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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Cortana for Xbox One Finally Released: Your Personal Gaming Assistant

Lucky summers for Xbox One users as they will be getting one of the much-awaited updates from Microsoft, the Cortana is about to be rolled out.
For those who have no idea what Cortana is, well, it is a Microsoft’s virtual assistant which lets you communicate with your device like "Siri" on Apple iOS and "Google Now Assistant" for Android. You can talk to your device by saying “Hey Cortana” and you can then give all the instructions through voice.

The purpose of launching Cortana is to integrate Windows 10 and the Xbox console. Though initially the update will not be available for Windows 10 but at a later stage, you will be able to use it with Xbox app on Windows 10.

Xbox Cortana

What to Expect

So how Cortana will change your gaming experience? How can it be of any help? Is it really a much needed feature?

Cortana is referred to as the ‘personal gaming assistant’. It will assist you in gaming, of course, but this is just the beginning. Right now, you will be able to use Cortana for gaming features only but in near future, it will work with other devices and will include a whole lot of other exciting features.

Cortana lets you communicate with your console over voice. It can let you find new games, turn on the Xbox, you can start a party, and you can perform several other tasks. You can also use it to search stuff on Bing, simply give a voice instruction to search something and voila, you are done.

The good news is that there are multiple updates that will be rolled out so you will see some nice changes this summer, for example, a new game collection will be rolled out, improvements in screenshot sharing feature, some of the famous PC games will be added to your Xbox live, and much more.

This is just the beginning. Microsoft is very enthusiastic about the update and it has already announced that Cortana is not limited to gaming only, so you should expect some good new features being added in recent times.

When and Where

Microsoft will be rolling the updates in phases – not all at once, thus you have to exhibit some patience. The first update will be rolled out this summer. You will get two updates this summer and more updates will follow soon.

At this moment, the Cortana will be available to Preview testers only. No, not to all the Preview testers but only those located in the US, UK, Spain, Germany, Italy and France. If you are in one of these countries, consider yourself lucky as you will be among the first ones who will have the privilege to try the new update.

Keep your fingers crossed for the update and let’s hope that the update proves to be good for the gamers. The basic purpose behind the launch of the Cortana and these updates is to integrate Xbox One fully with Windows app (the PC). Once it is done, you will experience gaming of another level.
But that’s not going to happen right away.

For now, just sit back, relax and let Microsoft do all the hard work. Wait for the update to reach you.

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