How to Find & Hire a Designer for Your Startup

8 min
Jan 22, 2023

It wasn’t that long ago that designers were merely responsible for “decorating the interface” at the end of the product development process.

Over time, everything has changed. Design and software development are closely intertwined today, and this is true for any digital product, including SaaS. Creating a SaaS mobile or web application is a complex process that needs time, concentration, and professionalism. Decorating the interface isn’t enough in this case. There is a need to consider the logic of multi-level overlapping user scenarios and not to miss any element. Thus, hiring a UI/UX designer is essential to creating a polished and straightforward SaaS product.

But how do you evaluate your candidates so you can be sure you will get a designer that can meet your project needs? The goal of this article is to explain some of the common mistakes employers make when evaluating UI/UX designers, as well as to explain how to recognize a competent designer for your SaaS startup.

Why you should hire a designer for your startup

First of all, let’s break down the main difference between UI and UX to clear things up. UI refers to the visual and interactive elements of a product, such as buttons, menus, and layout. UX encompasses all aspects of a person’s interaction with a product, including the interface, but also including the overall feel and function of the product.

Some non-technical audiences still believe that designing a user interface is what makes a website. But that’s not true. The work of UI/UX designers goes far beyond Photoshop in terms of what they do and the tools they use.

UX/UI designers create wireframes, prototypes, and high-fidelity mockups, as well as conduct user research and testing. Additionally, they examine the logic behind client-service interactions and answer questions such as:

  • What steps should users take to achieve their goals?
  • How are screen elements connected?
  • How do diverse screen elements behave consistently?

Similarly, designers work closely with the development team to ensure that the product meets design specifications and is responsive to different devices and screen sizes. Furthermore, they continue to improve their product by analyzing customer feedback after launch.

Therefore, not only do UI/UX designers work on the appearance of the product, but they also identify and resolve usability issues early in the development process, saving a company time and resources in the long run. This leads to higher customer satisfaction and retention, as well as better conversion rates and overall business success.

So the success of your SaaS product completely depends on the decisions you make when choosing the right specialist. But where to start? Let’s start with types of design specializations.

Types of design specializations

With the development of the Internet, many branches of design have emerged. Let’s analyze the main areas of design in more detail.

Graphic designers

Graphic designers create visual concepts using computer software or by hand to convey ideas that inspire, inform, or captivate consumers.

Web designers

Website designers focus on the visual design of a website, including layout, color scheme, and overall aesthetic. They may also have some knowledge of HTML and CSS to implement their designs.

UI designers

Unlike web designers, UI designers focus on product user interfaces, ensuring that customers and products interact intuitively. However, the two roles often overlap.

UX designers

UX designers work with the product’s user experience and are continuously improving the design as a result of feedback from the users. The ultimate goal of UX designers is to create products that are easy to use and meet the needs of the business and its customers.

Product designers

Product designers are responsible for creating the overall appearance of a product as well as its functional features. Typically, they focus on developing conceptual designs. Additionally, they may develop style guides and design standards within the project.

Now that we know the basics, let’s move on to the main part of the article and answer its main question: How to find and hire designers for SaaS startups?

How to find a designer for your product

There are several criteria to consider when choosing a designer. First, you need to decide where you’re going to look for your potential candidate.

1. Where to find designers for startups?

Finding designers can be a real pain when starting a new project. Although many UX/UI designers believe they are real professionals, not everyone is able to do all the tasks your project may require.

UI/UX firms

This is one of the best places to look for designers. An agency specializing in UI/UX design is what you need if you are willing to invest in the success of your product, that is, if you are willing to pay a true professional for a top-quality result.

The community

How can you use social media to find UI/UX experts? Simple! You just have to know where to look. UX /UI designers often use sites like Dribbble, Behance, and Awwwards.


If you have limited resources, try hiring a designer that works at freelance platforms. Visit websites for freelancers such as Upwork or Fiverr.

2. Choosing a UX designer: How do you do it right?

Finding designers, especially great ones, is harder than it first seems. Which designer is perfect for your business depends mostly on their designs. So what qualities should you look for in a designer?

A designer should be able to communicate their work and the principles that underlie it. Whether you’re communicating physically or online, an experienced UX designer will know how to convey information most effectively.

When you have the opportunity to look at an applicant’s sketches, pay attention to how your candidate structure the layers and folders and how they name the elements. The text style and color scheme should harmonize with each other.

3. How do you determine which designer is the best?

If you have decided to look for your first designer, you should consider several factors when hiring. First of all, check out the top tips to consider:

  • Find out why you need a UI/UX designer before you start the recruitment process.
  • Never sign a contract with a designer or design studio until you have spoken to a potential employee yourself.
  • Pay attention to the fact that experienced UI/UX designers will listen to your ideas, but will also be able to draw their conclusions and explain them in detail.
  • Ask your candidates to create a user flow, perform a UX audit, or do some other task that will help you make sure the person you’re going to work with understands the logic of your product.
  • Make sure that communication with your prospective employee is easy and comfortable for both.

Why you should choose the design team Uitop

Uitop is a UX/UI agency that provides design services for SaaS startup solutions. Having created SaaS design concepts for years, we have developed a systematic approach to the projects we work with. Our UI/UX experts are able to translate the client’s vision into a simple and understandable design, using best practices and guidelines.

Our extensive knowledge of UI/UX design in SaaS development allows us to provide top-notch services, as follows:

  • SaaS design services

Turnkey web & mobile design services for SaaS

  • Startup design services

Website & app design services for startups

  • Crypto design services

UI/UX design services for blockchain projects

Send us a message to get qualified feedback on your idea.


Design is an important aspect of SaaS product development and should be carefully considered throughout the development process. Selecting reliable software designers is crucial in this case. They will ensure that the interaction process between your product and the user is flawless and that the solution can perform its main task.

by Ivan Klyzhenko
UX Startup Advisor, Uitop


What should a UI/UX designer be able to do?

There are several skills that an experienced designer should possess:

  • Knowledge of the fundamentals of interface development
  • Ability to work with basic web programs and tools
  • Basic knowledge of marketing
  • Analytical skills
  • Knowledge of the visual language of design
  • Striving for self-improvement

What are the best freelance platforms to find designers for startups?

Only a designer with years of experience can properly help you create a catchy design for your SaaS startup. Here are some of the platforms you can use to find a designer:

  • Toptal
  • 99designs
  • Twine
  • Dribbble
  • Behance
  • Upwork

What’s the difference between UX design and UI design?

The user interface (UI) refers to the screens, buttons, and other visual and interactive elements users interact with. It’s the look of the product.

The user experience (UX) refers to the way users interact with a product. Some examples of UX design are Netflix’s autoplay feature, Mailchimp’s password guide, or any application’s onboarding. Simply put, UX guides users from start to finish to meet their needs. That’s the feel of the product.

UI and UX are closely linked and mutually dependent, as together they determine the look and feel of the product.

What do designers use to create amazing designs?

Designers can create hand-drawn and computer-aided designs using the following tools:

  • Figma is a prototyping and testing service.
  • Sketch is a vector graphics and prototyping tool for Mac users.
  • Adobe XD is a program for designing interfaces.
  • Tilda, Readymag, and Webflow are tools for quickly building sites.
  • Adobe After Effects is an editor for visualizing website animations.

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