The Next Step in Eliminating Bad Design: Hiring Great UX Designers

by Jared M. Spool

There’s a big inefficiency in today’s UX designer job market. And we can use design to fix it.

We have an audacious 100-year mission: Eliminate all the bad design from the world. It started 30 years ago with what was then User Interface Engineering (which became UIE and is now Center Centre/UIE). Back then, we saw the immense frustration caused by poor design practices. We wanted to make the world a better place through great design.

We figured it would take us a long time. In that time, we’ve come a long way.

Organizations get it. Many are now building out their own internal design organizations. They want to stop shipping products and services that deliver poor experiences.

Hiring UX Designers is Hard in This Market

These organizations now labor to build their UX design teams. There are too many open positions. Demand is too high.

Even though there’s high demand, there are too many talented UX designers who struggle to get interviews and job offers. We hear from folks every day asking what they can do to get the attention of these teams that can’t fill their positions.

There’s tremendous opportunity, but it’s not evenly distributed. It’s clear that the organization’s hiring processes are inefficient and ineffective. We can use design to fix it.

Introducing: The Center Centre UX Designer Hiring Method

At Center Centre/UIE, we needed a way to hire our faculty and staff for our new UX design school. We also needed a way to identify which student applicants would become great designers.

We turned to Performance-based Hiring, a thoughtful approach to hiring created by Lou Adler. We tailored Lou’s process to be specific to hiring UX designers, ensuring we were looking both at the skills and the craft of each candidate’s work. Lou’s process worked great for salespeople, middle managers, and admins, but qualifying a UX designer is a different animal.

Our results were fantastic: We attracted better qualified candidates, we quickly identified if they were right for the openings, and we extended offers in record times. Every employee we’ve hired using our modified method worked out to be great contributors to our team. Every student we’ve accepted into the school is turning into a great designer. The method works.

We started sharing it with our clients. Organizations from large corporations to small startups, non-profits, universities, and government agencies have started using our hiring method. They’ve all seen similarly excellent results.

About the Author

Jared M. Spool is a co-founder of Center Centre and the founder of UIE. In 2016, with Dr. Leslie Jensen-Inman, he opened Center Centre, a new design school in Chattanooga, TN to create the next generation of industry-ready UX Designers. They created a revolutionary approach to vocational training, infusing Jared’s decades of UX experience with Leslie’s mastery of experience-based learning methodologies.

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