UI developers are integral to the success of any software application or website as their work affects the user directly. Hiring one is, therefore, a critical process you need to get right. Here are six things to look for when you want to find the right developers.
Most people take the user interface of UI of their devices for granted today because of UI developers. They routinely make the experience of interacting with software or websites so smooth and painless that users come to expect.
The journey has not been an easy one, however. It took decades of working with clunky and downright wonky UIs to make the need for technical design know-how clear. UI and UX developers today make sure that users continue to take the user interface for granted.
However, StackOverflow identifies front-end developers (27.42% of respondents for its 2021 developer survey) and designers (6.94%), but not UX or UI developers. Given their importance to the overall success of software or websites, UI developers should get better press. That will certainly help when the time comes to hire one that will do a great job.
What is a UI?
A UI is what makes it possible for a user to use any device. The TV remote, for example, is the UI for changing channels or controlling the volume of the television. With cars, the UIs are the steering wheel, gear stick, and foot pedals.
For desktop and laptop computers, the UIs are the keyboard, mouse, and screen. Users of mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets only need the screen.
As you can see, UIs can be mechanical or electronic. Pushing a button or swiping a screen (hopefully) results in some operation of the device. However, the UI’s ease of use and intuitiveness will depend on its visual and mechanical design.
Anyone can put together a UI, and in some development projects, anyone does. However, the software is only as good as its UI in most cases. Without a good UI, users have a hard time interacting with the software. As a result, even an excellent website or software gets terrible marks from 88% of users.
Unfortunately, hiring UI designers is not always on the top of the list of project managers. Some believe that user experience or UX developers can do the job of UI developers as well. Others leave it for last, only to discover how hard it is to find one.
While UI developers work closely with UX developers, these are two distinct roles. An excellent article discusses the UX vs UI development debate. It is a good read if you are looking to hire either one.
What is the role of UI developers?
Now that you know the difference between UX and UI developers, you should find out what they do. Understanding their role in a development project can help you in hiring a good one. Additionally, it can give you tips for building a user interface.
UI development focuses mainly on creating the visual design of software, or websites. The goal is to make it attractive and easy to use for users.
The visual aspect of the UI is a critical part of the job. However, the intuitiveness of UI is equally, if not more, important, In other words, the user should know how the UI works even without training.
The UI should be familiar, clear, and consistent from the user’s perspective. Have users seen similar apps with the same layout? Are the functions of the available options obvious? Does the look and feel of the UI make sense overall? The answers to these questions are strictly the purview of UI developers.
A good UI also needs to provide a fallback. When users make a mistake, there should be some way to fix it with no harm and no foul. For example, a user accidentally taps on “Buy Now.” A good UI will have a pop-up box that says, “Confirm that you want to buy this product now.” The user can then choose “Cancel” to dismiss the earlier action.
Where do UX and UI developers overlap?
The work of UX and UI developers overlaps in many aspects. The first of these is responsiveness. The job of the UX developer is to make sure the elements of a software, e.g., pages, load quickly.
The UI developer decides where to put these elements and lets the user know that an action is executed correctly. For example, the user knows a choice made is successful because of the color changes or a tick mark. Maybe the action comes with a confirmatory sound or a message.
Efficiency is also another aspect where UX and UI intersect. UX design is about making the user experience a good one, and that includes saving time. UX developers create the framework that UI developers use to reduce navigation to as few steps as possible.
One example of efficiency is the act of ordering food from a delivery app. A UX developer writes code to find earlier purchases of a particular user. The goal is to present the user with choices based on past transactions. The UI developer then creates the pages to display those purchases to the user in case they want to order them again. A feature like that saves users time because they don’t have to look for those items again.
things to Consider When Hiring UI Developers
The next thing you need to know is what to look for when hiring UI developers. In other words, what should you consider when assessing applications for the job?
A UI developer does not need a college degree to do the job. However, a degree in graphic design can put a candidate over the top, Moreover, the technical skills needed are extensive. A good UI developer will have:
- Deep understanding of interaction design principles, color theory, and branding typography
- Experience in using wireframing and visual design tools such as Illustrator and Photoshop
- Knowledge of the software development process
Someone who ticks all the above boxes has the potential to be a great UI designer. However, quite a bit more than a good background is necessary for a candidate to get there.
UI development is essentially a creative role. As with most creative projects, the proof of the pudding is in the eating. The ideal UI developer has a portfolio that shows the ability to create suitable user interfaces.
When trying to find UI developers, ask candidates for samples of their work. Anything that shows the coding and design chops of the candidate will do, published or not. It makes the job of hiring one a lot simpler.
UI developers must collaborate with many people to determine the look and feel of an app, software, or website. Chief among these is the client, who might not be tech-savvy. Therefore, a UI developer must be able to understand and communicate with non-technical people.
They must also have empathy. They should be able to put themselves in the user’s shoes. That ability requires a level of communication beyond words.
Desire to learn
UI development technologies march as smartly along as any that has to do with software development. You want the UI developer on your team to keep up with the newest trends and technologies in UI design. After all, you don’t want a UI that looks and works like one created in the 1980s.
Attention to detail
Anyone who says the devil is in the details might as well have been talking about UI development. Many elements go into creating a functional and attractive UI. Even the smallest error can become a big problem. UI design requires an organized and detail-oriented mindset.
You want to get the UI right in the first try to save time and resources in going back to fix issues. To do that, you want to find UI developers that can spot a misplaced code a mile away. You can decide if a candidate is organized and has keen attention to detail through coding tests.
All developers solve problems, so critical thinking is essential. UI developers are no different and might even need to be more abstract in their thinking. The reason is UIs should be quickly identifiable with a brand. That is not easy to do given the millions of apps out there.
UI developers need to think outside the box to develop a unique look and feel for every project. If the software or website looks like hundreds of others, then the UI developer has not done a good job. A cookie-cutter solution is no solution when it comes to UI.
A UI developer can use critical thinking to process stakeholder information. These include briefs, recommendations, user behavior analysis, and market research. Feedback from other developers and personal experiences can also help. If you find UI developers that can use data to develop innovative UI designs, you want them on your team.
Hiring UI developers is a cinch with Full Scale
In-house IT recruitment is notoriously problematic because of the shortage of qualified candidates, costs, and risks. On top of everything else associated with software development, most people find the whole process stressful.
Full Scale can relieve you of unnecessary anxiety. We can build IT teams quickly and affordably based on your needs and requirements. If you want an app, software, or website that checks all the boxes on design and functionality, we can take on the responsibility for you.
We are here to serve. Find UI developers easily with Full Scale!