Working on remote teams has not only been the “new normal” for nearly all of 2020, it’s likely going to be something workers do for a long time. Even pre-pandemic studies predicted that by 2028, 73 percent of all teams would have remote workers.
With this in mind, if your company is in need of remote employees during this time, you might be scratching your head at where to begin.
So much of UX design work relies on in-person interaction due to the teamwork and research aspects of the job. It’s easier than ever to add a remote UX designer to your team. How can you find the best remote UX designer to kickoff your remote design team? Here is what you need to know:
Qualities to Look for in a Remote UX Designer
When you start your search for a remote UX designer, focus on a few key qualities. These qualities will help you feel confident that your new hire will be a successful member of your design team. Digital communication skills, motivation, creativity, and work-life integration are among the most important qualities to look for in a remote UX job candidate.
Digital Communication Skills
Communication skills are already important in an office environment, but they become critical when overseeing a remote UX design team. As an employer, you want to feel confident that your employees are communicating in a timely, professional, and efficient manner. When interacting with a potential employee, examine how promptly they respond to emails. How clear is their written communication? Are they able to get their points across succinctly in Zoom interviews? This will clue you in to how strong their digital communication skills really are.
It can be incredibly easy to get distracted when working from home with kids, pets, Netflix, and household to-dos all right outside your office door (if you have one). So motivation is even more important for remote user experience designers. This work requires a significant amount of focus, so employers should be on the lookout for employees who are self-motivated and know how to stay on task.
Being a remote user experience designer will come with its own set of unique challenges. As an employer, here are a few your remote staff might run into:
- How will your employees conduct user research remotely?
- How will your designers hand off designs to developers?
- How can designers showcase their ideas on video conference calls?
These challenges will require a designer who is flexible and uses creative problem solving to come up with new and different solutions for making these key aspects of the job happen without being in an office.
One of the downsides of remote work is that it can make workers feel like they are “always on.” In order to counteract this, remote user experience designers should be able to set up a consistent schedule for themselves and know when to turn off their laptops. After all, the time one spends outside of work (enjoying hobbies, friends, and family) can make them more productive in the virtual office.
For remote UX designers, time off can even inspire them and feed their creativity. In order to achieve work-life integration, a good remote worker must know how to manage their time well. This means they can set clear boundaries with their boss and with any family members or roommates they might live with.
Questions to Ask a Remote UX Designer Candidate
Of course, the interview process will largely focus on the candidate’s design experience, but it is also important to get a feel for the candidate’s ability to perform a remote role. When interviewing a remote candidate, hiring managers should be sure to include questions specifically pertaining to the employee’s remote abilities and previous experiences. Below are some key questions to consider in this vein.
What are your strategies for staying on task and managing distractions in a remote role?
We all deal with distractions when working from home. These can come in the form of kids playing or a neighbor loudly mowing the lawn. They can even include the constant pinging of communication channel notifications and the temptation to check social media. So this question can help you get a better understanding of how your potential employee will deal with at-home distractions and of how self-motivated they are as an individual.
Do you have any previous experience working remotely?
It is not a necessity for a job candidate to have previous remote work experience. But, if a candidate has had previous experience in this type of work, it can be useful to hear about those experiences and gain insight into how the candidate handled the unique challenges of a remote role. It can also help you gauge how remote work benefited an employee personally and if it inspired any sort of professional or personal growth.
How would you describe your digital communication skills?
In asking this question, you are creating space to hear directly from the UX Designer about their communication habits and what their strengths and weaknesses are in this area.
In your opinion, what are some common remote workplace challenges as it pertains to UX Designers? How do you plan to handle those challenges?
This question will provide an open dialogue with your design job candidate about what remote work will look like with your company. It will also provide a space to get on the same page about potential challenges and solutions as it pertains to their UX work in a remote context.
What are your favorite design and workplace tools?
Asking this question can help you get a better idea of a remote UX Designer’s thought process, preferred tools, and workflow. This will in turn give you an idea of what kind of employee they will be.
Conclusion: Create Great User-Centric Products
Hiring a remote user experience professional can help your team continue to produce great user-centric products, websites, and applications during the pandemic and beyond. Once you have dipped your toe into the waters of having a partially or fully remote team, you will be prepared to keep your company afloat no matter what global circumstances, challenges, or crises arise.
You will also be opening up the possibility of hiring UX talent from all over the world. This is reason enough to get started on hiring remote UX designers. Get recommendations on the best places to hire UX designers here.
by Alexa Goins, Kenzie Academy