These Are the 6 Best Methods for Finding a Designer

Tired of trying to design your own website for your startup? Looking for a complete re-model of your existing site? Maybe you need to add to your current design staff? You will find no shortage of designers out there ready and willing to work for you, but all designers are not created equal, nor do they all have the same talents and skills.

So, before you go a-looking, you may want to clarify for yourself exactly what you want.

  • Do you want someone really skilled in UX or are you more interested in the creative aspects of UI? Maybe both are really important to you.
  • What kinds of components do you want most?
  • What’s your budget?
  • Do you want a full-time, an on-call long-term freelancer, or a one-shot freelancer?

Once those points are clarified, here is your road map to finding a designer.

1. Check Design Communities

There are quite a number of these online. They are organizations to which designers have memberships and which display member designs; as well, they run design contests. You will have a large gallery of designs to view as well as see the work of designers who have received recognition for their work. You may see specific components or elements that really impress you, and the designer contact details will be there.

2. Check Your Own Networks

What business and professional groups do you belong to? Who among those members has had recent web design work with which they were really pleased? Recommendations from people you know and whose opinion you trust are invaluable. If that fails, get on your LinkedIn account and go to your member groups and ask for referrals. Some of the popular ones include: Freelance Graphic and Web Designers, Designers – Web/Graphic and Web Design.

3. Check with the Department Chair of Design Programs at Local Colleges

Are there design students looking for freelance work or seniors who are beginning to look for a career position? Department chairs are happy to speak with prospective employers of their students and will be thrilled to set up interviews for you. They will always recommend their very best students, so the candidates you get from them will be highly talented. This is truly one of the best sources, because students are “up” on the most recent innovations and tools.

4. Hold Your Own Contest

You may not know how to set up a contest but there are online companies that do. You can set up one at Logo Arena community. You provide the details and the amount(s) of cash prize(s). They do all the rest. You are under an obligation to pay out the prize; you are not under any obligation to actually use the design, if you want to still look further.

5. Access Niche Job Boards

Check out Behance, Dribbble and 99Designs. Lots of designers post their resumes and portfolios on these boards. Many will direct you to their own websites where you will be able to see their own site design as well as a full portfolio and references. This is a great way to compare the work of a lot of designers “side-by-side.”

6. Narrow the Field and Check References

It’s a good idea to narrow your field of candidates down to three or so and then to check the references. You really need to ensure that the designer is responsive, good with deadlines, and is willing to stick with the project until it is finished, no matter how many revisions you want.

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Written by:
Dianna is a former ESL teacher and World Teach volunteer, currently living in France. She's slightly addicted to apps and viral media trends and helps different companies with product localization and content strategies. You can tweet her at @dilabrien
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