Strategy · Entrepreneurship

What is the best way to test the ability of a UI/UX candidate?

Sahedi Khan Internet Marketing Executive & Web Developer

October 25th, 2016

I have a feeling that since recently more and more people call themselves entrepreneurs, social media marketing experts, life coaches… and UI/UX designers. Common to all of those professions is that they all cover wide areas of expertise and therefore it is a bit easier for frauds or inexperienced candidates to somehow pass as experts.

However skilled HRs or real experts in these fields should quickly figure out who is who and what is what but if you need to hire a UI/UX professional and you have no clue about it how do you test their ability? Is it the only way to hire HR agency?

Daniel D'Alonzo

October 25th, 2016

Great question. I am an experience designer. I always try to figure out the best method tocut through the noise of all the other "UXers". I need potential clients to know I can walk the walk and not just talk the talk.

I consider myself qualified - here's how I show you that I am qualified:

First and foremost, if someone tells you they can solve your problems by becoming your full-time UX employee it is a sign that they are not qualified.

Before you hire a UXer to come into your organization, assess the UX maturity level of you and your team. There are usually latent cultural issues within organizations that make it difficult for them to work with UX people because the UXer is there to teach everyone in the organization how to do their job differently. That's a big pill to swallow. Regardless of ego, if your team isn't aware of this then it's something you can do now to prepare them for when you do hire a UX expert.

UX Debt: assess the total debt that has accumulated in your organization. This is the list of items that need to be changed or updated or require new processes around in order to "fix" your problems. You could hire a UXer to just get this far with everything so you can decide how you'd like to move forward with next steps.

Phase-Driven: the type of UX help you need today, will be different from what you need tomorrow. Depending on your organization, you don't need to hire a UX person full-time on a salary. Too many companies out there are trying to hire their "UX guy" or "UX girl" that's going to solve all their problems. This is incorrect. The UX professional should be hired to teach your organization how to become design thinkers and who learn how to solve your organization's problems on their own. Based on your UX maturity level, you will at first need someone to come in and work hands on with you at the leadership level, and also with your team. After the initial phase (about 3 months), the UXer should start pulling back as you watch your organization begin to function a bit differently than it was before. Now, instead of people running from the blame of customer's problems, they are all focused around the customer waiting for the customer to let them know what they need next.

Of course, if you need visual design (branding, identity, interface elements, etc) then once you bring in your UX expert it will be part of your plan. It's much cheaper to sub out the styleguide you need for your product when you have specific design specs and creative direction.

Alex Hogan Creating exceptional User Experiences that provide measurable results | UX Practice Lead, North America

October 25th, 2016

This is a difficult question to answer. There are so many aspects and directions the conversation could take that would lead you believe they're either legit or not. Portfolios are how the UX community in general begins conversations with new prospects but those can be misleading or even, let's say, borrowed. I usually begin by asking them to explain their process to approach an initiative. What type of research do they do. How do they validate that research. What types of testing have they done and how did that affect their designs. What KPIs do they usually try to tie back to and why. How do metrics come into play. You get the point....

Valeriia Timokhina Eastern Peak Software: Custom software development

October 28th, 2016

Examine their experience in the design:
First, do you have a deep enough expertise in this field to interview candidates and check their skills by yourself? If not, hire a consultant or ask some of your designers with proven track record to help you interview this candidate.
In case you don't have any designers yet and don't want to use the HR agency services, learn as much information about the design process as you can.

Learn about the design stages and create a list of questions for the applicant. He or she should be able to describe the overall design process (for example like in this guide) and also provide the examples of their previous works. It's a really important part - to check their portfolios and choose what looks good and what not.

phillip hunt Founder at Mobikats enterprise

October 26th, 2016

The best way to test a UI/ UX candidate is to give them a UI / UX task as part of the interview and get them to explain how they would approach the problem, cover these following areas: 1. Do they ask you about the intended audience and the context of use? 2. What processes would they use to analyse the problem, create a solution and test it? (Essentially they should be digging deep into context and intended audience. They should have clear techniques for analysing, designing and getting end user feedback to get to the right solution) 3. Most UI and UX problems can be simplified by using approaches which mimic other experiences users already know about, so as to shortcut the learning process for an interface. What are their thoughts about this and how it could be used to help solve the task? I’d also get them to walk through some of their previous work and use the above points as an anchor to get them to describe their process. If they can do this well and they can deal with a real task in the limited time of an interview, you’ve probably got the person you are looking for. Phillip Hunt Tel. +44 (0)7590 277045 philliphunt@mobikats.com skype: huntpg Building beautiful mobile apps