Agency, Designers

Looking for a designer? See how to choose wisely

image: Company or freelancer: what to choose

A designer can help you in finding a good solution for your project
But how to find a good designer?

Challenge 1 : Looking for a good designer

 “Designer” is rather a vague term nowadays and can be easily misunderstood. And if you put in your add “I am looking for a designer” an outcome might be sometimes confusing. You can find good designers with excellent references and sample portfolios, but not in the field of your particular task. So it is not unwise to specify first your particular goals first before plunging into a sea of Design Companies adds.

If you want to improve “how your product feels”, a UX Designer (User Experience Designer) will be the right choice.

If your main concern is about “how your product is laid out”, then you should pick up an UI Designer (User Interface Designer).

If you want to “inject beauty and life into your product”, the right solution would be a Visual Designer (Graphic Designer), one who sweats the small details that others tend to overlook. Sometimes to make your product even more vivid you will need a Motion Designer (Interaction Designer). If Visual Designers work with static objects, Motion Designers create animation inside your app.

If you are deciding what problem your product is solving, and for whom, a help of a UX Researcher (User Researcher) would come in very handy.

And for a functional implementation of your products interface you need a Front-End Developer (UI Developer), who is responsible for translating a static mock-up, created by the above-mentioned designers, into a working, interactive experience.

Sometimes a term Product Designer is used in refer to a designer who is generally involved in the creation of the look and feel of a product all along the line.

Challenge 2 : Agency vs. Freelancer

The next question you will face is what company to hire: a big one, a small one or just a freelancer? There is no one-size-fits-all solution to the problem. It depends on the task you put for yourself, your company status and your visualization of the process in progress.

If your company has a clear target, you expect to move quickly, and you feel you can’t afford to make mistakes, then your option is a big design agency, which can provide a team of experienced designers to meet all your demands.

If your company experiences a rapid growth due to unexpected demand, but you are not quite sure where the plateau is, or how your priorities may change along the way, then a small agency will suit you better.

If your company is just starting out and you have a really great idea, though the target isn’t entirely clear and you don’t feel much urgency or competitive pressure, then hire a freelancer, who can help you explore and experiment with limited cost and uncertain expectations.

As always, asking for tips from your friends and trusted colleagues is a good way to find some good design agencies or freelancers.

Challenge 3: Choosing wisely or how to find/select the perfect designer for the product 

After discovering right agencies or freelance designers working in the right field the next step is to pick up one the most suitable for your particular project. And there’s the rub. Designers like many other creative personalities sometimes are rather hard guys to communicate with. A non-designer may find it tricky to distinguish between a really good design and one not so good. Some of these tips might be helpful to you:

  • Visit a couple of site galleries, to get a better feel as to what constitutes a good design.
  • Learn something about design principles.
  • Trust your instincts and if you like somebody’s work at the first glance, try it.
  • Ask for references from past employers
  • Check if their portfolio is filled with real client work, or mostly personal projects
  • Try a candidate by hiring him for a couple hours to work on a side project
  • Find time for an interview in person

Hopefully this brief explanation will help you in choosing the right person for your company’s unique project.

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