Looking to start a new website?

Well, it needs to be something special. As of today, there are 1.7 billion of them currently online.

Of course, not all of them are made equally! There’s a huge degree of difference between the best and worst websites.

You don’t want yours to fall into the ‘could’ve been better’ pile, right? To steer clear of that eventuality, consider working with a talented UX designer.

Indeed, the user experience (UX) is of pivotal importance to the success of a website these days.

If your website isn’t intuitive, easy to navigate, fast-loading and a joy to use all-round, then it’s unlikely to have the success you want for it. A professional designer can make all the difference!

But, with thousands of designers to choose between, how do you find the right one for your project?

We want to help! Read on for 7 top tips for finding the best designer possible for your website.

1. Understand UX

First thing’s first: you need to understand what you’re hiring.

You’re looking for a user experience designer- not a user interface designer. If you don’t know the difference…well, a bit more research might be in order.

This is key to hiring someone that’s right for the job. You must know exactly what you need in order to post an accurate job listing and find someone with the appropriate skillset.

Briefly, the UX designer is there to create a website that’s a joy to use. Think of them as a structural engineer- they’re charged with making something that works, which is totally fit for purpose and in line with your requirements.

They aren’t the interior designer!

That’s essentially the role of a user interface designer. If you want your website to look pretty, then hire one of those instead.

2. Check the Portfolio

A design portfolio is similar to a CV.

Whether it’s in digital or physical form, the portfolio is a stockpile of a designer’s best work. Make sure you check it over carefully!

After all, designers have different styles and approaches to work. You want to ensure the person you hire is a good fit for what you have in mind; their portfolio is often the best indicator of that.

Moreover, it’ll also give you an impression of their level of ability. Imagine hiring an artist without seeing their work first- it’s a one-way ticket to disappointment. The same goes for your UX designer! Make sure you like what you see.

3. But Don’t Rely On It!

However, the portfolio isn’t everything.

Just like a CV, someone might look great on paper, but fail to live up to expectations in real life.

Remember, a portfolio is assembled as a demonstration of somebody’s best work. Naturally, you’ll be impressed by what you see! That’s literally what it’s designed to do.

Use that as a stepping stone to further questioning. Consider using a portfolio as stage one of your hiring process. Disqualify applicants whose portfolio isn’t up to standard. Then, for those with higher quality work, delve deeper into their experience.

Ask about their creative process and how fast they can work. Likewise, ask them to be specific about their portfolio examples. Enquire about any key performance indicators they had for each project, and how the sites performed.

Get as specific as possible to ascertain the true quality of their work.

4. Ask for References

Next up, references.

This is one of the surest ways of finding the right person for the job. After all, you’re talking with somebody who’s previously worked with this designer. They’ll be able to offer an honest account of their strengths and weaknesses.

Their reports can be a clincher in choosing someone for your website.

See if the designer would be happy to provide contact details for their previous clients. If they aren’t, then ask why! Anybody confident in their past projects should, arguably, be happy for this to happen.

Any reluctance could be cause for concern.

5. Curiosity’s Important

Curiosity is an important attribute to look for in a UX designer.

They should be full of questions about your needs and the product itself. How else will they deliver a website that satisfies the criteria?

Be wary of anyone who doesn’t try to get to the bottom of the job at hand.

Moreover, curiosity’s a good sign that this individual will take the job seriously. Some people are just out there for the money; others live and breathe what they do.

Find a diligent individual with a passion for design, and you have a far better chance of receiving the final product you want.

6. Look for Remote Designers

UX designers are ubiquitous.

Quality UX designers are far rarer.

Give yourself the best chance of finding the right person by branching out on your search. Keep in mind that you don’t need someone in the office with you!

Many designers work remotely these days. As such, it makes sense to advertise the job on freelance and remote job sites too.

Really struggling? Consider working with a professional UX design company.

7. Experience Isn’t Everything

The best person for the job isn’t always the one with the most experience.

Heck, it might not even be the best designer!

More often than note, the real crunch-point is their personality. You want to work with someone who’s got the right attitude and an ethos that matches your personal values (or that of your company).

Assuming they have the appropriate skill-levels for the job, ensure they’re strong communicators and available for contact at times that suit you. Working with anyone who doesn’t fit this bill can turn into a nightmare.

Steer clear of anyone who seems elusive, abrasive, and contrarian by nature.

Time to Find Your UX Designer

The world isn’t short of websites.

Almost 2 billion of them litter the internet already.

For your new site to stand out and perform to the standard you need, it must be made to the highest quality. For that, a UX designer can be a mighty help.

Alas, with masses of designers to choose from, selecting the right person for the job can be tough. Hopefully, this post will help you do it.

Looking for more articles like this? Head over to the education section of our website now!

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3 IPOs to Watch in 2016

Whether you are curious about stock or any other form of financial trading or simply enjoy seeing a success of the startups – IPOs are a great to watch. Not only you get to learn how undervalued or overpriced a certain company was, but you also get to see a rapid development a company can achieve with the funds it raised.

We are entering the middle of 2016 and so far there has not been too many interesting IPOs. When looking at the financial industry, it is possible to highlight the listing of the largest Dutch bank – ABN Amro. Next to this, a few ECN currency brokers flipped an IPO this year.

X-Trade Brokers, just got listed roughly a month ago, which signified the largest initial public offering in Poland during the last 365 days. Also, a leading UK brokerage, CMC Markets, started listing its stocks in February this year. Nevertheless, this IPOs weren’t too exciting. There is much more to expect in the coming month from the tech sector.

The most promising

Airbnb, a company that lets everyone lend their house, flat or a room is expected to start issuing stocks this year and this is certainly the most interesting IPO to keep your eyes on. The reason for this is very simple – apart from nearly $25Bn valuation, Airbnb actually generates some significant revenues.

What also tells us that this IPO will be a successful one is the lack of legal issues behind the business processes. Even though some laws in Germany were prohibiting the usage of such peer-to-peer services, the whole legal framework behind Airbnb is rather favourable. In addition to this, there is quite a strong support for the shared economy nowadays and, hence, this company might be seen as the safe-haven investment.

The most interesting

Do you remember last time you used a landline for calling? Well, thanks to this company, quite soon you might not remember last time you ordered a taxi. Yes, you got it right, we are talking about Uber. Even though there is no certainty whether Uber will flip an IPO this year, it is quite probable.

What makes this IPO the most interesting one? The whole legal situation behind Uber. Clients love it for its pricing and simplicity. Taxi companies hate it. Without a doubt Uber is a successful company, yet its operations strongly depend on the legal decisions of the local authorities.

While strikes against Uber happen frequently, those are the local regulators that will have a final word in determining Uber’s success in terms of market coverage and, hence, revenues.

The most amusing

Without a doubt previous two companies are here to stay. Both of them offer quite an advanced technology that simplifies people’s lives and provide cost benefits. However, there is another company that looks for an IPO this year, and many investors are laughing about it.

We are talking about Snapchat, the company that allows millennials communicating with each other, sticking funny noses on their selfies, the company that struggles to produce hardly any revenues.

While some investors laugh about this IPO, others see it as a great opportunity. Snapchat may not look like a goldmine, but it certainly has some potential. The main question is whether investors will be patient enough to see Snapchat implementing powerful advertising solutions while sustaining the growth of its user base.

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