Guide to Hiring Designers for Your Team

Guide to Hiring Designers for Your Team

Defining your needs is the key to finding the right designer for your team. As you read this guide, you will learn what type of designer you need and how to find one. We'll educate you on how to screen designers, conduct an effective interview, and onboard new design teammates.

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Some say content is king. Others say product is king. But without good design, your product and content both become the kind of self-proclaimed kings that rule over imaginary kingdoms with no one in sight. In today’s customer-centric digital world, the combination of product, content, and user experience design is the key to climbing the throne of business growth and success.

Assuming that you already have content and product covered, it might be time to focus on the third aspect — UX design — if you haven’t already. If you’re wondering why UX design is so important, these stats might help. According to one study, companies that invested in design were able to outperform those that didn’t by almost 200% on the FTSE 100 Index. The study also reported that for every £100 spent on design, companies were able to amp up their revenue by £225. Drew Hamlin, Senior Director, Product Design at Slack confirms that “Hiring a designer will lead to a return on investment for you and your customers: there’s a straight line between making your product easier and more delightful to use and customer and business success.”

But does this mean every business out there needs a UX designer? More importantly, does it mean that your business needs a UX designer?

Who needs UX designers?

The short answer to this question is that every business that interacts with human beings could benefit from having a UX designer. But, that’s no way to justify bringing on a UX designer to your team, so let’s dive into it in more detail.

A company usually needs a UX designer for one or more of these reasons:

  • When their designs are outdated and are directly affecting their brand image and sales. Government websites, banking portals, and educational websites commonly hire UX designers for this purpose.
  • When their content and product are both great but their sales fail to take off. Companies that are hesitant to invest in design due to a lack of awareness or overconfidence in their product usually end up hiring a UX designer later on down the road.
  • When their offering is design-heavy and necessitates a focus on user experience. For example, e-commerce platforms, SaaS (Software as a Service) providers, travel booking agencies, and the like.

According to Netflix’s Principal Product Design Recruiter Carrie Cardona, any company should hire a designer if they want to create usable products that meet both user and business needs. "It's really all about creating a great experience for users. It should be so good users don't even notice it,” she says.

“If you’re working in a highly saturated product space, hiring a designer, and ultimately a design team, is essential because it will allow you to compete on a world-class level,” adds Drew Hamlin, Senior Director, Product Design at Slack. “While some early startups that are still searching for product-market fit may be able to be scrappy, as products mature, the need for design increases exponentially.”

The logic is pretty simple. Good design inevitably means good business. But in what ways?

How can a UX designer help you?

While UX designers aren’t an overnight solution to all your design problems, they can certainly bring a lot to the table and make sure the user experience is memorable in the long run.

Understand customers and appeal to the right market

A good UX designer will be able to communicate your product’s message to your target audience and ensure that their experience is positive. They do this by combining solid user research with tried and tested design principles.

At the end of the day, users won’t remember the exact visuals or copy on your product, but they will remember how it all came together to make them feel. Does your UX make them feel satisfied and empowered? Or does it make them feel confused and irritated?

Test your ideas before you build them

It is no secret that it is incredibly expensive and time-consuming to build and rebuild a product. User testing before launch is a great way to make sure that the product is tailored perfectly to fulfill your users’ needs. It also helps eliminate any ideas that are not based on data. This way, you’ll be saving a ton of resources and making decisions that you can easily explain to any product stakeholders. Good UX designers are experts at doing this kind of user research and putting into practice their findings.

Build customer trust

Another great advantage of having a UX designer on your team is that they can ensure that your product’s design is consistent in a way that allows users to recognize your brand right off the bat every time they come across your content. Not only does this set your brand apart from others but it also gives you the edge of coming across as trustworthy. “If you want customers to choose your product, hiring a designer is a great way to chart a path toward that goal,” says Drew, “because it’s an investment in delivering an experience that’s better for customers.” It is quite natural that users would be wary of poorly designed websites and apps since they come across as unprofessional.  It is quite natural that users would be wary of poorly designed websites and apps since they come across as unprofessional.

Stand out from the competitors

Chances are that your product isn’t one of its kind, and even if it is, it won’t be for long. Competition already exists or is bound to arise in every field. So, how do you make your product stand out? Among many other ways, making sure your UX is top-notch is a good place to start. After all, people are naturally attracted to things that are attractive and perceive them as better quality than things that aren’t.

Capitalize on trends

Having a professional designer on your team helps keep your product on trend and up-to-date. Many stakeholders tend to offer their opinions on the product design. However, only a designer can ensure that the decisions made based on the best industry standards and not just what’s trendy at the moment. They can also discern when capitalizing on those trends makes solid business sense.

Expand your social media presence

Even if you have a great social media team, you can experience high bounce rates and drop-offs if your product’s UX is not good enough. Having a UX designer will make sure that what users are promised on social media is what they actually get. It will also make sure that your social media efforts actually translate into more business in the form of increased reach, sales, or subscriptions.

Achieve your business goals

It should be evident by now that UX designers do more than just spruce up your product. They ensure that the way your users feel about your product and company is in line with the way you want them to feel. In turn, they allow you to fulfill your business goals while making sure that your users’ needs are not compromised. This balance is essential to a successful business model.

Think of investing in a UX designer as investing in the future of your business — with the right talent, you’ll be able to reap the rewards in heaps.