How to Spot UI/UX Designers: Tips from a Former Technology Recruiter

Double-Face-editedMicrosoft recently announced the debut of the Windows 10 Preview. The broadcast was accompanied by a short video featuring Windows VP Joe Belfiore; where the Windows Vice President details the latest and greatest updates made to Windows-based PC, tablets and phone users. If this 3:57 minute YouTube video teaches us nothing, it demonstrates the power that exceptional User Interface (UI) and User Experience (UX) design has; as indicated by the scathing comments following the video announcement below. 

We all have exceedingly high standards when it comes to the varying technologies we interact with in our day-to-day activities. From Candy Crush to ERP systems to console games, it all has to function well, be user-friendly across all generations, and let's face it, look good. Does anyone remember the Windows 8 DisasterI rest my case. 

From a business and technology stand point, good and bad interface design is the difference between a breakthrough product and a complete and utter flop.
This excerpt from Digital Zoo hits the proverbial nail on the head,

“Great user interface design must have a perfect balance of amazing looks and interactivity with ease of use and simple navigation.”

While I’m no expert on the matter of UI/UX design, I’d like to think otherwise. Luckily, I do know one. I recently spoke with friend and Yoh colleague, Aimee Green to dive into what rules govern good interface design. As a former technology recruiter and Account Executive for Yoh, it is evident from my conversation with Aimee that she’s super into this stuff. Being the self-admitted lackluster tech guru that I am, I turned to Aimee to learn who is responsible for bringing these products to life. Needless to say, I gained way more than I bargained for.  

How to Spot UI/UX Designers:

Tips from a Former Technology Recruiter 

ACD: What constitutes good UI/UX Design?

AG: The practice of UI/UX design is one of great discipline and passion. Even in my former days as a tech recruiter, it was rare for me to meet or speak to someone who didn’t evoke passion about their respective trade (although it’s probably a different expression of passion than you might be familiar with). That said, where there is design, there is a level of subjectivity. Although, I don’t believe the same is true in the UI and UX design space. While you can argue the end result is influenced by the designer, there is a fundamental right and wrong approach to creating good user experience and it varies greatly based on the product, brand, end-user and so on. At the end of the day, regardless of design, there has to be the right blend of style and function incorporated into the flow.

ACD: How do you spot exceptional UI/UX Designers?

AG: You can’t simply determine the talent by looking at the resume, education, and past work experience; anyone that tells you that is lying. It must be seen in their work samples, and personal projects. I’ve found that it is best to let work experience speak for itself. Simply stated, show me the portfolio! Their past work and personal design experience will showcase their qualifications; this is especially important if you are recruiting for a particular project that requires a specific skills set 

The more complex the project or challenge, the better gauge you’ll have into the developer’s level of maturity. That said, you yourself will need to understand the degree of difficulty from one project to the next.  

ACD: How do you determine who makes the cut?

AG: Even if they are an established and well known designer, they might not be the perfect person for that specific project. Asking the hiring manager about the project in detail, specifically understanding what the product is, what portion of the product the designer will focus on, what medium they must work within, and also the theme or genre of the product, are all exceptional indicators as to whether someone is a good fit for the job.

I would not submit a UI Designer who specializes in menus on FPS Console Games for a UI Design role for a Corporate Website or an Office Product. The styles wont match, UI flow might be different. Also, the designer’s general interest and level of passion might not be there, and it will be evident in the end product.  Designers are artists, creative thinkers. They need to be able to find passion in what they are building, and that is when you see the best results.


About the Author: This blog was written by Alexandra Calukovic-Deck, aka the Marketing Guru, a digitally-driven marketer. Claims to fame include the longest possible last name ever, certifications in Strategic & Inbound Marketing practices, and lover of all things Philadelphia.

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