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A professional might have years worth of experience but lacks the knowledge of what is considered to be modern design. On the other hand, an emerging design star might not have a lot of projects under their belt, but knows exactly how to structure and create the visuals for an app you and your consumers will love.

So, whether the designer is a newcomer or a senior, you have to know exactly how to distinguish a good designer from a great one and what are the qualities they should possess.

In this article, we go over 6 important skills your UI/UX designer should have.

1. Knowledge of using Information Architecture

As Information Architecture Institute would put it:

“Information architecture is the practice of deciding how to arrange the parts of something to be understandable”.

IA is not just present in design, but everywhere where information needs to be structured and organised to promote easy and intuitive use of the product or object.

Implementing Information Architecture is a crucial part of the design process because it will act as a reference tool not just for the designers, but also clients, developers, project managers, copywriters and everyone else involved in the development.

Your perfect candidate has to understand how to organise the outlay of your mobile application, and they do it by understanding 2 main things:

1. User profiles through communication with clients
2. Project briefs by communication with product owners and project managers.

After acquiring all the necessary information from the client, product owner and project manager, the designer can start to structure components that correlate to make a great big picture.

K7 Tech Important skills your UI/UX designer should have Knowledge of using Information
2. Usability evaluation

Usability evaluation is an important part of the design process and should definitely be one of the valuable qualities of your chosen designer or design team.

But what is it exactly?

When the design overlay is finished, that system should be assessed. It should be tested and evaluated on how easy and pleasant it is to use.

1. Is the design of the mobile application intuitive to use? Ideally, the use should be able to intuitively guess where a certain button should be.
2. Does the design allow easy learning? The user should be able to quickly learn how to move around the app.
3. Is the design outlay of the app memorable? After coming back to use the mobile application, we should remember which function can be found where.
4. How often do users make errors while using the mobile app and how severe is the problem? You should always keep notes on all the errors that occur when using the app, and strive to improve it.

This might seem confusing or a bit abstract, but Human Computer Interaction and Interaction Design researches have compiled a lengthy list of methods which you can use to evaluate the usability of your mobile application.

3. Visual Design

When done right, visual design should draw attention to a specific functionality of the mobile application. The best and easiest way to do it is through the correct use of font, size, color, and other visual tools.

These skills are necessary because they allow the designer to visually eliminate all repetition and clutter, thus creating design that is easy-to-use and pleasing to the eye.

For example, if your mobile application has a good visual hierarchy, the user will be able to seamlessly browse through the app by following the visual cues.

K7 Tech Important skills your UI/UX designer should have Usability evaluation
4. UX Leadership

Whether you are looking for a solo UI/UX designer or a team of many, leadership is an important skill to have. If your designer knows how to take on this responsibility on themself, you can rest assured you are in good hands.

So, what are the obligations of a leader?

1. Conduct research or help the team members conduct one.
2. Provide guidance to all team members.
3. Motivate the team.
4. Regularly talk to the project manager and the client to assure everyone is happy with the progress.

Not everyone finds it easy to be a leader. However, that is a skill which can be learned and acquired over time. If a solo designer doesn`t have this quality, which they usually do, you should probably search for a team instead.

What are the qualities of a good leader?

1. They remain calm even when they are faced with a roadblock.
2. They speak up when the client asks for something that hasn't been agreed upon.
3. They take care of as many tasks and issues without asking others for something they can do themselves.
4. They are knowledgeable in their field and can provide the client with as precise answers as they can.
5. They know how to take criticism. They don't take it personally and improve in the areas where needed for a greater result.

K7 Tech Important skills your UI/UX designer should have Technical writing
5. Technical writing

This one might come as a surprise to you, but a great designer should also know how to communicate their solutions to the clients` requests.

Especially if you want to work with a solo designer, reading their propositions and explaining how they plan to approach the task at hand might be exactly why you decide to pick them and not someone else.

If the designer precisely communicates their suggestions to solving a complex problem, you will know they understand the project and you can trust them.

6. Asking the right questions

Creating a brand look for a client is an extremely complex process. Your designer has to get to know you and your brand goal, which is why they should do a thorough background research and ask the right questions.

The best way to fully understand the client's vision is through a Brand Guide.

What is a Brand Guide?

A Brand Guide is a document consisting of questions, including, multiple-choice questions for clients, that should provide the designer with as many details as possible for creating the product the client will love.

Among other information, the designer can learn about the desired:

• Visual identity
• Logo
• Typography
• Color selection
• "The Voice" of the brand

Whoever works on building a business can use the brand guide as a reference tool, which will ensure its consistency throughout development and after.

For example, imaging having a blank paper and having to draw on it everything you want your brand to represent. However, you don't know how to draw. That is why you need to hire a quality User Interface designer and/or a User Experience designer, to help you see your product.

What other skills do you think are necessary for a great mobile application UI/UX designer? And what would be a deal-breaker to you?

Let us know!

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