4 Tips to Help Your Startup Find The Best UX Designer

October 13, 2016

12:45 pm

Study after study has shown that when users run into a mobile site that doesn’t work, they often turn and run the other way. In response, brands are taking a deeper dive into their software and hiring user experience (UX) designers to figure out how to optimize their customer’s journey.

“The UX employee’s job is to enhance the software user’s satisfaction,” said Anthony Conti, chief creative officer of Software Ops. “They are involved with the product, the user experience, the flow of the product, and making it a better experience for the user.”

With over 20 years of software design experience and having hired many UX designers during his time at CBS Interactive, Emmis Interactive and Bonneville Interactive, Conti narrowed it down to four main identifiers to consider when hiring a UX designer.

The Process

During the interview, find out if the UX designer has a process in the way they approach a new project. The ideal progression will have established goals for the product and user, will analyze the competitor and client site, and will gather information about the architecture, content and narrative. This will all come before they go into wire framing, design and testing.

“If they don’t have a process in which to judge the way they approach a problem, that’s a red flag,” said Conti.

A Little Bit of Empathy

To really comprehend what the user is experiencing, it’s critical for your designer to possess an empathetic personality.

“This is the first person to figure out this software and your user experience,” Conti said.

Empathy will also be important when interacting with the client, team members and helpful during iterations to suit the customer.

Flexibility Is Key

73 percent of companies not conducting user testing will do so in the next 12 months – and that means iteration. Seasoned UX professionals know, the design you start with won’t be the one you end with. And having an employee that can be flexible during the process and can work with their client’s needs will be helpful for your team to produce the best product.

“[UX designers] need to be flexible with the client and building out their design as it will change organically It’s important not be married to their design and open to feedback and change,” said Conti. “You can have a great designer that refuses to change but they will eventually fall by the way side.”

The Need for Women Designers

In 2015, CNN Money listed UX designers as one of the best jobs for work-life balance and more women are entering the field. With over the 20 years of hiring designers Conti has found that women make excellent UX designers as they have the ability to leverage community feedback and hyper-focus on customer needs.

“Personally I think women are better at UX. Women have a natural empathy to people and are better listeners. The women seem to be more empathetic to the user experience and they tend not to veer off on their own agenda,” said Conti.

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Tishin is a technology journalist and correspondent. She has written for TechCrunch, Demand Studios and Fitness, and has regular network segments on local Phoenix affiliate stations. She holds a Master's degree in Clinical and Sport psychology, and has covered many areas of technology ranging from 3D printing and game development to neurotech and funding for over 15 years.

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