A great design is not a ‘good to have’ but a ‘must have’ aspect of your app, be it a mobile app or web app.
I am going to outline five important things you need to consider before you hire yourself an app designer and not end up regretting your choice.
1. IDEA CLARITY
Clear minds bare clear sight. How does that apply to you? If you are not clear on your own idea, how do you expect the other person to understand? You need to be crystal clear on what you want, what your idea for the app is and what you want to communicate through the app design.
Your clarity will dictate what the app designer sees in the task at hand and help him better decide what and how to go about it best.
Deciding on the budget can get messy sometimes for various reasons. You might feel shy or procrastinate on it and be in trouble at the end. The best thing to do is rip it off like a band-aid. Decide the budget first and then look for app designers. Everyone will have different rates and charges. Never think negotiation is not an option, if something feels closely out of range, feel free to negotiate your price. You will be surprised the wonders good mannered negotiations bring!
Now to the point how you actually choose a designer. Don’t lose your marbles after just viewing an astonishing portfolio. No doubt, a portfolio is a designer’s advocate but not every amazing designer will be the right app designer for you.
For a mobile and web app design, the UI/UX are extremely important. Look for symbols indicating that the designer incorporates UI/UX conventions, and not just designs out of whim.
Check if the designer emphasises on design consistency across various screen sizes and resolution.
If you are designing an app for mobile, visualise the proposed designs on a mobile and imagine interacting with your hands. Check to see the thumb placement and ease of interaction.
4. PROPER COMMUNICATION
Establishing an appropriate communication with your chosen app designer is one of the most vital aspects. If you want what you came for, you need to stay in touch with your designer. Provide proper feedback on deliverables and be open to changes. Your full-time availability fosters a positive relationship with the hired designer, showing your seriousness and commitment. In this give some and get some scenario, this will prove extremely beneficial.
Apart from this, you will do better if the authority interacts with the designer. Elaborating, when you have a different person for communicating your terms and a different person for reviewing designs, there is bound to be some miss communication. If the deciding authority interacts directly with the designer, they will better communicate the terms and understand each other’s work. Remember, direct communication is always the better option, ALWAYS!
So before you hire an app designer, decide who will communicate with the designer and establish the right noise free communication channel.
5. PROVIDE CLEAR FEEDBACK
Providing the right and effective feedback is probably the most misunderstood practice of all design processes. Although it comes after you hire a designer, but you need to know how to give feedback in the first place. Let me show you some of the “NOT TO DO” ways of giving feedback.
- No, I don’t like this design, make it more good
Tell me; is your definition of ‘good’ the same as mine? I wouldn’t think so. This is the best example of poor feedback. Clearly tell the designer what you don’t like and what is the kind of change you are expecting. More colour? Less clutter? No blues? Be specific in your direction.
- Make the icon like this
Tell the designer what you want, not how you want. It’s the designer’s job, not yours. Some people consider it intrusive and rude.
Whichever designer you hired, they are good at their job. They base their work on your feedback not use your feedback as the solution. So feel free to give feedback but don’t dictate.
- I want it like this *some other product*
Replicas are never a good idea when it comes to design. If you want something similar to a product, use it as a template or a sample only, not just stick to the exact design or pattern. Do not gauge a designer’s work in similarity with some other product design. A designer would ask for sample designs only to better understand what your requirement is. You need to have your own principals and guidelines to which you judge your app design and those need to base on your targeted audience’s demand.
Picking out an app designer is critical because you communicate with your user through your app design. Don’t cheap out and hire the best designers your pocket and resources allow. Designing is a scientific process and not just a willy-nilly paint process, so treat it as you would any other mobile app development process.
Now that you know what is required of you before you hire an app designer be sure to check out these five Design Companies Fueled, Citrusbits, DogtownMedia, Dom&Tom and Arctouch.