Whether it’s hardware or software innovation, design has the power to make even the most complicated technology usable, useful and delightful.  Good designers will be drawn to inspiring missions and companies where they feel they can do great work. Learn how you can create an environment where design will be successful.


Design/UX Recruiting 

1. Understanding UX Skills

User experience design is a multidisciplinary field. A well-designed product must be visually appealing and simple, and easy to understand, learn and use. Creating a well-designed product is an endeavor that requires technical skills — an understanding of computer science, human computer interaction and visual perception and cognition — and tremendous creativity.

2. Writing a Job Description for UX People

The best thing you can do for your company as founder/CEO is to hire a great team, so it’s worth investing a lot of time and energy into writing a good job description. Even if you are relying mostly on your network to source candidates, you’re likely to need at least a description of your company to circulate to elicit interest from candidates.

3. Sourcing Candidates

“Where do you find designers to hire?” Now that you understand what UX skills you need to have for your team and have written a job description that outlines these needs, it’s time to get the word out and start recruiting.

4. Reviewing Candidates

Before looking at the portfolio and when deciding whether to contact a candidate for a conversation, start with the resume to establish some expectations.

5. Interviewing Candidates

The phone screen is an opportunity to make sure the designer and opportunity are potentially a good fit for each other, based on obvious criteria:  salary expectations, role and responsibilities, skills required, potential interest and communication skills.

6. How to Make Your Company Attractive to Designers

These 5 C’s are essential ingredients for making your company attractive to designers, based on my own experience of recruiting hundreds of UX people to join companies that were not originally obvious places for designers to join, and based on the experience and advice of two of the best and most well-known UX recruiters in our industry.  

7. Compensation

“How much does a designer typically make?”  The answer to this question varies widely, based on a number of factors: current comp, comp history, competing offers, how long the company has been looking, how important the role is to fill, how much you want the person and the quality of the candidate’s skills and experience.


Recommended reading 

universal-principles-of-designUniversal Principles of Design, Revised and Updated

William Lidwell, Kritina Holden and Jill Butler

“Finally, an encyclopedia of design theories, concepts, and principles. This book is a must-have for anyone who designs or seeks to understand design.”— Irene Au

book-designing-visual-interfacesDesigning Visual Interfaces: Communication Oriented Techniques

Kevin Mullet and Darrell Sano

“Understanding human cognition and perception helps designers design more effectively for people. Sadly, this book is out of print, but it’s well worth the expense and effort to get the book: It is one of the best books on visual interface design.”— Irene Au

book-the-design-of-everyday-thingsThe Design of Everyday Things

Don Norman

“This seminal book on human factors and engineering psychology will forever change the way you see the world and solve problems for people.” — Irene Au

book-the-elements-of-user-experienceThe Elements of User Experience

Jesse James Garrett

“Design is not just about how a product looks but also how it works. In this book, Jesse deftly describes the various facets of user experience and how they are all connected from how the product looks and how it works to the overall company strategy and how every CEO is a designer whether they recognize it or not.” — Irene Au

book-dont-make-me-think-1Don’t Make Me Think

Steve Krug

“Even if you never run a usability study, it’s helpful to understand how studies are run. If you are working in a startup, chances are that you will need to run a guerilla study at some point.” — Irene Au