What Is UX Design?
Let’s start by tackling what UX design is— a definition will help us discover what it is we’re seeking when we ask how to find a good UX/UI designer. User Experience (UX) design is a method of user-centric problem-solving. The end goal of UX is to create an intuitive, user-friendly experience that enables users to quickly and efficiently complete the task they set out to do. To ensure a user-centric experience, the users’ preferences and desires for functionality contribute to the design of the experience or product. Put simply, UX is the interaction that a human being experiences with a product or platform. It’s an overall experience that will create a lasting impression— and make or break a product. For more on UX Design see our blog.
What is UI Design?
UI design, on the other hand, focuses on how users interact with a product, and specifically, on how they use an interface. This means the design and placement of the buttons, the size of text, the ease of flow of the website or app from page to page and so forth. Like UX designers, UI designers create intefaces that are easy to use and help users to quickly complete the task they set out to do. UI design isn’t necessarily just working with visual interfaces, it can also be voice-activated.
The two are different jobs and different skill sets that work together to create an overall functional product. How well it functions and how easy it is to use will play a role in determining how popular a site or app is. For more on UI design best practices see our blog.
Should You Invest in UI/UX Professionals?
Still not sure if you should hire professionals in UI/UX or just hire your buddy’s brother who dabbles and says he can do the job for $100? While the up front savings might tempt you, it’s always better to hire trained professionals who have a portfolio of proven work experience. Beyond the high quality work you’ll receive, there are other benefits of investing in UI/UX.
- The current competitive climate means that UX is a user’s first impression of a product and the company that produces it. If it’s not an agreeable and easy encounter, the odds are slim that a user will continue with a purchase or relationship with your brand or product. The same is true for the UI. But strong UI/UX presentation means users will be likely to stick around and tell others about the product.
- Professionals do their research. To really know that a site or app is user friendly requires doing some research and often times presenting a/b testing to focus groups. This helps them hone in on what users expect and want from your product in terms of UI/UX.
- A professional may also use data science to help make decision regarding best UI/UX practices.
- Furthermore, professionals will do all sorts of testing to make sure that everything functions properly and there’s no stone left unturned before a product is released to the market.
- Professionals are proven to increase your business profits. According to a report from Forrester, every $1 invested in UX results in a return of $100.
- On the other hand, 88% of online shoppers will not return to a site after a bad experience.
Become Your Own UI/UX Designer
If despite all this, you simply cannot afford to hire a professional UI/UX designer, and are genuinely interested, there are courses to learn UI/UX. Googling how to learn UX design is just one way to bring up a handful of courses. One of the more popular and reputable formations is Career Foundry. Perhaps learning a new skill set will enable you to get your dream project off the ground and running. However, it will take time to gain experience.
How to Find a Good Great UI/UX Design Team
If you know you’re going to hire a professional UI/UX team to build your dream project, there are some actionable steps you can take to ensure you find the right partnership. If you’re not sure what the difference is between web design and UX design, the following tips will go a long way.
The Greek philosopher Socrates said, know thyself. His wisdom is true here, too. The more you know about your project and business: expectations, hopes, purpose, values, etc. the better you can pick an ideal partner for your UI/UX needs. Be assured in communicating your values and what you’re seeking in a professional partnership.
Know your budget. Know what you can afford and what you can’t. Be honest and forthright about this when meeting with perspective UI/UX designers.
A key part of finding a UI/UX design agency that matches your needs is doing research. Take your time here. It is better to spend the time upfront to ensure a good fit than realize several months into a project that you need to change vendors.
- Read client reviews and testimonials from design firms that you’re considering hiring. Many sites such as Clutch, Awwwards, Behance, and GoodFirms offer information and ratings for UX and product design companies. You can read client testimonials and see work portfolios on these third-party sites. It’s also advisable to visit the business’s site to see public testimonials.
- Case studies are another great way to vet a design agency or designers. Agencies will likely have case studies on their websites. Mining past client experiences is a great opportunity to see if the communication is proactive, how the team worked with the client, and the type of work being produced. A UI/UX design firm may be award-winning, but if the style of design or the communication spirit isn’t appropriate for your organization, it’s a poor fit.
- Check out a business’s social media for other indicators of the type of work, business personality, and values of the operation.
Any agency or designer that wants to work with you should have good communication skills about their work process and be in touch frequently with you, their client. Many professionals will use agile methodologies, as we do at Pixel506. This involves showing the client the work as it progresses in iterations, so that changes can be made quickly and errors caught early on. Waiting for the final product’s completion before showing it to the client can lead to hours upon hours of lost time, disagreements, and disappointments. Work efficiency and effectiveness can boil down to good communication.
Understanding the UI/UX Design Architecture Process
Another important factor in selecting the right UI/UX design studio or agency for your business is understanding their design process to ensure their working methods will suit your needs.
Ask prospective UI/UX companies about their design process, design architecture, and communication practices. A strong agency will be able to tell you why the home menu should be placed on the bottom of the mobile version of an app. The agency and the designers within it will have the inside knowledge and thought-based processes to tell you the why behind each of the features.
- The benefits of investing in professionals to do the UI/UX for your project far outweigh the risks and are proven to increase profitability.
- There are actionable steps you can take to ensure you find the right partnership to develop your project and undertake the UI/UX work.
- Self-knowledge, budget, research, communication, and understanding the UI/UX process are all areas to prepare in when interviewing prospective UI/UX agencies or individuals.
- Having a strong understanding of the above principles will ensure that you find the right designer for your project and have a successful creative experience.
More About Pixel506
Pixel506 is a digital software development agency that helps businesses achieve their goals through creative solutions and innovative approaches. We provide user experience and user interface services. Back in 2009, in Brooklyn, we started off as a small agency with big plans and great ambitions. Fast forward to 2022, and Pixel506 now also has offices in Costa Rica, Colombia, Nicaragua, and Peru. Over the years, our team has grown and attracted lots of talented and dedicated people. Today, our team consists of 65+ UI/UX designers, graphic designers, content creators, SEO strategists, software developers, and other marketing professionals. Together, we share a strong drive to help our clients succeed. We like to think along with our clients as we create compelling and customized solutions that help them grow their businesses to new heights.