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Haiyuan Jiang

Beijing, China
Haiyuan is a UI designer with 4+ years of experience who has delivered over 50+ projects to satisfied clients from all over the world. Though her specialty is designing for the user interface, she also has an acumen for graphic, motion, and industrial designing. She enjoys the startup culture and relishes project delivery. Click to continue

Diego Aguilar

New York, United States
Born in Bolivia and made in New York. Diego is a creative with 10+ years experience in the digital brand space. His past team and client relationships include R/GA, Razorfish, Google, Nike, Spotify, Motorola, Mars, Ford, AT&T, and Verizon. His passion spans across UI, UX, branding, motion, 3D, prototyping, and music production. He also co-owns a two-man design consultancy called BadProtein. Click to continue

Valdis Barrett

Riga, Latvia
Valdis is a self-taught UI designer who is dedicated to helping businesses and individuals alike bring their ideas to life through beautiful and, more importantly, functional design. With expert understanding of concepts like branding, messaging, and user experience, he is an extremely capable designer. Having traveled the world and lived in over 6 countries, he has developed immaculate communication skills and has worked with teams of all sizes. Click to continue

Darko Stanimirović

Belgrade, Serbia
Darko is a web and mobile product and UX designer with technical background in web development. He works with startups, creating and optimizing products, understanding users, prioritizing features, and making sure design empowers customers while helping businesses grow. He has worked on big revamp projects as well as quick consulting projects. He's an efficient problem-solver, starting with research all the way through to interaction details. Click to continue

James Taylor

Sydney, Australia
James is an award-winning user experience designer who has worked in-house, at consultancies, and as a freelancer in user-centered design strategy, user experience, product, and industrial design. He's currently working in Fintech and has an excellent background in designing and delivering awesome experiences for Fortune 500 companies and startups around the world. Click to continue

Luka Vida

Zagreb, Croatia
Luka is a UX designer with 10 years of experience building digital solutions and more than 5 on mobile platforms. He has designed mobile and web solutions and led teams for clients ranging from small startups to large U.S. and EU companies with multi-million audiences. He is a Lean mentor and uses qualitative and quantitative research methods to validate assumptions and design products that achieve results and improve users' lives. Click to continue

Razvan Burciu

Cluj Napoca, Romania
As an entrepreneur and creative director, Razvan understands the need of a result-oriented approach, based on efficient communication. With over 5 years of experience in the creative field, he believes in delightful design and enhanced usability. With a strong emphasis on user-centered design, he aims to deliver highly usable products and amazing user interfaces. After working on several startups, he values team work and active involvement. Click to continue

Alex Gilev

Chaykovskiy, Russian Federation
Alex is a senior product designer with a passion for creating intuitive, simple, and beautiful designs that delight users. He goes beyond just making things that look and feel good. He endeavors toward work that drives action, generates results, and makes for change. Click to continue

Lee Hsieh

Bangkok, Thailand
Lee has a proven track record leading user-centered design throughout the product life cycle. He strives to understand user types, their needs, and friction points to inform the user experience development process. Equally comfortable in a lead role or working hands-on, Lee combines big-picture thinking with strong attention to detail and aesthetic sensibility. Click to continue
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A hiring guide
The Vital Guide To User Experience (UX) Design Interviewing

A user experience (UX) design expert is a multi-talented jack-of-all-trades who possess knowledge in the areas of psychology, design and technology. As with any area of design, there is a high level of subjectiveness. This guide will help remove some of the subjectivity by allowing you to discover what makes a great UX designer and help you make the right hiring decisions.

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“I can't say enough about how happy and confident I am in working with Enrique. He brings an enthusiasm to his profession that is very refreshing, constantly surprising us with his depth of knowledge and his capability to not only complete the task, but to surpass our expectations. He presents us with solutions that we would not have thought about ourselves, and sees the problem better than we can explain it.”
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President @ DecoratorsBest
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CEO & Creative Director @ Tuatara Corp
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Co-Founder & CTO @ maxMantra
“Our web app, an online card game, needed Q&A tooltips to help players learn the game. Giorgio from Toptal successfully implemented a TinyMCE editor with a custom toolbar in a modal window which allowed us to edit and display tooltips easily. Giorgio was a great communicator and both developed and deployed the application on time.”
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“I am more than pleased with the experience with Toptal. It may cost a little more, but because they pre-qualify and hand-pick the professional best suited for the job, it's well worth it. The professional I got to work with was on the phone (Skype) with me within a couple hours. I knew after discussing my project with him that he was the candidate I wanted to do the job, and I hired him immediately... and he wasted no time in getting to my project. He completed the job and went the extra mile to clean up older, messy code and even added some great design elements that enhanced our overall look. I would highly recommend Toptal to anyone needing to hire a professional. Great company. Great service. Thank you, Toptal.”
Paul Fenley
Director @ K Dunn & Associates
“Darko did a great job figuring out the user architecture for our concept, which led him to produce terrific wireframes. His knowledge of usability and design was a perfect match for the outside voice we needed to to help jumpstart our project. We would certainly recommend him and work with him again in the future.”
Rich Danker
Founder @ Prose Market
“Toptal has been extremely helpful to us in finding top remote talent. The ratio from interview to hire with Toptal candidates is the highest I've ever experienced in my professional career.”
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Co-founder and CTO @ KeepSafe
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Director of Professional Services @ Cleveland Cavaliers
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Toptal is a marketplace for top UX designers. Top companies and start-ups choose Toptal Web designers for their mission critical design projects.
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Haiyuan JiangChina
Haiyuan is a UI designer with 4+ years of experience who has delivered over 50+ projects to satisfied clients from all over the world. Though her specialty is designing for the user interface, she also has an acumen for graphic, motion, and industrial designing. She enjoys the startup culture and relishes project delivery.
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Diego AguilarUnited States
Born in Bolivia and made in New York. Diego is a creative with 10+ years experience in the digital brand space. His past team and client relationships include R/GA, Razorfish, Google, Nike, Spotify, Motorola, Mars, Ford, AT&T, and Verizon. His passion spans across UI, UX, branding, motion, 3D, prototyping, and music production. He also co-owns a two-man design consultancy called BadProtein.
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Valdis BarrettLatvia
Valdis is a self-taught UI designer who is dedicated to helping businesses and individuals alike bring their ideas to life through beautiful and, more importantly, functional design. With expert understanding of concepts like branding, messaging, and user experience, he is an extremely capable designer. Having traveled the world and lived in over 6 countries, he has developed immaculate communication skills and has worked with teams of all sizes.
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Darko StanimirovićSerbia
Darko is a web and mobile product and UX designer with technical background in web development. He works with startups, creating and optimizing products, understanding users, prioritizing features, and making sure design empowers customers while helping businesses grow. He has worked on big revamp projects as well as quick consulting projects. He's an efficient problem-solver, starting with research all the way through to interaction details.
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James TaylorAustralia
James is an award-winning user experience designer who has worked in-house, at consultancies, and as a freelancer in user-centered design strategy, user experience, product, and industrial design. He's currently working in Fintech and has an excellent background in designing and delivering awesome experiences for Fortune 500 companies and startups around the world.
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Luka VidaCroatia
Luka is a UX designer with 10 years of experience building digital solutions and more than 5 on mobile platforms. He has designed mobile and web solutions and led teams for clients ranging from small startups to large U.S. and EU companies with multi-million audiences. He is a Lean mentor and uses qualitative and quantitative research methods to validate assumptions and design products that achieve results and improve users' lives.
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Razvan BurciuRomania
As an entrepreneur and creative director, Razvan understands the need of a result-oriented approach, based on efficient communication. With over 5 years of experience in the creative field, he believes in delightful design and enhanced usability. With a strong emphasis on user-centered design, he aims to deliver highly usable products and amazing user interfaces. After working on several startups, he values team work and active involvement.
[click to continue…]
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Alex GilevRussian Federation
Alex is a senior product designer with a passion for creating intuitive, simple, and beautiful designs that delight users. He goes beyond just making things that look and feel good. He endeavors toward work that drives action, generates results, and makes for change.
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Lee HsiehThailand
Lee has a proven track record leading user-centered design throughout the product life cycle. He strives to understand user types, their needs, and friction points to inform the user experience development process. Equally comfortable in a lead role or working hands-on, Lee combines big-picture thinking with strong attention to detail and aesthetic sensibility.
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The Vital Guide To User Experience (UX) Design Interviewing

A user experience (UX) design expert is a multi-talented jack-of-all-trades who possess knowledge in the areas of psychology, design and technology. These designers have a thorough understanding of the user and business goals and filter those into the digital experience so that your product feels intuitive, simple and facilitates the user and business goals.

The questions presented in this guide help identify user experience designers with the experience to produce masterful digital products.

As with any area of design, there is a high level of subjectiveness. This guide will help remove some of the subjectivity by allowing you to discover what makes a great UX designer and help you make the right hiring decisions.

The Challenge

User experience design encompasses many facets of both the design and development process. A great user experience designer will be an empathetic communicator who is curious and uses both qualitative and quantitative data to validate design hypotheses. The work of a UX designer is difficult to measure due to the varied nature of the role and output of the work.

Finding a UX designer requires a highly-effective recruiting process in conjunction with considered questions, as outlined below, which help identify candidates who are true experts.

UX design is a growing discipline with an extremely broad definition

UX design is a growing discipline with an extremely broad definition.

UX design is a growing discipline. It was created by Dr. Donald Norman, a cognitive science researcher, who first defined the importance of user-centered design. User experience actually has a formal definition (ISO 9241-210), but it boils down to: How people respond to what they experience. Effective UX design allows users to find value in the system and their interactions within it.

This extremely broad definition translates directly into the various skills that an expert UX designer will deliver:

Strategy and Content

  • Competitor Analysis
  • Customer Analysis
  • Product Structure/Strategy
  • Content Development

Wireframing and Prototyping

  • Wireframing
  • Prototyping
  • Testing/Iteration
  • Development Planning

Execution and Analytics

  • Coordination with UI Designer(s)
  • Coordination with Developer(s)
  • Tracking Goals and Integration
  • Analysis and Iteration

Such varied output can make any designer’s head spin, not to mention that of a hiring manager. So where do we start when interviewing UX Designers?

Strategy and Content

Before designing the digital experience, a UX designer’s job is to work on the strategy and content of the experience, working together with relevant experts. Strategy involves assessing the market and competitors, ranging to market positioning to full sitemap analysis and product feature content audits.

In addition to getting to know competitors, UX designers discover the product demographic and create detailed user personas. From here, a good UX designer will develop content and a strategy that differentiates the product and speaks directly to the target demographic. The following questions will support you in finding an excellent UX designer, from a strategy and content perspective.

Q: What is the definition of User-Experience?

A good definition, and an expected answer, should be somewhere in the lines of Nadeem Khan:

“It is a process that solves a problem of design, by taking into account the user’s goals and needs.”

Good responses may vary depending on the diversity or the key focus of the UX candidate. From a research perspective, a good UX designer can broaden their answer to include covering, “using data and research to guide product decisions, where user and business goals are taken into account.” A good candidate will have, above all else, the ability to use empathy and science to back up product design decisions.

Q: How would you best describe user-centred design to a client who is unfamiliar with the process?

Excellent answers will focus on placing the user in focus and making design decisions based on the evidence provided by users during research, data collection and the iterative approach to designing a service, product or tool. Placing the user in the centre of the design process is essential.

Q: What do you do on a personal and professional level to advocate for good usability?

A great UX design candidate will be able to outline several different examples of how they advocate for good usability. At the core, testing and iterating ideas, prototypes, concepts and products, and using user- generated data to inform design decisions will guide good usability.

The candidate may also talk about technical issues, such as cross-platform accessibility, or designing for access in environments where constraints from the user or technology limit a user experience. For example, making sure that blind people or people with restricted eyesight can read and access a website to gain information.

Wireframing and Prototyping

Once a UX designer has gathered data and research on the key user profiles, the next job is to start using that data to begin mocking up wireframes and later prototype products to further support (or reject) the initial data gathering. This phase should be rapidly iterated upon and the wireframes will later act as blueprints for a user interface or visual designer to step in and continue with the product design. The following questions will support you in finding an excellent UX designer, from a wireframing and prototyping perspective.

Q: Do you specialise in wireframing and functionality design, or other areas of design?

There are many different design profiles. From UX to UI, Visual, Interactive and Print, plus a surplus of emerging design fields, such as game design and more. With all these different profiles, a good UX designer will identify with being a UX designer. He or she will validate this by using examples that illustrate user-generated research adapted for designing new interaction patterns, interfaces and systems that solve design problems.

Q: What kind of data would you use to validate your design?

This question seeks to understand whether a UX designer uses valuable data points to either support or reject design decisions. Good answers will vary depending on the specific design to be validated, but this is the point and what the client should be looking for.

The ability to provide an answer that is relevant to a particular problem will set apart a designer who knows what s/he is talking about. Other thing to look for are metrics on specific features and patterns in design, data gathered from user interviews, surveys and in-product testing.

Q: Do you have a prototyping tool and wireframing tool preferences?

The software that a user-experience designer uses varies greatly due to the large number of products available. A UX designer may start with pen and paper prototypes, then use tools like Axure, Balsamiq, Justinmind Prototyper, Solidify App, Filesquare, Mockingbird, iPlotz, InVision, Framer.js, XCode, Quartz Composer or others to both wireframe and prototype their design.

Execution and Analytics

A good UX designer will be able to keep track and iterate upon the user experience as the product evolves. Part of this is good communication with other designers and teammates, including UI designers, visual designers and interaction designers. Setting goals and iterating towards them is part of the expertise of a UX designer.

Q: Give me an example of a project where the requirements changed halfway through, and how did you approach this?

Listen for answers where the designer talks about being agile to iterate on various requirements, as well as advise the client to backup any changes to requirements with data generated from users. This is somewhat subjective, as you will have to check whether or not the candidate’s approach to evolving requirements will be a good fit for your project and organisation.

Q: How do you provide clear instructions for other designers and developers to work from?

A good UX designer will be an excellent communicator, both with users and other teammates, using empathy to guide them through communication patterns. A possible answer is to provide a clear brief plus instructions in the form of user personas, sitemaps, information architecture, wireframes and prototypes, as well as effectively communicating verbally or through writing to the relevant team members.

Q: Where does your role as a user-experience designer finish?

A user-experience designer’s work is never finished and there is always more testing and iterations to make.

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