Hiring UI designers is a complex task. They all have different skills and strengths and weaknesses. Like any professional, UI design is full of specialists, generalists and those who sit in between. So how you hire UI designer without getting screwed?
Your job is to find the right fit for your project, which is why we put this post together.
We’re going to share the best websites to hire UI designers and share some insight into what to look for.
We hope it helps the next time you need to hire an expert!
How do I find the best user interface designer for my project?
Before we get into some of the best sites to find a UI designer, let's first define UI design and what makes an expert UI designer.
What exactly is UI Design?
User interface (UI) design is the process of creating the front-end interface in software with a focus on appealing looks or styles to the end user. Designers strive to create designs that are both easy to use and enjoyable for users.
Essentially, UI design is concerned with how visual design can aid and improve the user's interaction with products. It improves the product's usability.
UX vs UI
The terms user interface (UI) and user experience (UX) design are frequently used interchangeably. There is some overlap between the two fields.
There is no clear distinction between UX and UI design. Instead, both designers must understand the customer by prototyping design concepts, conducting user research, and feeding off of one another's needs.
During a project, the two processes should coexist. Nonetheless, they are distinct aspects of the design process. UX design comes before UI design.
The goal of user experience (UX) design is to create a product that is easy and enjoyable to use. It focuses on the product's structure or scaffolding. This would be done during the wireframing stage of website development.
The exterior visual interaction of the web design, on the other hand, is the focus of UI design.
Rather than determining whether a button should exist (a UX issue), UI design focuses on what colour and style the button should be in the website or app design so that the user can easily find it and understand its purpose.
If you want a button to be easily found, make it bright and distinct from the background, as in the case of a "Donation" button on a nonprofit website.
What role do UI Designers play in the design process?
When it comes to web development and design, UI Designers get to do all of the pretty things. The UX designer (if different) conducts background research, develops user personas, and creates the information architecture.
The UI designer then takes those wireframes or prototypes and uses brand and market research to create a front end that is consistent with and enhances the company brand.
As previously stated, they also want to ensure that the product is simple to use and understand, as well as visually appealing.
In an ideal world, the UI designer collaborates closely with the UX designer to inform some of the UX decisions. The above-mentioned button's placement may have been influenced by some UI principles or the designer's overall vision for the product.
Tufts' Blake Williams discusses the responsibilities of a UI designer, such as maintaining consistent branding and ensuring functionality across screen sizes.
The UI designer may also be thinking about how transitions are made and what interactive elements are available.
Perhaps animation can be used to highlight an important option as a design solution. Perhaps information needs to be presented in a specific way so that readers can quickly interpret it, such as by positioning texts, using headers, or including bullet points.
Awwwards has a great article about some of the decisions UI designers make, the science behind them, and the design thinking that goes into the process.
They discuss some aspects of digital design that you may not be aware of, such as how our eyes scan the page. In the Western world, we scan the page in a F pattern, scanning across the top from left to right, then down the left side and slightly to the right, or in a Z pattern, scanning across the top and then diagonally to the bottom.
As a result, we want to make certain that content is presented in one of those patterns. This only scratches the surface of the design concepts that a great UI designer should be familiar with–but that are critical to your product's success.
So, how do I go about finding a UI designer for my design team?
UI designers are more than just visual artists; they are also well-versed in UI and UX principles. Both disciplines are intertwined.
Before you begin your search, you should ask yourself the following questions:
- What is my financial situation?
- What am I hoping to achieve by the end of the design process?
- Is my current brand strategy up to date? Is it complete, or do I need to work on something else first?
- How do my users differ from those of other websites?
- Do I require interaction or animation designs?
- What kinds of visual designs do I require?
What to Look for When Hiring a User Interface Designer
Once you've answered those questions, you'll be well on your way to figuring out what you're looking for in a designer.
The following are some follow-up questions:
- What is my hiring process timeline?
- Do I need someone on a full-time, freelance, or contract basis?
- How much experience can I afford in a designer?
- Will something off the shelf meet my needs, or do I require something specialised or customised?
- Do I want to hire UX/UI designers separately, or do I want someone to handle everything?
What to look for in a UI designer hiring platform
After you've completed your needs assessment, you're ready to begin looking for UI designers and strategists.
Here are a few key differences to consider as you examine the platforms listed below:
- Rating system: Many sites allow previous customers to share feedback on the designer's performance, which can help you identify the designer's strengths and weaknesses.
- Skill verification: Different sites use different formats to verify designers' abilities. Examine the skill verification process to ensure you understand what skills are tested and what the test results mean.
- Personalized matchmaking: Some sites offer curated hiring options, such as access to more experienced designers or selecting a designer to meet your specific needs.
- Customer service: Some services will directly handle disputes and concerns for you, whereas others will support extreme issues or be completely hands off.
- Time tracking: Essential if you are paid on an hourly basis. Examine whether payments are made by the hour or by milestone, and how time is tracked.
- Payment management: Consider whether you want payment management handled by the platform or separately. What structure would be useful if handled by the platform?
The best websites to hire UI designers
The top 11 platforms for hiring a UI designer are as follows:
Toptal is a curated freelance platform that connects designers with clients based on their business objectives. Toptal's engagements are successful because they vet and test applicants with years of experience for their talent network.
This ensures that every Toptal designer demonstrates language mastery, personality compatibility, and a user design interface skill set to perform for clients of various sizes and project needs.
Toptal's customer service and selective candidate pool have earned some of the industry's highest ratings. The website serves as a platform for managing projects and payments. It is a viable option for small businesses, large corporations, and startups alike.
- Toptal tests and vets front-end, graphic design, and UI freelancers who join its network, so you can be confident that you will be working with an experienced, talented, and professional UI designer.
- The platform offers a personal matching service that takes into account a variety of aspects of a designer's skill set.
- You can find some of the best tech talent available for your product development because of the expectations and accountability of Toptal UI designers for hire, as well as Toptal's no-risk trial.
Upwork is one of the most well-known freelance marketplaces. It provides the infrastructure for you to work with freelancers in a variety of ways.
You can hire hourly, full-time, or on a project basis. Upwork also offers Upwork Pro and Upwork Enterprise, which offer a curated group of freelancers to bid on your project as well as additional project management features.
- Upwork, the result of the merger of two competitors, has years of experience in providing a wide range of freelance services.
- You can hire a UI designer at various rates and levels of experience, and you can view their portfolio before hiring.
- With a structured payment system, you approve each project milestone before payment, allowing you to complete projects more quickly.
99designs obtains designs for you through a crowd-sourced contest format. You can submit your proposal, and then dozens, if not hundreds, of designers can potentially submit their ideas for how your proposal should be expressed.
Choose the one you like best and then proceed with that designer. The site has different price levels, allowing you to access designers of varying skill levels.
- If you enter a contest, you may be able to see dozens of different designers' interpretations of your project before deciding on one.
- You can also hire a UI/UX designer directly rather than holding a contest and selecting from the site's designers.
Dribbble is a design-focused social media platform. Since its inception as an invitation-only designer community, the platform has dropped the invitation requirement and now allows most designers to join.
They've also added a job board with freelance, part-time, and full-time opportunities.
- Dribbble has a large designer pool, so you should be able to find someone with UI experience.
- Designers and community members can learn from one another and advise one another on their work in a community setting.
- You can access candidates who are ready to work with you by receiving pre-vetted UI design recommendations from Dribbble Talent.
Working Not Working (WNW) is a creative job board or "UnJobBoard." The platform promotes long-term and freelance hires, as well as contracts with companies looking for talent.
They've started to offer more curated matching services, and they now have an online magazine that celebrates design work.
Working Not Working
- Working Not Working recruits design candidates who are looking for full-time and long-term UI design work.
- The platform structure allows you to see when UI designers are available for hire, allowing you to hire UI designers who can work within your project timeline.
- Human, WNW's concierge service, will save you time.
Envato Studio is a service and pre-built package marketplace. You can look through pre-priced packages created by designers and choose the one that best suits your needs.
These are solutions that the designer can then modify to meet your specific requirements.
Envato Studio Highlights
- Envato is reasonably priced and offers options at various price points.
- Layout of contract terms and support information informs you of what you can expect from the UI designer for hire.
- Envato Studio offers WordPress and other web-builder platform solutions that include pre-built UI concepts.
DesignCrowd is a crowd-sourced contest format in which designers compete by submitting their ideas for your proposal.
DesignCrowd's prices are relatively low, and it, like 99designs, offers more options at various price points, allowing you to work with designers of varying levels of experience.
- DesignCrowd allows you to source a collection of ideas for your site's visual design or mobile app at a low cost.
- DesignCrowd offers a money-back guarantee, so you only lose the overhead fees if you don't like any of the solutions.
- Designs are completed in a relatively short period of time.
Adobe's Behance platform allows users to showcase their Adobe-related work in portfolios. The platform features a diverse range of artists; browsing the portfolios can be addictive.
Hiring from a portfolio can assist you in determining which design concepts and practises you want to pursue.
Highlights of Behance
- Behance allows you to explore the interface by viewing animated or video presentations of the designer's work.
- Some designers specialise in user interface design for web and mobile applications.
- Behance is used by artists of all types and levels.
PeoplePerHour, or PPH, is a freelance hiring platform that began with small businesses and the European market in mind.
Workstream, PPH's project management tool, allows you to track progress online and interact with freelancers. With "hourlies," you may be able to save time on job postings by hiring someone directly for set-price hourly packages.
Key Points for People Per Hour
- You can hire a UI designer at various rates and experience levels, but you should look over their portfolio before hiring.
- PPH caters to small businesses, so if that's what you're looking for, this is the place to be.
- You can choose pre-priced projects with Hourlies, so you don't have to write a job description to hire a UI designer.
Millions of projects and contests have been posted by Freelancer's registered users. Freelancer is primarily concerned with posting jobs for members to bid on at their leisure. Payment will not be released until you are completely satisfied.
Freelancer, like 99designs and DesignCrowd, allows you to run contests and choose the winning design. Freelancer is one of the largest freelance marketplaces, having won ten Webby awards.
Key Points for Freelancer
- Choose between a contest, posting a job, or simply searching for a UI freelancer.
- Hire UI designers at any price point.
- The use of milestones allows complex projects to be carried out with less risk.
Fiverr, which began as a marketplace for buying a "gig" for just $5, has maintained a reputation for providing low-cost services. Rather than posting a job, Fiverr sets you up with freelancer-created packages and add-ons, though custom proposals for projects are available.
Fiverr Pro gives you access to vetted freelancers as well as 24/7 customer service.
- Upgrading to Fiverr Pro gives you access to a more limited pool of UI designers for hire.
- You do not need to create a job description for "gigs" posted by freelancers.
- Hire UI designers by using pre-made packages.
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