2021/07/01

UX Expert: Where and How to Hire Right? (Tips for Startups)

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Success is built by the company’s efforts, so it is vital to take a responsible approach to the selection of each employee. UX experts are no exception! How to find an expert who provides quality UI/UX services? In this article, we will help you look into this matter and describe the most important steps for hiring the best UX expert.

Who is a UX Expert? UX Expert Responsibilities

Before starting to talk about the process of UX expert hiring, let’s, firstly, figure out who UX experts are and what are their primary responsibilities. The user experience specialist ensures that the web product and the presence of a set of online services are optimized for user needs, ensuring they are useful, attractive and easy to use.

UX experts are in charge of all user experience activities for this group of services, collaborating closely with service management, development and delivery teams, and content, design, and development teams to create information architectures, user interface designs, and content strategies.  

They gain a deep understanding of user and customer needs by conducting primary research and collaborating with service teams and the sector intelligence team to gain access to additional research and information that helps paint a complete picture of web products and services, users and their needs.

UX expert key accountabilities and role outputs include:

  • Working closely with design and developing teams, sharing expertise and point of view. 
  • Providing assistance and advice to web product owners to develop their products and services in accordance with user experience best practices.
  • Working closely with and supporting the digital content manager and UX manager on content strategy, content design and broader UX strategy.
  • Providing help and support during interviewing and testing out designs on users and stakeholders, drawing conclusions about user behavior based on secondary sources such as web analytics, customer surveys and customer personas.
  • Creating information architectures, user interfaces (UI), page layouts, and functionality that fulfill user and business requirements while being easy and enjoyable to use.
  • Creating user stories and using them effectively as a crucial tool in UX/UI design.
  • Contributing to the creation of an efficient and user-friendly microcopy.

Skills Required for UX Expert 

  • Skills and knowledge in a relevant field or a professional UX-based experience. 
  • Excellent user-centered design knowledge and practical expertise.
  • Excellent grasp of contemporary UX/UI designs, such as responsive design and ‘mobile first’ strategies.
  • Great knowledge of the web accessibility principles.
  • Working knowledge of a web content management system.
  • Primary user research experience, including telephone and face-to-face interviews, generative research, user testing, and assisting the use of digital tools.
  • Excellent expertise in research, analysis and problem-solving.
  • Ability to convey ideas succinctly and clearly, communicate with and influence employees at all levels.
  • Ability to learn quickly and respond positively to rapidly changing work areas.

What projects need UX Experts?

In order to understand which projects need UX experts, let’s first make sure of the benefits that UXers bring. Here are some of the quick facts confirming the need for such experts:

  • 88% of customers are less likely to return to a site after a bad experience with it.
  • 68% of people switch to a company competitor when they don’t feel cared for.
  • Companies with a focus on UX were able to increase their revenue by 37%.
  • According to Smallbizgenius, people form 75% of their judgment on a website’s credibility purely on its aesthetics.
  • According to Forrester research, a well-designed user interface could raise your website’s conversion rate by up to 200%, and a better UX design could yield conversion rates up to 400%. 

In the long term, investments in UX lead to:

  • lower costs for attracting new customers;
  • increase in conversions and sales;
  • reduction of support service work costs;
  • decrease of development costs;
  • increase in customer loyalty and retention.

What are the projects that need UX experts the most? 

Usually, startups and projects where all the value is concentrated in the digital and human interaction with the product cannot do without these kinds of experts. They help steer your UX strategy in the right direction and make sure your product works like a Swiss watch.

 Most often, the projects aimed at application development involve UX experts for research, problem-solving and organizing some business processes. UX experts are highly needed where users work very closely with this or that project, application or web product.

Tips in communication with UX Expert. From our Design Team Lead

To make it easier for you to find and hire the right UX expert for you and your project, the Northell team has prepared some communication tips. Conducting an interview is an essential part of hiring an expert.

Through the interview, you can find out what professional and personal qualities the expert has, what projects he/she worked on and what successes or failures he/she had, what problems he/she faced and how he/she solved them.

Today, most interviews are conducted online. The lack of face-to-face contact with the person makes it increasingly difficult to know if that candidate is right for you or not. Before you start, make sure you have a list of questions you want the candidate to answer.

Concentrate on your candidate, give them plenty of time to talk and listen carefully to what they say about themselves and their work experience. Every detail is important. Try not to leave anything out. The more the candidate tells you about himself/herself, the more you will know about him/her and the easier it will be for you to make a decision.  

Before you hire a UX expert, these are some of the most crucial questions you should ask: 

  1. Describe the recent projects you were working on.
  2. Describe what methods you follow during the design process.
  3. What are the main difficulties you encountered while working on the projects and how did you solve them?  
  4. What does the term ‘design-thinking’ mean to you?
  5. What are some of the biggest trends in the UX Design industry right now?
  6. When a client says: “I don’t like this design.” What do you do?
  7. Who are your design heroes? What are your favorite apps for UX? Explain why.
  8. What does it mean to be a great UX expert? 

Of course, you can add questions that are directly related to your company and your projects. We named the most common and those that can give you a more comprehensive picture of the candidate. 

UX Expert Hiring: Two Different Ways

When hiring a user experience expert, you have two options: hire a freelancer or choose an agency. Both options work, but let’s take a closer look at their strengths, weaknesses, advantages and disadvantages.

UX Expert Hiring: Freelance (Pros & Cons)

When you employ freelance user experience experts, you’re getting a one-of-a-kind specialist with a specific set of talents who can help you complete specialized projects. Because the freelancer is a one-person operation, they will have a direct touch with you, simplifying communication and allowing you to participate in the creative process.

For example, you may track progress and offer immediate feedback using milestones. A single employee also has less overhead than an agency, resulting in better prices.

Working with just one person, on the other hand, may have downsides, no matter how wonderful they are! For one thing, if they are sick, overworked, or have other problems, your project will be delayed since no one else can pick up the slack. Another consideration is that the freelancer may be a specialist in certain areas but not in others.

This may require you to employ and manage numerous freelancers to finish a project, which is a significant effort in and of itself. Furthermore, hiring a skilled freelancer takes time and may need several attempts. The candidate must possess not just the necessary skill set but also excellent communication skills and a strong work ethic.

In summary, here are the pros and cons:

Pros:

  • Direct interaction allows for a high level of participation;
  • Specialized expert in a particular subject;
  • Cost-effective price;

Cons:

  • A limited amount of bandwidth;
  • Expertise is limited largely to a few areas;
  • There is no backup if the person becomes ill or unavailable;
  • Overwork can have a negative impact on performance;
  • Managing a large number of freelancers may be challenging;
  • It needs thorough vetting.

UX Expert Hiring: Through Agency (Pros & Cons)

When you employ an agency, you are getting a team of specialists rather than just one UI/UX expert. Consequently, you get access, bandwidth and more resources to several talents and information. In addition, the people in the agency are experienced in working together to complete tasks effectively. As a result, agencies can often manage multiple-faceted projects that freelancers cannot handle and in less time.

Because of the nature of having more than one person on board, your project is far less likely to be delayed due to things like illness or overbooking. 

Agencies also have a reputation to uphold for the success of everyone on the team, so there’s more at stake if they don’t execute your job to your specifications.

The disadvantage is that they are frequently more costly than freelancers owing to additional overhead. Furthermore, when several employees are working on a project, there is typically a project manager in place, who may be a barrier between you and the person working on your project. As a result, the process may become more hands-off.

In summary, here are the pros and cons:

Pros:

  • Broader skill set;
  • Increased stability.
  • Improved accountability and dependability;
  • Can work more quickly;
  • Capable of handling larger tasks.

Cons:

  • Indirect communication;
  • More expensive.

You can read more about the advantages of choosing an agency for your project in our recent article about How to hire a UX designer.  

How To Hire a UX Expert? Step-by-Step Guide

Hiring a skilled and experienced UX expert is not an easy thing to do. What are the main stages of hiring experts? What makes a good UX designer? How not make the wrong choice? We will help you find answers to all these questions.

1. Hire UX Expert: Start From your project needs

The choice of candidate depends directly on the needs of your project. Whether you need to create a good UI design for your project or you need to strengthen your team with a new specialist? Determine the basic needs and goals of your project, how extensive and complex it is, in what main processes should the UX expert be involved, what project problems he/she should solve and what you want to get as a result. 

2. Hire UX Expert: Create a detailed list of requirements. (Main Part)

In order to hire a good UX expert, you need to make a clear list of requirements. How seriously you take this step depends on whether more experienced and senior UX experts will pay attention to your company and project. 

Many large companies and startups are afraid of making mistakes in the selection of a candidate. And this is absolutely normal. The UX expert should become part of the team and strengthen it, not destroy it. That’s why making a list of requirements is a critical stage. It will help you quickly eliminate unsuitable experts.

Consider what kind of project you want to employ a new UX specialist for and what he/she will need to know to complete it. In addition, the criteria may pertain to the candidate’s education, experience as a UX expert, talents, skills and personal characteristics.

Also, don’t forget the reviews, portfolios and cases that the candidate can provide you with. Once again, the more information you get in the early stages of the hiring process, the more likely you will find the UX expert of your dreams. 

3. Hire UX Expert: Choose your search method

Then it is essential to organize a search process and select methods. We have described the places where you can find good user experience experts above. Now let’s figure out some of the main search channels you can use. 

Social Networks

Usually, in social networks such as Linkedin, people describe companies they previously worked for, experience in a particular field, skills and knowledge, examples of work and profile education. Therefore, by analyzing the page of a potential candidate, you will have enough information about him/her.

Freelance websites and platforms

You generally have two options if you decide to hire freelance UX experts through freelancer websites:

  • You may post a job and then wait for responses from professionals. After that, you choose the most qualified candidates.
  • You may contact the freelancers individually. It might be a more time-consuming process. It does, however, ensure that freelancers will contact you with the appropriate abilities and expertise.

Websites with company directories

Many sites on the Internet provide lists of companies and agencies with reviews, examples of completed projects, and ratings. In addition, you can view the results of agencies, compare projects and teams that work on them, etc. 

4. Hire UX Expert: Make a standard contract

Making a contract is a formal part of the hiring process. After UX expert review, you can start drawing up a well-structured contract, describing the main conditions of work in your company and the main responsibilities of a UX expert. This will help you in the future prevent misunderstandings or conflicts at work.

5. Hire UX Expert: Integrate with the team

It’s critical to properly integrate your UX designer with your team once you’ve picked the finest one. New UX experts, like other new employees, may feel uncomfortable in their first few days in the new company.

As a result, it’s critical to perform onboarding, which includes introducing all team members, explaining the company’s vision and goals, as well as the projects it’s working on.

6. Hire UX Expert: Analyze performance

In order for UX experts to benefit your company and be able to cope with all the tasks, try to assess and analyze their performance in time. Without a UX lead, this task becomes a bit challenging but by following some tips you can do it yourself. A survey should be conducted with team members and users if anything has changed for the better.

An expert should be assessed as independently as possible. Consult with colleagues and ask an expert to show the results of his/her work to all managers, so that it is harder for him/her to hide something and everyone can draw a conclusion about the quality of his/her work.  

Main risks for you and your project

The main risks for you and your company are: 

  • the loss of money, time and effort;
  • damaged reputation with clients;
  • loss of trust from partners;
  • lost opportunities to quickly test theories and business models. 

Many people think that finding the right user experience expert or even head of UX is an easy task. But this is not at all the case. In order to expand your team with a skillful and qualified employee, you need experience and specific knowledge. 

Northell has years of experience in the UX/UI field

We have built a team of professionals who are ready to carry out any project of any complexity. So if you need help finding and hiring a UX expert, please contact us.

Hire UX Expert!

Northell Experience in UX Expert Hiring

We have already said that we have extensive experience in UX Hiring. You can also check our previous articles about How to hire UX designers and How to hire UX Consultant for your projects. 

We can also help you choose an experienced and skilled UX expert for your company and separately for your project. You can contact us and have a talk with our lead UX specialists. In addition, we can help you make a list of requirements and share the best UX practices.

On our website, you can find examples of our work, information about our company and team. Then, we can select the most suitable expert for your project that will meet your needs and goals.

UX Expert: How much does it cost?

The chances of getting a product with a good UI/UX design in the case of hiring an expert from an agency are much higher. This is because agencies have more people who know about UI/UX interface design, who are aware of the main problems and how to solve them. They charge reasonable fees for their services and you can be sure you will get a quality product as a result.

Freelancers usually promise high quality for a low price. But this almost never happens, so hiring a UI/UX freelancer should be done wisely.

 FreelanceAgency
Cost$30-65/hr$50-120/hr

UX Expert: Summary

In this article, we described the main points you need to know before you start the process of searching and hiring UX experts. Of course, this process will be different for every project, but if you stick to the basic rules and recommendations, you will find the right employee.

It’s also important to take each step which we described in this article seriously. A new employee is a new link in your company and you need to make an effort to make it strong.

Northell has years of experience in the UX/UI field

We have built a team of professionals who are ready to carry out any project of any complexity. So if you need help finding and hiring a UX expert, please contact us.

Hire UX Expert!
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