How to Hire a Right Designer or Developerby@mayankpratapeb
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How to Hire a Right Designer or Developer

by Mayank PratapMay 23rd, 2018
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The famous American entrepreneur, author, and motivational speaker- Emanuel James “Jim” Rohn quoted: “Don’t waste your time trying to turn ducks into eagles. Hire people who already have the motivation and drive to be eagles and the just let them soar”. The quote perfectly fits into today’s business ecosystem across the globe, but to let them soar like eagles, you yourself must know the sky and the flight, especially when you are hiring a designer or developer for your startup venture.

There are many more questions which should hit your brain while hiring the “RIGHT” designer or developer, to name and explore a few is:

- Do you really need one?

- What type of designer should you hire?

- Apart from the technical knowledge what qualities a developer must have to suit your needs?

Let’s investigate in detail, before going into the interview hall!

Do ‘You’ Really Need One?

Staying ahead in an ecosystem which transforms itself into a supersonic speed, in terms of innovation and creativity, attracting crowd towards it is huge dare. You are in the digital online startup, and digital marketing era, where creating just a website or app won’t suffice. You need to focus in depth and build something which should not overlap with any other offerings in the market.

You win only when the user interface or the user experience is the best, in solving the problem. Your offer of solving the problem, faced by the user, should deliver a delightful and differentiating user experience. The same is possible when you have impeccable, outstanding designer or team of designers.

Understanding the Role of the Designer

Gone are the days when designers kept their focus on Photoshop or illustrators to create a painting or picture trying to create an image of what exactly the user will feel while using a product, service or solution. Such myopic designers could only deliver a visually appealing outcome with the ineffective user experience.

You must apprehend the work which is required to create a great UI/UX platform. To do the same understanding the different profiles of designers is mandatory. You may categorize a designer of today into broad categories of:

- Graphic Designers

A graphic designer can perform the following:

1. Create images, ads, icons, logo, prints, etc.2. They are specialist of creating images and graphics, but not limited to just this.3. Many graphic designers are magnificent website designers as well.

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Usually, graphic designers lack the competencies of putting the designs in website functioning, as they do not have the knowledge of codes to build a website using HTML and CSS.

- Website Designers

The person in demand, website designer, translates your vision into reality on the website. They are specialists in designing and building websites. They perform the following:

1. They develop graphics of the website including the layout which belongs to the web design.

2. They are capable of coding and can code up a website. However, they are not qualified enough to be termed as “Coders”.

3. Usually, they use code-free website builders to create the web pages.

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Website designers need not necessarily be good coders and expecting them to perform their job will not be justified.

-Full Stack Developers

They are masters to create any and every website you can think of.

1. They are brilliant coders and hence technical problems resolution, and intricate functionalities.

2. They are engineers who will work on the basic technical framework of your website.

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Developers are usually not very good at designing and graphics; therefore you cannot expect them to be one army of all the three types of designers.

The Take!

You must hire a mix of above three or two to build a strong team. Also, you may decide to go ahead as per your need and budget. You may, therefore, hire one graphic designer and a developer or a website designer and a developer. At the same time you must evaluate your need for one, so that incorrect hiring doesn’t happen.

What’s Your Expectation?

While hiring a designer or developer, you must ask a lot of questions for yourself to arrive at the precise decision like:

- What it is that you want the designer to deliver?

- Can you explain with complete details as to what exactly the developer should perform?

- Do you carry the minute details of every page, design, and graphics and your vision and mission of the website or app?

Complete clarity on your end will result in perfect hiring and ultimate final results. It is your clarity and ideas which a designer will follow and your guidance and blueprint he must follow. To elaborate,

a. You cannot ask a graphic designer to “revamp your website design and optimize the pages”. For this, you must hire a “Website Designer”.

b. Similarly, to add a custom image slider you should hire a developer and not a website designer.

Therefore, you must hire a professional when their specific skills match your expectations.

Prerequisites for Right designer or Developer

To make an impact on your customers and be ahead of the competition you must hire with “hawks eyes” and don’t just hire the very first “likely-looking” candidate. The right candidate must have the following:

1. Understand Customer Life Cycle

They must have the basic knowledge of customer journey and experience, as that will help them to bring out the concept or vision with better precision. Their customer comprehension will be the deciding factor in bringing-out a superlative UI/UX platform.

2. Join with Open Mind

The designer must join the organization with an openness to learn and relearn. Even a biased expert will not be able to deliver what you exactly expect. They must be open to coaching and improve on their skill sets.

3. Abreast with Latest in Industry

They must be acquainted with latest changes, trends, happenings, and developments in the web design ecosystem across the globe or state. The same will help both the developer and you to be on top and implement the latest to deliver fine user experience.

4. A Good Apprentice

To face and race with latest trends and development in the web designing industry the candidate must be an excellent student and grasp fast. The faster the grasp, the better the output.

5. Interpersonal Skills

They must have good interpersonal and communication skills so that they can logically work and justify their ideas and work. As they will not be working in isolation, they must be capable of working with clients, various functions within an organization and practically discuss timelines, suggestions, and ideas.

6. Self-Driven

Once a job allocated to the developer they must manage and work independently with least guidance or intervention. They must immediately take control of the project and deliver within timelines the desired job without the management having to hover.

7. Lookout for their Previous Work

Demand their previous work to find-out their prowess and relevant experience.

8. Ask Specific Client References

Try getting specific client recommendations and references, as client satisfaction is of utmost importance and is the testimony to their competencies.

9. Seek Recommendations

Another way can be asking your peers for recommendations. Your friends might have known quality designer or developer who they can recommend. It might be possible that in your professional sphere people come across good developers and hire as freelancers for their own projects. They may wish to recommend the same to you. Apart from these personal attributes, you must also evaluate their professional proficiency, for which you yourself ought to have some detailing like:

a. Basic learning on PHP and Ruby,b. Know how of CSS and when to use it,c. Various JavaScript frameworks and their usage,d. Various websites on the internet are available which can be of help to you to apprehend them.

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Technical Skills required

The following are the technical skills any designer or developer must possess:

i. Graphic designer competencies: Any image editor like Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator.

ii. Website designer competencies: In addition to image editor must be proficient in CSS/ CSS3, HTML/ HTML5, and PHP.

iii. Developer/ coder’s competencies: They must have skill-sets in CSS/CSS3, HTML/HTML5, PHP, jQuery, and JavaScript.

Assessing Skills

Probing slightly on some qualities and experiences will give you a deeper insight into the designer’s skills.

i. Demo of designing and building: Asking the designer to use or detail via a demo on how he can design and build solutions, using codes, can highlight on his ability to bring life in a design. You may ask him for prototyping as well.

ii. User-friendly design process: It is critical for a designer to understand the user needs and built process around that need to deliver an effective solution. Therefore, a good designer will always work on these lines and not to impress the designer community.

iii. Presence on, designer communities: A good designer will always prefer staying in touch with other expert designers and share his work by posting on sites like- and This also brings their work under the scanner, which only a good designer will appreciate and dare.

iv. Are they complexity-friendly: Designing just for the desktop web is history. An expert designer will have the caliber of creating designs for different screens, display capabilities, and device functions.

v. The latest trend — Social Media friendly: The designer or developer should be aware and active on social spheres, and be able to create a UI/UX dais that motivates the consumers to share the content. This will keep you ahead on the growth traction through viral sharing.

Additional Tips

Building a website or hiring professionals for doing so can be challenging especially when you are not skilled designer or developer. You must, therefore, keep all the above in mind but even so follow some rules to stay happy and less worried about the cost Vs. delivery ratio.

a. Assign a small project to the recruit: When you are not sure of the hired candidate, offer them a small project. This is true for a startup, where you must initiate a small project first and move ahead after its completion and desired results. You may start with a non-critical project also, which will keep you safe for any probable loss and at the same time, you can evaluate the caliber of the hired designer.

b. Hiring aptitude over skill-set: It is always advisable to hire designer or developer who moves along with ongoing trends and is futuristic in approach. That means someone who is not just stuck to specific technology but can adapt to new advancements and learn fast to deliver accordingly. You may judge this by asking close questions like:

i. Tell us something about the new programming language you learned lately.

ii. Where and how do you keep your updated with on new developments happing in web industry?

c. Open-ended questions: Try to ask open-ended questions in the interview to find out how well-versed they are in their communication and how they explain tech terms. You may ask the following open-ended questions:

i. When different people manage the same data how do you manage conflicts in the web application?

ii. Share any design pattern you used, and in what situation?

Date before marriage

Just as you do before marriage-dating, to explore compatibility follow-up with specific references on specified points will give an insight of the ability of the candidate. Find out from at least three past clients or references the ability of candidate’s execution by asking:

i. If the assigned job was delivered on time?

ii. Did the project happen within the allotted budgets?

iii. How satisfied were the clients after the assignment was delivered by the candidate?

Defining the Job / Work Profile

Just like you must estimate what is it that you wish to create in the assignment, similarly, you also must have a defined work profile or job outline of a designer. This will help not only hire the correct candidate but also avoid potential delays and frustrations later. You can immediately start working after hiring without any further delays.

i. Design mock-up: Share your ideal design with the designer to speed up the planning process. The designer can mock-up the dream design and achieve the desired.

ii. Share sample designs: You may share few sample designs which are near to your desired design. You may ask the developer to build or design a similar design keeping your vision as a backdrop. This will bring following understanding of their ability-

a. Understanding of design,b. How accurate they are in recognizing your taste,c. How innovative or creative they are.

Sample Questions for Interview

You may jot down standard interview questions for the candidate, but in addition should always ask few which might help you understand their grasp and concept clarity, specifically about your own brand. Few examples are:

- How will you update the website after launch?- Describe our brand?- Have you researched about our brand? What is it that you find lacking and can be improved? How do you wish to do that?- What do you think an effective web designer should have as their main competencies?

Budget Allocation for Designer Hiring

You may decide to hire a freelance designer or employee one, but whatever the case may be setting a budget for the same always pays. In case you employee you can keep a fixed range, but in case of freelance there can be different ways like:

- Small Projects: As the project will have a short timeframe, maybe from few hours to a few days try hiring as — Pay per hour basis (for experienced designers) and pay a fixed price (for less experienced developers).

Usually, experts work on pay per hour basis only as they complete their work quickly, efficiently and prefer taking up the next one. This way they can get more projects. Less experienced developers may need some time, but that is why they agree on lower budgets.

- Large Projects: These kinds of projects usually need experts as the projects are complex and need better understanding and several revisions. But to avoid an unpleasant experience, for both you and the designer, make sure you have the complete detail of the design and discuss the same with the professional. You may hire a less experienced designer as well but be patient with them. In any which way keep your budget fixed for both as pay per hour may become expensive for you.

- Consider flexibility of budget: If you do not enjoy financial flexibility set your own price, as this will attract only those designers who can work as per your budget.

If you are flexible with your budget, you may allow the designer to quote rates, as there are chances that your unexpectedly low rate quote may snatch a quality designer from you.

How Much do they Actually Cost?

There are two kinds of markets and price tables for freelance designers:

- Developed countries like USA, Canada, or the U.K.- Developing countries like Philippines, India or Eastern European countries.

The price cards may look like:

Cost of Hiring a Graphic Designer:

Experienced graphic designers- Developed Countries: $60 — $120/hour

Developing Countries: $20 — $40/hour

New to lower-end graphic designers- Developed Countries: $25 — $35/hour

Developing Countries: $5 — $15/hour

Cost of Hiring a Website Designer:

Experienced website designers- Developed Countries: $80 — $150/hour

Developing Countries: $25 — $50/hour

New to lower-end website designers- Developed Countries: $25 — $45/hour

Developing Countries: $8 — $18/hour

Cost of Hiring a Developer or Coder:

Experienced developer- Developed Countries: $90 — $200/hour

Developing Countries: $30 — $65/hour

New to the lower-end developer- Developed Countries: $35 — $75/hour

Developing Countries: $15 — $20/hour

Engage the Best!

To be with the best is what is always desired, and that is what you do when you choose Engineer Babu. We offer world-class products and services, and have all the reasons for being the most sort after and populous developers.

Engineer Babu:

- Understands the true role of a designer.- Understands your need, hence comprehends the life cycle of your customers.- Listens to you with open minds.- Is acquainted with the latest in the industry.- Is always ready to learn from you!- Has the legacy and experience of delivering quality IT products, solutions and services.- Can accommodate all budget projects, from small to medium to large.

With EngineerBabu:

- The list of clientele across the globe is endless.- You have the freedom of interviewing before employing via chatting.- We offer high-quality products and renders world-class services like:

- Logo Design- Web Development- Android Development- UI & UX- Growth marketing- iOS App development.


Hiring the right designer or developer, especially for someone who is not technically sound or initiating a start-up may seem a hard nut to crack, but with a focused approach, some basic understanding and the passion to hunt down the prudent candidate, the task gets simplified.

Find a dynamic designer or developer as mentioned above may seem challenging, but once done you will realize the cost and benefits you receive in return. You will not only be delighted by the peerless designs but will also offer your customers impulsive user experience.

Read My Other Hackernoon Articles

  1. How my non-tech female cofounder built 45 CTOs for top-notch Startups!2. How much does it cost to make a Mobile app?3. How to Build a Dating App? An Ultimate Guide on Dating Mobile App 4. How to Build a Food Ordering App? An Ultimate Guide on Food Ordering Mobile App 5. How Mayank Pratap built EngineerBabu- A Profitable IT service company staying bootstrapped

I am Mayank, Cofounder of EngineerBabu. Feel free to reach out to me on Linkedin _| [email protected]_In addition EngineerBabu Help startups, enterprises, and owners to grow their business by building high class IT solutions. 95% of projects developed by them were completed on-time. 30+ funded by VCs, Win most innovative Premier Design Award, selected in Y-Combinator 2016 & 2017.