Design team

How to Hire UI Designers to Make Your Product Visually Appealing


min to read

19 Feb



Table of contents

Designers are an essential part of the product team. As a UI/UX design agency, our job is to match designers with clients. In this article, we have collected some of the most basic questions that product owners have when they are about to hire UI designers.

1. Should I hire a UI or a UI/UX designer?

Depending on the project, it can be more convenient to hire one UI/UX designer or a team, including UI and UX designers, as well as a researcher. UI designers have narrower expertise and typically work as a part of a design team along with UX designers.

General rule: if this is the first time you are recruiting a designer, go for UI/UX or Product designer (to understand the difference between these two, read our article UX designer vs Product designer). If you are building a visually complex UI and already have a UX professional in the team, hire a user interface designer.

2. Why are UI and UX sometimes separated in job titles and sometimes go together?

User Interface and User Experience go hand in hand. They are like chicken and egg, as we explained in the article UI vs UX. The Yin and Yang of Product Design. Some designers choose to do both, while others prefer to deepen their expertise in one part.

Roles and responsibilities of UI designers relate to visual elements: they take care of buttons, icons, typography, illustrations, animations. UX designers conduct user research and analyze what should be changed in the interface to make it enjoyable and easy to use for people.

3. What are the essential skills of a UI designer?

Here is a list of UI designer skills, starting with the most important:

  • Interaction design
  • Wireframing and prototyping
  • Visual communication (work with color, typography, composition, and so on)
  • Knowledge of graphic software (Figma or Sketch, Adobe products)
  • Communication skills, teamwork
  • Prototyping tools (InVision, Figma)
  • Animation
  • Empathy (understanding users)
  • Basic principles of psychology
  • HTML and CSS

Knowledge of user research, usability testing, and JavaScript are the skills that allow UI designers to have higher salaries, according to Payscale. Check if your project needs all of this when you are about to hire a user interface designer.

Skills that affect UI designer salaries
Image credit: Payscale

4. Where to look for UI designers?

  • Designer platforms
hire user interface designers on 99designs
Eleken on Dribbble

Behance and Dribbble are the most popular platforms where people can upload their designs, comment, and like each other. Both websites have features for hiring, so you may contact a designer, whose portfolio you like the most.

  • “Contest” websites
Image credit:

On such platforms, you can upload a task that you have and designers will suggest their ideas, so you can choose from many options. Platforms that focus on design specifically are DesignCrowd and 99designs.

  • Freelancers platforms
hire UI designers on toptal
Image credit:

Well-known platforms such as Upwork work for all sorts of freelance tasks. If you are looking for something more tailored to design needs, try Toptal with their curated pool of candidates, and Working Not Working (a platform focused on creative professionals).

  • Social networks

LinkedIn would be too obvious to recommend for hiring, but social networks are worth mentioning still. Try posting a request for a UI designer and see if you get any references: it can often get you great talent with very little time spent on searching.

5. What are UI designer interview questions?

Below, we've gathered some of the questions that will help you to understand how the designers thinks and what is their approach to work:

  • Tell me a situation from your experience when you had to face a real problem and how you solved it
  • Which project are you most proud of and why?
  • Guide me through your design process (with a case from portfolio)
  • What is design?

For more tips, check out our article about designer interview.

6. What is a test task for a user interface designer?

Test task is the moment of truth in the hiring process. Good and easy test task would be something that is related to the everyday work of a designer in your team. As an option, you can ask candidates to redesign a screen that you find imperfect.

Designers at Eleken agency get to work with a wide range of products from different spheres. That’s why we chose to give candidates a test task that has no references, where you can find ready solutions: it truly gives you an insight on how designers think and how creative they can get. Here it is:

Create a UI for a mobile AI Messenger App (at least 3 screens)

Imagine you’re a very busy person, but your partner/family/friends want to get your attention and message you pretty often. You need to keep working, but still be able somehow to pay some attention to your family and folks.

You need to create a UI for a messenger with an AI + chatbot, which analyzes your previous replies and responds instead of you.

7. How do you know if a designer is good?

  • See if you can find any references. If you found a designer on a freelance platform, it’s easy to do, but otherwise, it would require some effort. Search the information about designers online, see who they worked with, and contact their previous employers.
  • Check the status of their portfolios on Behance and Dribbble. If you see badges from Adobe, awards, and similar, you may conclude that the designer is promising. This is not a 100% recommendation, but it is a good sign.
  • Rely on your own opinion. A designer might have numerous awards, but still not be the best fit for you. Check if they have worked with projects similar to yours, and trust your personal taste. Users of Dribbble might be more artistic and professional, but the designs that are popular there may not be the most usable.

8. How to hire the best UI designer?

To get the best talent, you should invest some time in research. Waiting for CVs to fall in your mailbox is easier, but in the end, it takes as much time and is less efficient.

Once you’ve done good research and have a list of candidates, find them on different platforms: LinkedIn, Behance, freelance websites, and so on. You need to choose the ones that have the best reviews. Don’t hesitate to invite for an interview some of the candidates that seem top-notch, even if your budget is limited.

Starting from the first interview, ask some questions that can give you hints on how to negotiate with the candidate later, such as:

  • What do you value most in your work?
  • What motivates you?
  • What is your dream job?

Based on the answers, you can think of some bonuses to offer when negotiating the job offer. Good user interface designers are valued, and often you have to convince them to take your offer.

Extra tip: check your inbox for UI designer offers. Sometimes, you can find emails from people who want to work in your company — this is an easy way to find motivated candidates and hire dedicated UI designers.

9. Is it possible for a UI designer to work remotely?

Shortly, yes. The work of a UI designer can be done 100% online. Designers at Eleken work with clients remotely, most of them are located in different time zones. With all the cloud features of Figma, team collaboration goes smoothly.

10. How much does a UI designer cost?

The average salary of a UI designer in the US varies from $ 65,554 (according to Payscale) to $ 77,773 (Indeed), and $ 93,440 (Glassdoor). Entry-level salaries start from $ 50,000. Salaries of senior UI designers in LinkedIn and Apple go up to $ 150,000, and up to $ 400,000 in Netflix (according to reports on Glassdoor).

Pay by experience level for UI designers

If you want to hire a freelance UI designer, expect to pay $50-150 per hour. On average, the salaries of UI designers tend to be lower than the salaries of UI/UX designers or product designers.

If you have a restricted budget, try hiring user interface designer remotely. When you are hiring a designer from another country, the prices can get 5-10 times lower. Here are some approximate rates from different countries in Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Americas.

UI designer salaries by country
UI designer salaries by country

11. How can I hire a UI designer on budget?

  • First of all, define the scope of work that you need to do. Talk to your teammates and refer to the product development plan. When the number of tasks is inconstant, having a freelance designer could save you money in those periods when there is not too much work to keep them full-time.
  • Hire a junior specialist. As mentioned above, typically a UI designer is hired when there is also a UX professional in the team. So, when you already have one seasoned UX professional, they can mentor a fresh designer and prevent them from making typical beginner mistakes.
  • Find a remote employee. As you can see from the table above, hiring a designer abroad can cost up to 10 times cheaper than in the US. Nowadays, when people are used to remote work, many companies go for this option. Even finding a designer from Omaha to work for California can save you 10-15% in salary.

If you have very little idea of the number of hours needed and how many designers you need, try talking to an agency and start over with someone who is already experienced. After all, saving on design is risky: try it only when you know how things really work.

12. Why should we hire you?

This is a popular interview question that some employers like and most employees hate. For us, the answer is easy: we are a team of professionals in user interface and user experience design, and we know how to make your SaaS product as easy to use as possible. We are that remote team that can help you save some budget and we even offer a free 7-day trial. Contact us to try!

Masha Panchenko

Writer at Eleken