I have been getting a lot of questions lately about what makes a good user experience designer. Unfortunately, the phrase “user experience” is gaining momentum but not a lot of clarity. We used to be called information architects, then usability specialists, and now user experience designers and customer experience designers.

While talking with a tech recruiter today I was reminded of a previous post. So here is a variation on the original. However, this speaks to the hiring criteria.

Check out Whitney Hess’ blog. I believe Whitney makes a good point that one way to understand what a good UXer is, means to have a clearer picture of what a good UXer is not. Especially, if you are hiring (or considering hiring) a UX designer, make sure you know exactly what you’re looking for. There is a big difference between a Web Designer and a UX Designer. There is a big difference between a Frontend Developer and UX Designer. For added information, see Whitney’s detailed post on these points below:

You’re not hiring a UXer if they…

  1. Don’t talk to users
  2. Can’t identify your target audience
  3. Don’t define the problem before trying to solve it
  4. Can’t articulate your users’ goals
  5. Don’t understand the importance of analytics
  6. Design in a vacuum
  7. Make design decisions based on personal preferences
  8. Don’t consider the business objectives
  9. Don’t use UX methodologies
  10. Don’t design for conditions and edge cases
  11. Can’t understand and talk to business stakeholders, creatives, and front-end/back-end developers
  12. Only think about the interface
  13. Never consider the ROI

Make sure the job description for your position includes these items or you’re looking for the wrong person. I hope this helps remove some of the fuzzy thinking and mystique behind hiring a good UXer. Enjoy!