There are two important skills a UX Designer must possess. Being engaged in design training and hiring services at Designerrs Lab, we have had quite some experience in evaluating candidates for getting UI/ UX Designer jobs at different companies.
The first important skill is how much User-Centered Design they execute and whether do they have a Design Thinking or Designer’s mindset about solving problems. To know more about the difference between UCD Process and Design Thinking Process, check this article.
This simply means evaluating how do they go about taking design decisions while designing products. They should have the answer for every “Why” a recruiter asks. Be it from why did they choose particular features in the application, why are some functionalities more prior in the interface to why did they go about choosing a specific color palette in their application.
Whether they have a strong user validation for each of these design decisions is what makes a credible UX designer. Whether they always keep the users at the center while making design decisions.
Good designers are able to achieve this by having a thorough understanding and hands-on practice of the User-Centered Design Process and Methods. Depending upon the kind of role you are hiring for (Junior UX Designer, Senior UX Designer, Design Manager), the questions you want to inquire about as per their skill set would change. Often giving, on spot assignment and overseeing how the designer tries to solve the problem, what is the process they use to come up with final solution is a good way to judge their practical skills rather than theoretical knowledge about terminologies. You don’t want just some pretty UI screens in a UX Designers Portfolio.
Another important skill of a UX Designer in a company is to sell and advocate the needs of users and the design to stakeholders (Business Team, Development Team, Marketing Team). A UX designer is at the epicenter of these departments where in he/she should would understand the constraints and then go about making something desirable for the users, viable for the business and technically feasible.
Here is when strong understanding of the design process and artefacts, soft skills, and advocating users needs comes into action. Its important for a UX Designer in a company to work with limited resources and time, generally which leads to innovation.
Hope, this article gave you some more insights about some most important skills of a UX Designer
Do share your thoughts to take this discussion further.