledge of UX research methods and tools. For example, usability testing and Google Analytics.  

Problem setting. UX designers should be able to identify, question, and prioritize problems.

User-centered approach. Designers should base their design solutions on users’ feedback and insights. 

Idea generation. A good designer can quickly generate high-quality ideas and solutions.

Knowledge of basic principles of psychology. UX designers need to be well-versed in the core aspects of psychology to apply them to UX design. 

Soft skills

Innovation. The design that UXers are creating should be unique and original.

Visual appeal. A good designer should create designs that will be appropriate for the audience. 

Problem-solving skills. A UX designer must understand how to solve your problem and translate yur business requirements into great UX design. 

Communication skills. A good UX designer should negotiate and communicate with various team members and project stakeholders, including other designers, coders, product managers, etc.

Collaboration skills. A UX designer needs to get along with his colleagues, handle complex issues, advocate for his own design ideas and user needs and remain diplomatic.

In-house cultural fit. UX designers must integrate with your internal corporate culture and demonstrate it in practice.  

Design portfolio

A good UX designer should have enough experience to handle your project. The prior experience and design portfolio of a UX designer should be relevant to your project, needs and industry focus. For example, if you work on a SaaS product design, then designers should know how to solve design challenges specific for SaaS.

The design portfolio can reveal aesthetic taste of the potential candidate. There, you can find examples of layouts, mockups, use of typography, user flows and similar. In this way, you can reveal whether the approach, style and methodology match your project and business.   

Sketch files

You should also check the candidate’s ability to execute tasks in a clear and well-organized way. The best way to do it – is to analyze sketch files. Thus, you will find how a UX designer organizes levels and folders, names elements, and sets text styles and spacing between layout elements. A good UX designer knows the importance of following a well-organized workflow to deliver high-quality design results and minimize confusion.  

Level of commitment to your project

A good candidate should go deep and specific into your company’s product and ask related questions about it. That will be a good predictor of a future high level of commitment to your project. Good UX designers should understand the whole context of your product or service to deliver the best design solutions and effectively collaborate with all project stakeholders. 

Tools and workflow

Depending on what tools, design practices, and approaches a UX designer use, we can ensure whether they match your needs and expectations. We consider UX candidates who are familiar with Figms, Sketch, InVision, and others. When asking candidates about the workflow, we can understand how they used to work in a team, their focus, and whether they go beyond with other project tasks, like documentation, prioritization, etc.   

Hire a Senior, Middle or Junior UX designer: Which is the Best Fit?

UX designer qualifications and skills differ based on the seniority level: junior, middle, and senior. To understand what qualifications are enough for your project, you should define your design requirements, business needs, and available budget. Let’s consider when senior, middle, and junior designers can be a good choice.  

Senior UX designer

Senior UX designers are well-versed and highly skilled at creating great customer journeys, smooth user flows, and personalized user experiences. They act as team leaders who collaborate with middle and junior designers, product engineers, and product managers to create user-friendly and intuitive user experiences.

If you have enough project resources – hire senior UX designers with hands-on expertise, deep technical knowledge, and proven skills to develop cost-efficient and future-forward design solutions.      

Middle UX designer

A middle UX designer is a qualified and competent professional with a few years of professional experience. They are familiar with the best design tools and are responsible for developing the user experience from the initial concept definition and UX research to the final design of the user interaction with the product. Middle UX designers are the main workforce in every design team as they are well-versed and experienced professionals that you can hire at affordable prices.      

Junior UX designer

Since junior UX designers are beginning their professional journey, they can miss the skills and competencies you’re looking for. However, they are persistent and motivated to upskill quickly and get the design jobs done of the best quality. Under the proper guidance, they perform excellently on well-planned project tasks.

If you are on a tight budget and unable to hire a senior UX designer, we recommend hiring part-time UX seniors or UX consultants to consult you on your UX needs first and create the basic design structure. After that, you can employ junior specialists to handle the pre-planned tasks.    

How to Hire a UX Designer in 8 Quick Steps?

The process of hiring UX designers is always challenging. As design experts, the Northell team has put together a step-by-step guide on how to hire a UX designer of your dreams.

1. Define your goals and project resources 

Think about what is most important to you, what you need a designer for, do you need a freelance UX designer or in-house one, is your company ready to hire a new team member, etc. This stage is vital to know exactly which candidate to hire and avoid mistakes in the next stages. A future UX designer should help you achieve your company’s goals and work within the project’s available resources.

2. List key requirements and create a job description

Many companies think not only about how to hire a UX designer but also about avoiding mistakes when choosing a candidate. Therefore, it is essential to list the basic requirements for your future candidate. This will help you choose the one who will be valuable to your team.

For example, think about what kind of project you want to hire a new UX designer for and what they need to know to do this. Also, the requirements may relate to the candidate’s education, experience as a UX designer, skills, and personal qualities.

Do you need professional help to write a great job description? Ask our experts for help! 

3. Systematize the search process

Select the main search channels. Below, we’ve compiled a list of the most popular search channels where you can hire a UX designer. The process must be systematic and structured. If you post vacancies randomly, you cannot control the entire process.

4. See reviews and portfolio

When hiring UX designers, analyze reviews and portfolio carefully before making a final job offer. A portfolio will help you evaluate the skills of a designer and understand what projects they worked with, what they do best, and what they have problems with.

Reviews will also tell you about the candidate’s experience and skills. You will have a broader picture and answer questions such as: Did the designer work well in the team? Did they manage to complete the tasks on time? What are their personal qualities, and how well do they cope with the work?

5. Evaluate Hard and Soft skills

The main goal of hiring a UX designer is to choose the best candidate. During an interview, you can quickly evaluate their soft and hard skills. In the following sections, you can find examples of questions to ask during the interview.

To assess hard skills, you will need to write a test task. The better you write a test task, the better and more precise it gets to understand whether the candidate matches your job description. 

6. Create test tasks

Looking for how to hire a UX designer, it is important to create a test task so that the candidate can show the design knowledge and skills in a short time. First, determine what you need a UX designer for. There are usually two reasons: to improve an existing user experience, or to create a new UX concept from scratch.

  • Test task for a designer who will improve the user experience 

Our Design Team Leads makes this process as follows: we show UX designers the finished user experience, so they can understand the initial UX requirements. In this way, we can find out if the UX designer is able to see business goals and user expectations through the interface. 

  • Test task for a designer who will create an interface from scratch

We provide the UX designer with a controversial situation so that we can see how the UX designer handles the complex situation and evaluate the way of thinking.

7. Choose a UX designer and sign a contract 

Once you’ve selected the best-fit UX candidates that match your job description best, it’s time to start prepare and sign a contract.

Before signing a contract, ensure you’ve included: 

  • Goals, tasks, and responsibilities. This will ensure that all necessary work is completed as expected, or will give you the opportunity to prove non-compliance if the contractor is not meeting its obligations. 
  • Remuneration. Make sure you include the amount to be paid, as well as the payment method to minimize questions later. 
  • Trial periods. Usually, new employees have a probation period during which they apply all their skills and knowledge to perform specific tasks. Try to periodically communicate with a new UX designer and other team members to understand how the new hire copes with the primary responsibilities. This should be stated in the contract. 
  • Terms of contract termination. Specify under what circumstances both parties can terminate the contract and what are the obligations in such cases.

8. Integrate a UX designer into the team

Once you’ve hired the best UX designers, seamlessly integrate them into your internal corporate culture. It is essential to conduct onboarding, introduce all team members, and tell them about the mission and vision of the company and the projects the company is working on.

At Northell, we strive to seamlessly integrate UX designers with your internal workflows, ensuring effective collaboration and alignment with your corporate culture and project goals. Our HR team creates an optimized onboarding process and provides a fully-equipped workplace or remote assistance for new hires.   

What Questions to Ask a UX Designer in an Interview?

When it comes to interviewing, prepare a set of questions you should ask your potential UX designer before hiring:

  • What role, position are you looking for?

Get an idea of ​​what the candidate wants to get out of the job, their expectations, and what role they would like to take on.

  • What clients, projects, or products have you worked with in the past?

Ask about past projects of the candidate, workplaces, employers and workplaces to get information about their work experience in this area.

  • What design tools and platforms are you good at?

Ask about the tools that your candidate uses to ensure they correspond to your company’s preferred tools and platforms.

  • Tell us about a project, product, or user experience that you particularly enjoyed.

This will let you know how committed the candidate is to their job. 

  • What are your hobbies and interests?

Most of the best UX designers are very creative people. So look for candidates who have creative, artistic hobbies and interests. Examples include photography, painting, videography, cooking, etc.  

There are other questions critical to ask a UX designer during an interview. Ask several questions to evaluate the hard skills:

  1. What does good UX design mean to you?
  2. How does the user flow improve the experience?
  3. How do you understand the vision of the product? 
  4. What factors do you keep in mind when designing for different target audiences?  
  5. How do you conduct user research for a project?
  6. Give an example of a particular case when you had challenges and how you coped with them. 

Finding, evaluating, and hiring UX designers becomes manageable with the right approach and preparation. Asking the questions mentioned above will help you to get a brief overview of the candidate and see if you are ready to move on.  

Where to Find a Good UX Designer?

You can consider many options to find a good UX designer, from getting a reference from your business colleague to self-search. In a letter case, we’ve prepared a list of credible online hiring platforms to look for top UX designers.   


Dribble is a popular platform where you can find all kinds of designers and creative professionals, including IOS/Android UI/UX designers, web app UX designers, product designers, graphic designers, UX researchers, Adobe UX design managers, UI strategists, others. It has a high concentration of top UX designers, where you can find visual shots that are real examples of their design work. You can quickly evaluate these design cases and understand whether their work matches your expectations.    


Behance has a rich pool of talented UX professionals. This online platform allows designers to create a detailed design portfolio and share all the working process aspects. Top UX designers explain where the solutions came from, what inspired them, and what influenced the final result. There are tons of unique design cases that you can analyze and understand how the user research was done, how the user flow was improved, hom much design work was made to meet business requirements, etc.  


LinkedIn is one of the most popular professional networking platforms where headhunters, recruiters, and other employers can post jobs and explore many related portfolios. This platform is the right place to find a perfect candidate for UX design jobs. On LinkedIn, you can find numerous profiles of experienced UX designers, see their skills, companies, and projects they’ve worked for, references, and get in touch with them quickly.   


Upwork is an online platform mainly used to hire freelance UX designers. There are a lot of UX freelancers from all over the world, so it’s easy to find a specialist to fulfill your business needs. On Upwork, you can quickly post a job and find a UX talent to meet your budget and work expectations. Freelance UX designers offer flexible pricing so that you can pay less for the design work. However, keep in mind that management, coordination, and quality assurance fall on your shoulders.      


Clutch is a popular hiring platform mainly used for hiring professional UX design agencies. On Clutch, you can check the company’s ratings in terms of cost, quality, and schedule, read honest customer reviews, understand the company’s focus and browse through the projects they have worked on. Clutch is a trusted platform where you can filter your search and find all up-to-date information about the UX design agency in a few clicks.    

3 Options to Hire a UX designer: In-house, Freelancer or Agency?

The most common options for hiring UX designers are hiring a UX design agency, freelancers, and in-house professionals. Let’s look at these three options to let you evaluate the pros and cons and help you understand how to hire a UX designer. 

Hire a UX agency

Hire a UX agency 
Pros Cons 
Vast experience and expertise  More expensive 
No need for micromanagement  Possible time lags 
High quality 
All the necessary specialists involved 
Faster results 
No recruiting and onboarding hussle 


If you are willing to invest in the success of your product – an agency that specializes in UX design is what you need. As a rule, in such agencies, a project manager is assigned to each project and deals with absolutely all issues related to your product – for example, evaluating the scope of work, planning deadlines, and taking into account the budget. Moreover, this option eliminates the need for direct involvement in the recruitment and onboarding process.

At Northell, we think that the design is an asset that helps companies of any scale and specifics meet their business needs, overcome challenges, get effective results, and track their dynamics. Our teams create smart and solid designs that stand out from the crowd. So if you need a remarkable design for your project, feel free to contact us. We will be happy to help you!  

Hire a freelance UX designer

Hire a freelance UX designer
Pros Cons 
Vast choice of candidates  No quality guarantees 
Affordable pricing  Possibility of language barrier 
Need to find the whole team 
Need to coordinate the team 
Confidentiality threat 
Risk of improper commitment 


If you have a limited budget, design knowledge, and a lot of free time to spend on a project, hiring a UX freelancer is a good option for you. However, there are a lot of downsides related to this option. More precisely, one big drawback is the lack of reliability. No one guarantees that the UX designer will complete the task on time or will not make the design of poor quality.

Hire an in-house UX specialists

Hire an in-house UX specialists
Pros Cons 
Direct access to employees  Limited employee knowledge and experience 
Expertise in a company’s profile  Financial obligation 
Personal engagement  Full responsibility for risk and task management 
Full control 


The third option is to go the traditional route and hire an in-house UX designer. This approach offers advantages but also has many drawbacks: so much needs to be taken care of, from documents to training and insurance. One disadvantage of employing an in-house UX designer is their limited skill set. They may be the greatest at user research, but creating landing pages is outside their competency. In instances like these, you are left with a vacancy in your team, putting you in a difficult position.

What is the best choice?

If you have a significant long-term project, we recommend you choose an agency because it has more expertise. Secondly, agencies value their reputation and have a solemn attitude to projects. Also, in the agency, all the processes are more streamlined. 

The freelance option will also work for you, but you must spend more time finding a perfect and experienced specialist. Northell provides companies with dedicated teams, so if you want to choose a freelancer for your project, we can help you. 

The in-house team fits smaller projects. The problem with in-house teams is control. How do you know that the team performs its duties one hundred percent and can really cope with your project? 

What are the Benefits of Hiring UX Designers at Northell?

At Northell, we have broad experience in UX/UI design. We have already provided more than 120 companies with high-quality design solutions. If your project needs a reliable and qualified UX designer, we will be happy to help you. Northell team will study your project in detail and select the ideal candidate for you. Our talented consultants can also help you figure out how to hire a UX designer without risk and effort. Great results won’t keep you waiting long. 

Top UX design talents on board 

Northell has a rich UX design talent pool on board. With our mature approach to recruitment and candidate interviewing, we unite top specialists in the design field. We know how to hire UX designers with great skills, extensive knowledge and experience. For each project, we assign only experienced UX designers with relevant experience for your project and industry focus.  

Over the years of our design expertise, we have already been ranked among the Top 20 Development & IT Companies in Ukraine by Clutch and the Top 10 Design Agencies by the Manifest for successfully completing over 160 projects across such industries as Healthcare, Real Estate, EdTech, and FinTech. 

We keep upskilling our UI/UX design mastery to offer our customers fresh and innovative design ideas. 

Rich design portfolio and expertise

Our extensive expertise in the design niche ranges from UI/UX design from scratch to web and mobile app redesign, maintenance, and support. We have a proven track record of successful design cases across many leading industries. You can quickly get acquainted with the projects we work on, understand the challenges we encounter, and find the methods we use to solve them.

Find out all the ins and outs of our professional design services:

Digital design services 

UI/UX Design Services

UI Design Services

Responsive Web Design Services

UX Design Services

Web Redesign Services

Mobile App Design Services

Digital Product Design Services  

Personalized approach

Whether you’re (re)designing a website, mobile app, or all at once, we start any UX design workflow with a personalized approach to any case. This entails:

  1. Extensive market, and demographic research
  2. User research and target audience analysis
  3. Creation of brand identity, moodboards and style guides
  4. Stakeholder analysis and interview process
  5. User persona generation
  6. User experience journey analysis
  7. Wireframing, prototyping, and user testing
  8. A/B testing and market research testing
  9. Product UX auditing
  10. Product and customer support

Thanks to our personalized approach to create design solutions, businesses get:

  • Improved user experience
  • More new customers
  • Increased sales
  • A stronger online presence and brand identity that highlight the mission and values of the company

Best UX design tools

We use modern and tried-and-true UX design tools to empower your design concepts. Using them, we can quickly cultivate versatile ideas for UI/UX design solutions matching unique business needs, increase productivity and facilitate remote collaboration. At Northell, the UI/UX design team prefers the following set of tools: 

  • Figma. A widespread tool for design, prototyping, and live collaboration.
  • Sketch. This tool is used for prototyping and creating web and app layouts. 
  • Invision. This tool is suitable for user research, testing, analysis, and data analytics. 
  • Adobe XD. A vector-based UX design tool for web and mobile apps.
  • Framer. Another standard tool for creating interactive designs.     

In-house UX lab

Northell practices an outside-the-box design approach to create top-rated and highly demanded digital solutions and products by providing in-house UX lab services. Using the powerful eye-tracking tool, we can:

  • Identify what part of your web product is visible to users on the first-page load
  • Exploring user behavior during interaction with the product.
  • Analyze user reading patterns to understand which parts of your product page get the most attention
  • Increase the conversion rate of your web product

Using the UX Eye Tracker tool, we can quickly and efficiently identify usability gaps, improve your product or create an intuitive and smooth user experience from scratch. 

Transparent design workflows

We prioritize transparency when working with our customers. That helps us to stay on the same page with all project stakeholders regarding the product design from start to finish. By following a transparent approach, we facilitate remote collaboration, build trust, ensure team self-organization, and resolve any misunderstandings on time. 

Different cooperation models

We offer flexibility to our customers so they can choose the preferred collaboration model that best works for them: Dedicated team and IT staff augmentation. You can easily hire UX designers for your project full-time or part-time. What’s more, you can choose the level of engagement and switch between collaboration models as you work on a design project.   

What Mistakes Should You Avoid When Hiring UX Designers?

Hiring new UX designers may often come with numerous challenges. Even a minor mistake may cost a fortune after the design is released. To ensure your hiring process is successful, let’s take a closer look at Northell’s experience-based tips on how to avoid them when hiring UX designers.    

Overestimate a UX portfolio

Problem: Most common mistake that many companies and recruiters make is judging a UX portfolio by the number of UX cases and samples that the designer has included. The number of design samples can’t accurately reflect the designers’ skills and experience as well as make sure their work is high-quality.  

Solution: A good UX designer knows the several case studies is enough to showcase their expertise and skills. Looking at the UX portfolio, take a look at the following details:

  • Clearly defined problems 
  • User research findings 
  • Wireframes 
  • User testing insights 
  • Final design results 
  • Skills used 
  • Key design metrics  

Merge several roles

Problem: Merging several roles into one job may result in a lengthy and complicated search. It becomes difficult and costly to find a top UX specialist with broad experience to perform various tasks, such as UI, UX QA, etc.  

Solution: Hiring a specialized UX expert will save you more time and money in the long run, as well as allow you to quickly find a narrow-focused specialist to get things done on time, on budget, and with the quality you want.    

Set strict deadlines

Problem: Rushing the project and a UX designer is not the correct approach to coordinate the work of a UX designer. Even hiring senior UX designers doesn’t mean their work will be done in a few days since the UX designer’s main goal is to improve user experience and boost conversions. 

Solution: Negotiate the most optimal and precise deadlines with a UX designer to avoid misunderstandings and disappointment later. Allocate enough time for designers to perform their job according to your needs and their capabilities accordingly.  

Ignore competition in the UX market

Problem: Today, UX is a highly competitive market, making it difficult to find and retain UX designers. Even if you understand how to hire a UX designer, you are still subject to staff turnover.    

Solution: It’s crucial to fine-tune your employee retention strategy before hiring to avoid staff turnover. At Northell, we follow effective ways to retain and motivate our UX designers. The best of these practices are the following: 

  1. Provide an opportunity for UX designers to work on projects they are most interested in
  2. Provide a personal development plan (PDP) to let them achieve their goals and grow up the career ladder
  3. Encourage your design team to take initiative
  4. Offer training and social package
  5. Ensure a healthy and stress-free working environment   

How Much Does it Cost to Hire a UX Designer in 2023?

The cost to hire a UX designer depends on the scope of project, the designer’s expertise, the design complexity, hiring model and whether you hire a freelancer, in-house specialist or a UX design agency.

The cost to hire UX freelancers 

We’ve create a table, where you can look at the median price ranges of hiring UX specilsits at different online platforms: 

Online platform  Freelancer (on average from $10 to $100)
Upwork  $25–$39/hr
Toptal  $35–$120/hr
Fiverr From $10/hr 

The cost to hire in-house UX designers

In the following table, you can find out the average salaries of UX designers based on where they live.

Region  Average salary of UX designers per year*
USA $91,225
Canada  $55,075
Germany  $53,065
United Kindom  $49,449
Austarlia  $58,598
China $30,752
Ukraine  $57,500 


*The above figures are taken from Indeed.

More on related topic: Hiring Software Developers in Ukraine: Top 10 Reasons to Consider

The cost to hire UX agency

In the following table, you can find out hourly rates for hiring UX designers from UX agencies.

Region  Hourly rate of UX designers
North America  $120-$250
South America $20-$55
Western Europe  $30-$100
Central and Eastern Europe  $30-$80
Australia  $50-$150
Asia $15-$45


For more information on why Western companies prefer Eastern Europe for outsourcing UX design services in particular, read Why Should You Outsource to Eastern Europe in 2023? (Price, Pitfalls, and Mistakes).

Important to note, since Northell is from Eastern Europe, we offer a reasonable quality-to-cost ratio for high-quality UI/UX design services. The average price for our UX design services varies from $30 to $60 per hour.   

How to Hire a UX Designer: Summing Up     

We hope this article was helpful to you and your team. If you follow the tips and suggestions above, it will be much easier for you to understand how to hire a UX designer with required expertise and skill set. 

Let this article become a little cheat sheet for you that you can look into when you get confused or when you do not know what step to take next. Despite the hiring process is not a piece of cake, with the right preparation and planning, you can find the UX designer to fit your project needs and expectations best.

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