Thank you! You are either smart, have the opportunity and/or the budget to hire a designer. If you know the right person, this article is not for you. For the rest… Welcome to the void. What to do? Where to go? Well, I can assure you what you should definitely not do. Don’t go to Google and type in designers for hire, don’t go to Dribbble, Behance. No. Not just yet. I know it’s hard to hold your horses and not to rush headlong into nice portfolio pictures. Take a step back and follow our advice first.
Understand the business goals of your designer’s work - know how his/her work should affect your business. This is crucial. We’re not talking about aesthetics but how the work you want to delegate will improve your product and serve your users. Function determines form at least for now.
At this point, you should know what you need from your future designer and it’s time for you to get a real hold on what type of a designer is right for what type of work you need to have done.
Remember each profession does not exclusively correspond to one person! You don’t always need to hire 3 people to design a UI for a mobile application. Many come in bundles!
If you are new to this game, try asking around if anyone you know has worked with designers and probe them. Personal recommendation is always the best way to go. Period. If his/her profile doesn’t suit you, dig a little deeper ask and the least you can get is another recommendation that pushes you in the right direction. You could also:
Talk to/ meet him or her. So you’ve heard about someone or came across this killer profile. You make a move. As a rule, always talk in person or via Skype. See if you’re a match or not. Ask about his/her workflow and it it’s possible, about the whys & wherefores of their portfolio projects. Coming up is a set of extra tips:
Ok, so now’s the part when you’re just about to choose your designer. I advise you to ask yourself these two questions:
Your designer needs to have a safe space, to be able to argue with you, to tell you your ideas suck. Here’s a list of additional questions that might help out:
Do you have solid foundations to believe that the work you’ll get will suit your needs.
You should research and talk to your candidate for as long as it takes you to be absolutely sure of all of these things above.
None of the things your designer does or says are worth a dime unless you respect him/her. This can be a cultural thing or your personal bias. It’s vital for any successful relationship. If you believe your candidate won’t be respected because of lack of experience or some other reasonable criteria (excluding racism or chauvinism) just admit it and look further. Don’t lie to yourself and later treat your designer the way you’d like to be treated yourself.
Do your paperwork. Don’t slack on the paperwork. Make sure that all the relevant usage rights are signed and sealed — talk with your lawyer or have it read by someone experienced. Small details can end up being deal breakers so beware, and if you really care about this specific designer, leave space for some negotiations.
Shake hands and set out on the journey! Hope it takes you where you wanted.