Pro Tips to Help You Choose the Right Candidate for Product Designer Position

Source: from UX Collective 

As a startup owner, you might at first want to do everything on your own for financial and other reasons. But as your business starts growing and expanding, you need to confess to the inability to handle all tasks independently. Product designers possess unique skills for determining the project’s feasibility, clarifying improvement avenues, and bringing your ideas to life. Besides, an expert outsider’s look at your digital product or business idea may become a great time and money saver. 

So, if you’re planning to hire a product designer but aren’t sure about what to demand from that specialist, read Eleken’s article about this position. We also disclose major issues and steps for finding an ideal candidate for your business here. 

Who Is a Product Designer? 

Let’s start with the basics – clarifying what the product designer actually is and what roles they perform in an organization. As the position’s title implies, product designers are responsible for building successful products from the beginning till the end. Their responsibility is to monitor every product design stage and align it with broader business objectives and strategies, thus achieving an optimal outcome. 

In the process of product design, these specialists address the following issues: 

  • Identification of end users’ pain points and search for solutions. 
  • Problem analysis. 
  • Formulation of technical requirements for the new product. 
  • Prototype design. 
  • User testing of prototypes and choice of the most suitable variants. 

Besides these purely technical tasks, product designers need to be good communicators and leaders. They typically organize work in the project development teams and keep track of all tasks’ completion. A product designer also safeguards the company’s business interests and the product’s alignment with all stakeholders’ needs and expectations. 

Many Faces of Product Design 

At times, you might think that you need a product designer, while in fact, you need another specialist to the team. Product designers typically perform many roles and oversee the development project from start to finish. But this profession is an umbrella term for many other design aspects that one person will hardly cover if your company is significant. 

Depending on the situation, the product designer can be: 

  • A product manager – a person planning the schedule of project design in terms of time, human resources, and budgeting. 
  • A UX designer – a specialist focusing on the user experience and factoring it into the technicalities of the design process. 
  • User research specialist – an analyst working with data and incorporating analytical insights into business decisions. 
  • Visual designer – a UI expert capturing the modern trends and giving your product the desired aesthetic.

Source: from Eleken 

Required Skills and Competencies 

Given the varied skills required from a product designer, you may be looking for the following competencies in your candidates: 

  1. Entrepreneurial talent. A skilled product designer should conduct market analysis and identify market needs and opportunities for new product ideas. 
  2. Product management knowledge. As the role’s description suggests, product managers should know products in and out, able to guide the team to a successful result. 
  3. Visual design essentials. A skilled product designer should have UI/UX expertise to align the design efforts of their team with the broader business vision. 
  4. Research skills. Product designers work with lots of data and need to make sense of it, applying the analytical results to business decision-making. 
  5. Teamwork and collaboration. A successful product manager should organize meaningful, constructive interactions in the team. They should also be team leaders. 

How to Write a Correct Job Description? 

While the features we’ve just discussed are pretty generic, you need to be clear about a product designer’s duties and expected responsibilities in your team. Please include them in the job description to attract relevant candidates. A sample list of job duties for a regular product designer would look like this: 

  • Qualitative and quantitative research 
  • Business idea testing 
  • User flow and wireframe design 
  • Mobile and web interface creation 
  • In-depth mastery of engineering software (e.g., Adobe XD, Sketch, MIRO, Figma, etc.) 
  • Design thinking 
  • Self-management and leadership qualities 
  • Strategic planning and problem-solving activities 
  • Prototype/MVP design and field testing 
  • Design improvement based on the collected feedback 

Besides the expected duties, you need to set requirements for their qualification. This list will weed out people lacking the desired professional skills, leaving you with a set of workable options: 

  1. Demands for the professional portfolio of candidates. 
  2. Years of practical design experience. 
  3. Experience with product strategy design. 
  4. Knowledge of modern design tools and software. 
  5. Soft/hard skills. 

With these ideas in mind, you can craft a great vacancy announcement and contact talented product designers for effective collaboration. 

Interview Questions to Ask Your Candidates 

Since product design is a general area in which many experts specialize, you should exercise discretion when hiring an expert. Make a list of questions to test the candidate’s proficiency and see whether they are the right fit for your organization. Some examples of interviews questions are:

  1. What research methods do you use to test business ideas? 
  2. What is your role in the product design lifecycle? 
  3. What is the distinction between UI and UX? 
  4. How do you test product design options? 
  5. What are your criteria for a digital product’s usability?
  6. What KPIs do you employ in product design evaluation? 
  7. What design project are you especially proud of? Why do you consider it special? 
  8. Do you know about human-centered design? How do you apply its principles? 
  9. What is your workflow on a new project? ‘
  10. What challenges did you come across in previous projects? How did you address them? 

Key Takeaways 

A product designer is an elusive and all-encompassing term that means many things. Once you see that your project lacks professional oversight, you probably need this expert in the team. Product designers have a systemic approach to design and can align your product idea with a broader business strategy. They also have a feel for UI/UX and the esthetics of demanded digital products. Thus, hiring a capable product manager is always a win-win situation raising your chances of market success.