How to Hire a UX Designers: Ten Easy Steps (For Business Owners)

5224 Updated 01.11.2023
Anna Holishevska

Design Team Lead at Northell


Table of contents

Customers come to your site for a product, but the experience they have gained affects whether they stay on it or not. On average, 8 out of 10 customers are willing to pay more for a better service. So who is improving the customer experience on your website? Of course, a UX designer, and this article is about how to hire the specialist of your dreams!

What do you need to know before Hiring UX Designers?

Before we start a UX designer hiring process, let’s take a look at its definition.

UX designers don’t just provide design results. They define how a product works and feels. Therefore, any design problem or project does not have a single correct solution, as there may be many correct ways to solve or approach a given problem.  

The job of UX designers is to explore these ways to solve a user problem and create meaningful user experiences. 

This approach ranges from solving technical problems to navigating and identifying the subtleties of user behavior. As such, the job of a UX designer is complex and painstaking, requiring problem-solving with a specific set of skills.

In the first step, you need to pick a project or product that your new UX designer should work on and make a list of all UX requirements and results. This step is paramount to understand what type of UX designer you want to hire and provides a clear picture for finding the most suitable candidate. Other essential steps in UX designer hiring we will discuss later in this article.

Agency Vs Freelancer Vs Inhouse in 2023

The first question to be answered is “where to look for UX designers?” Let’s take a look at a few options.


If you are willing to invest in the success of your product – well, that is, pay real professionals for a first-class quality result – an agency that specializes in UX design is what you need. About the guys in such companies, we can say that they are not only familiar with the field, they know it inside and out.

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.

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.


If you have a limited budget and a lot of free time that you can spend on a project, freelance is a fine option for you. But, of course, there are also downsides to this way of finding a UX designer.

More precisely, one big drawback is the lack of reliability. You do not quite understand what you are paying for: no one guarantees that the designer will complete the task on time or will not make the design somehow.


The third option is to go the traditional route and hire an in-house UX designer. This approach offers advantages, but it also has a number of 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 not in their wheelhouse. 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 big serious project, we recommend you choose an agency because, firstly, it has more experience. Secondly, agencies value their reputation, so they have a very serious attitude to projects. Also, in the agency, all the processes are more structured. 

The freelance option will also work for you, but you need to spend time to find 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 projects in smaller cases. The problem with in-house teams is control. How do you know that the team really performs its duties one hundred percent and that it can really cope with your project? 

Top Qualities (skills)

Depending on your project, you should hire UX designers with different skills. Let’s take a look at the most basic ones:

Design skills (Hard skills)

  • Experience. A good designer should have enough experience to handle your project.
  • Problem setting. UX designers should be able to identify, question, and prioritize problems.
  • A process that is centered on users. Designers should base their design solutions on users feedback and insights. 
  • Idea generation. A good designer can quickly generate high-quality ideas and solutions.
  • Thinking in terms of systems. UX designers should have a good understanding of how their solutions will fit into the lives of their customers.
  • 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.

Personality Qualities (Soft skills)

  • Communication. A good UX designer should have “soft skills” such as discussion, negotiation and collaboration with various people, including other designers, clients, coders, product managers and executives.
  • Collaboration. A designer needs to get along with his/her coworkers, deal with complex issues, collaborate, mediate, listen more than speak, and be both empathetic and diplomatic. 
  • Cultural contribution. UX designers should know your company culture and represent it in their work.  

UX designers with all these skills should be seriously considered for the position.

Tips for interviews and communication

When it comes to interviewing, make sure you don’t have to think long and hard about asking. Instead, prepare a set of questions, suggestions, discussion topics, and a list of requirements. 

In our unprecedented times, most interviews are conducted remotely. A distance interview is always more difficult due to the lack of any physical contact. Before you start, make a list of things you would like to ask your candidate about.

Make sure you don’t ask too little or too much. Both are unprofessional. Focus on your candidates, let them talk, and listen carefully to what they say about themselves and their work. The more the candidate talks, the more information you get.

Here are some of the most important questions you should ask your potential UX designer before hiring one:

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 play.

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

Ask about a candidate’s past projects, associations, jobs, employers and workplaces to get information about their experience and length of work in the field.

What design tools and platforms are you good at?

Ask about the tools your team is using and if he/she can quickly equip himself with the skills of using your company’s preferred tools and platforms.

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

This will allow you to find out how much the candidate is involved in their work. The right candidate is always delighted when he/she talks about the best job. Potential staff should be able to identify this project.

What are your hobbies and interests?

This question may not seem like an entirely appropriate question, but it’s essential to ask this when hiring a UX designer. 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.

Hire a UX Designer: Ten Easy Steps 

The process of hiring UX or UI designers is always challenging. Being experts in the design field, the Northell team has prepared a step-by-step guide on how to hire the UX designer of your dreams. 

#1 Define your goals and opportunities

The very first step in the hiring process should be defining goals and opportunities. 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 person to the team, etc.

This stage is vital to know exactly which candidate to hire and do not make mistakes in the next stages. A future UX designer should help you achieve your company’s goals. But if you do not clearly formulate these goals, the designer will not understand why he is doing one or another work.

#2 Make a work plan

Make a clear plan of your actions. It will help you stay on track and speed up the process of hiring a UX designer. Write all the main points in the plan that you do not want to miss to go step by step towards your goal.

#3 Make a list of key requirements

Many companies think not only about how to hire a UX designer but also how to avoid mistakes when choosing a candidate. Therefore, it is very important to make a list of the basic requirements for your future candidate. This will help you quickly eliminate the unsuitable designers and choose the one who will be part of your team.

For example, think about what kind of project you want to hire a new UX designer for and what he/she needs to know to do this. Also, the requirements may relate to the candidate’s education, the amount of time worked as a UX designer, skills and personal qualities.

#4 Systematize the search process

Then it would be best if you decided on the search process. Select the main search channels. We have already written above about the best places to hire a product designer. The process must be systematic and structured. If you post vacancies randomly, you will not be able to control the entire process.

#5 Create test tasks

When hiring an appropriate UX or UI designer, it is important to draw up a test task so that the candidate does not spend several days on it but can show his knowledge and skills in a short time. First, determine what you need a UX designer for. There are usually two reasons: to improve the existing interface or to create a new one from scratch. 

 Test task for a designer who will improve the interface

Show the designer the finished interface and ask him/her to remove the requirements from it. Let him write directly: the purpose of te business is to do this, and the user’s expectation is to find out this. They usually want completely different things. 

So you find out if the designer is able to see business goals and user expectations through the interface. 

This method can be used as a filter from completely unsuitable candidates.

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

To create an interface from scratch is a completely different thing. This is where the UX designer should be able to read the initial data. That is, to read constraints, situations, expectations and context. 

How the designer handles the initial data determines whether he has solved the problem or not. And almost nothing depends on how cleverly he handles the graphic editor.

Provide the designer with a certain situation, maybe even a controversial one. Do not write in the test tasks to create a product page or an authorization form. These tasks have been solved millions of times, and you need to see how a UX designer handles a unique situation.

#6 Make a standard contract

This is the more formal part of when you hire UI designers or UX ones. Make a contract in such a way that all points are clear and structured. Describe the main conditions of work in your company and the main responsibilities of a designer. In the future, this will help you avoid misunderstandings during work or even conflicts.

#7 See reviews and portfolio

Reviews and portfolio is the face of the candidate. During the process of hiring UX designers, analyze these two things carefully before making a choice. A portfolio will help you evaluate the skills of a designer, understand what projects he/she worked with, what he/she does best, and what he/she has problems with. 

Reviews will also tell you about the candidate’s experience and skills. But they will also be able to give you a broader picture and answer questions such as: Did the designer work well in the team? Did he/she manage to complete the tasks on time? What are his/her personal qualities and how well he/she coped with the work?

#8 Evaluate Hard and Soft skills

The main goal in the process of hiring a UX designer is, of course, to choose the best candidate. Once the candidate is interviewed, you can easily evaluate their soft skills. But remember to ask the right and relevant questions.

We have described examples of questions that can be asked during the interview above. Also, as we said earlier in the evaluation of soft skills, reviews will help you a lot. Therefore, carefully review the social profiles of candidates and their recommendations.

To assess hard skills, of course, you will need a completed test task of the candidate. How well you compose the test task depends on how much information you get about the UX designer skills.

#9 Integrate with the team

Once you’ve chosen the best UX designer, it’s important to integrate them correctly with your team. Like other new hires in a company, new UX hires can feel uncomfortable in their first days of work.

Therefore, it is very important to conduct onboarding, introduce all team members, tell them about the mission and vision of the company and the projects the company is working on.

#10 Analyze performance

Hiring a UX expert that will meet all your requirements and needs is a bit challenging. Nobody denies this. For an employee to become truly valuable to you and bring results, it is important to analyze his/her performance on time.

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 the new UX designer and other team members to understand how the new employee is coping with his/her tasks.

How Much Does Hiring a UX Designer Cost?

The cost of a user experience designer, like design itself, may be a bit of a nebulous term. The business tangibles of UX development, such as deadlines, milestones, and costs, are frequently estimated. As a result, years of real-world design expertise are frequently used to create informed predictions.

The vague nature of a UX designer’s price tag is exacerbated by the diversity of criteria on which it is based. The breadth of the project, the quantity of testing needed, the designer’s expertise, the complexity or functionality required from the product, and whether you hire a freelancer or a UX design agency all go towards the final price.

3 things to think about when choosing a UX designer

  • The scope of the project will influence the cost.
  • Rates will vary depending on location and the level of skill.
  • Freelancers and UX agencies have different advantages.


Price per hour Junior Middle Senior
$10-20/hr $15-30/hr $25-45/hr

Agency vs Freelancer

One of the most significant factors in deciding prices is location. UX designers and agencies determine their prices based on their experience and the local market.

According to, a UX designer may earn anything between $19 to $68 per hour in the United States, based on experience (the average pay is $34 per hour). Hiring a UX designer from North or South America has the benefit of overlapping hours and a shared attitude. However, depending on the location, their services may be more expensive.

Professionals in Europe charge around the same amount for their services (between $60,000 and $80,000 for 4–7 years of experience). Ukraine and Poland are the most cost-effective, with prices ranging from $26,00 to $31,000, respectively.

Asia is a popular outsourcing location. Within Asia, Japanese designers charge the highest, with a mid-career UX designer earning over $86,000 per year. This is due to the country’s advanced technical progress.

Location Agency Freelancer
Asia >$30/hr >$25/hr
North America $70-140/hr $60-120/hr
Western Europe $50-90/hr $45-85/hr
Eastern Europe $35-60/hr $25-45/hr

Hire UX Designers: How can we help you

Why choose Northell

Why choose Northell

At Northell, we have broad experience in UX/UI design. We have already provided more than 120 companies with high-quality solutions

If your project needs a reliable and qualified designer, we will be happy to help you. Northell team will study your project in detail and select the ideal candidate for you.

Thanks to our design solutions, businesses track:

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

Feel free to contact us. We are ready to help you! 

Hire UX Designers: Summary

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 hire a competent person. 

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. Once again, the hiring process is not easy. But with the right preparation and planning, you can find the UX designer of your dreams.

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