Many small business owners will have difficulty choosing a freelance UX designer because often they might have no previous experience hiring one, or they may just not have all the facts.
Selecting a Designer
The following are a few suggestions to think about when selecting a designer for your small business project:
• Make sure they have a great portfolio. Would you like a website similar to what they have produced before? Do you like their style? Did they manage to match the site to incorporate the company branding and logo?
• Ask about how their knowledge concerning websites; a good UX designer has a feel for what your website is about. Are they W3C compliant in CSS/XHTML? Take a look at the code by clicking view page source in your browser. Is the code clean and commented so you know what is going on, or a mess of tables and rows jumbled all over the place? If you find this ugly, so does Google! Does your UX designer design graphics, as well as code, or just the one? Many will do one or the other and outsource the rest.
• Do they use templates? There are many templates out there and often ‘designers’ may pass these off as their own work. If the template is exactly as you need, it may be an option, but without understanding the needs of the business, they may just go with whatever is quickest. You might get a shock if you find out your brand new website is exactly the same as hundreds of others out there.
• Are their portfolio sites easy to navigate and clearly present the information, so that users do not get lost in the website, or worse still just click away? The organization of content is essential to the user’s experience and especially so on larger sites. Make the users view the information you want them to, and use a call to action buttons to get them to do things.
• Is the site optimized for SEO and Google ranking? While SEO is a topic of its own which often requires a specialist SEO expert to get the backlinks necessary for good ranking, the way the website is initially built can give it the best possible chance of success.
• Do you get on with them? Seems simple enough, but you may well need to work extensively with your web designer and often form a long term relationship, so best to make sure you can work together! This may just be a chat on the phone if the distance is an issue or an in-person meeting if applicable.
When hiring a freelance UX designer, and trying to make sure that they have a portfolio, you have many websites to explore. Freelance sites such as UpWork, Guru, and PeoplePerHour are packed with great designers that you can pick from daily.
Remember to ask lots of questions if you are not sure. Good UX designers will be able to answer your questions in a way you should understand, and make you feel comfortable with how the process will work. Check if they fit what you need. Ask them the right questions; how are they going to help you? It’s crucial that when looking for a UX designer, you are going to be able to connect with them.