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How to Identify a Good App Designer Who Understands UX and Business

Laura MacPherson January 30, 2020

You’ve begun the search for an experienced, skilled app designer. But you’ve realized that it’s not going to be easy to choose one. There are many claiming to be your ticket to success. Of course, proficiency in app design is a must. And proficiency is fairly easy to discern. But that’s only the starting point. Good designers also need to understand the business aspects of building apps that solve pain points and are engaging to use. Here’s what to look for to identify a good app designer.

1. A Portfolio that Demonstrates an Understanding of UX Design and Behavioral Psychology

Look at the designer’s portfolio to get a feel for their work and their understanding of UX design. Are their apps easy to use? Are the user interfaces well-designed? Traditional UX design focuses on the user experience by making sure an app is usable and accessible.

But UX design alone is not enough. A designer’s goal is to make apps that not only look appealing and are easy-to-use, but also compel users to keep coming back for more. This is where behavioral design steps in to supplement UX design. Behavioral psychology leverages scientific findings and principles of human behavior that apply to all people. Incorporating behavioral design helps to drive continued usage as people build habits around using the app.

2. An Understanding of the Partnership Between Technology and Business

A skilled designer understands how to marry technology with your business strategy. They know how to build an engaging app that meets people’s needs in the best way possible.

Technology design is only one important skill set. Your designer should also be able to advise you on which technologies make the best business sense to incorporate based on your goals. They should assist in bringing to light things you may not have considered. Are there additional personas who will use the app? Are there monetization opportunities you hadn’t considered? What about integration or partnership opportunities? Designers with business skills will help you make a better apps.

3. Knowledge of Effective Monetization Strategies

An app won’t be an effective revenue earner without a solid monetization strategy. Creating effective monetization strategies requires an understanding of those strategies and the technology available to implement them. You may have ideas for app monetization already. But it’s valuable to get input from a designer who has experience in this area as well. Both the app design and technology should support monetization strategies.

4. A Clear Development Roadmap

When you’re looking for app designers, one important thing to ask about is their overall development process. This goes beyond the mechanics of simply building the app. A roadmap is a detailed plan for everything that goes into development. It includes each step, including securing stakeholder input and approvals, persona development, and design.

Responsibility for these tasks will be shared, and a good designer will ensure there’s a step-by-step plan to ensure completion. A roadmap provides a handy document or spreadsheet to refer back to as the project moves forward. And it keeps everyone involved focused and on schedule. A development roadmap ensures no one forgets anything and prevents confusion as the project progresses. In short, a roadmap gives you peace of mind.

Finding the right designer who understands how to build an app that’s easy to use, engaging, and solves the intended users’ pain points is challenging. Finding one with experience in these areas and who also understands the business aspects of building and marketing an app is worth infinitely more.

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