When you’re hiring a user-expertise pro, what should you be looking for? UX expert Whitney Hess wrote an excellent post on the subject, and I encourage you to read it now or save it for future reference. Here are the highlights.
Background. A great user experience designer isn’t going to whip out a collection of completed projects to impress you. A truly accomplished UX designer knows it’s their process that stands out — how they came to the final product is what you’re hiring them for, not the outcomes they came to.
Goal. The best user-experience designers strive to gather the richest possible information about their target audiences in order to make informed design decisions. They don’t makes decisions based on gut instincts, and they don’t make assumptions.
Knowledge. Some practitioners pride themselves on knowing the latest and greatest best practices from industry thought leaders. A best practice is a standard way of solving a common problem. It is a rule, a prescription for how to behave given certain circumstances. And it’s almost always wrong.
Attitude. Anyone who insists that things must be done a certain way no matter what isn’t someone you want.
Behavior. A great user-experience designer doesn’t think that they are solely responsible for the user experience of your product. They recognize their role is to facilitate the process and integrate themselves into the team, not to control things from the outside without other people’s input.
Motivation. The best user-experience designers practice UX because their passion is connecting with other people and understanding them in ways others don’t.