Hire a vetted UI designer

Crew is a marketplace of award-winning, vetted freelance user interface (UI) designers. Thousands of businesses, agencies and entrepreneurs have hired UI freelancers from Crew’s network to help grow their business.

Hire from our exclusive network of freelancers

Crew is a network of freelance designers, developers, and small studios, matched to you in under 24 hours

Whether you need a cleaner interface or a better user experience, a great freelance UI designer can make a huge difference. They goes beyond making things look pretty, making sure your product really works.



New York, United States of America

Malcolm Dia is a digital designer based in New York. With 4 years of agency and startup experience, he's currently a senior designer at GQ. Discover more about this talented problem solver's work here: https://app.crew.co/user_profiles/view/57403

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New York, United States of America

Diego Aguilar is a New York City-based creative director with over 10 years of experience in the digital brand space. Focusing on UI, UX, branding, motion, 3D and prototyping, his past team and client relationships include R/GA, Razorfish, Google, Nike, Spotify, Motorola, Mars, Ford, AT&T, and Verizon. Take a look at his profile to learn more about his work: http://crew.co/user_profiles/view/47574

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San Francisco, California, United States of America

Currently based in San Francisco, Juan Arreguin is a designer specializing in Branding, Identity, UI/UX, mobile design, graphic design and web design. Take a look at his stellar work and wide skill set here: https://app.crew.co/user_profiles/view/58175

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New York, United States of America

Mark Goldstein is a creative director and designer residing in New York City. Having been in the industry for nearly 10 years, he had the privilege of leading, mentoring and learning among diverse teams—resulting in some amazing and award-winning creative. He also worked with a variety of notable clients ranging from major household names like Google to startups and small businesses. All of which present interesting and challenging problems to solve. Learn more about his impressive work here: https://app.crew.co/user_profiles/view/71102

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New York, United States of America

Luke Miler is a designer and developer based out of Berlin, who has built an impressive client list with the likes of Tinder, Skullcandy, and Basecamp. Take a look at his full profile here: https://app.crew.co/user_profiles/view/29358

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Crew matches you with a UI Designer, local or remote, for your project in under 24 hours.

Over the past 4 years, millions of people have used products made by a Crew freelance UI designer or studio. They’ve helped startups and businesses like Zipbooks, Fitlist and DesignLab create beautiful product for their users. When we built Moodboard, we even tapped on our freelance UI designers to build the app. Here’s what Tim Chaves, founder of the accounting platform Zipbooks, said about his experience.

“Because we don’t necessarily have the budget to hire a full-time design team, it’s amazing to have someone who’s actually committed for the duration of the project and cares about its success.” -Tim Chaves, Zipbooks

So what is user interface design?

User interface design is one-half of product design, the other being user experience (UX) design. Together, they create what users interact and engage with. Here’s what makes them different.

  • UI designers create the visual elements of your product
  • UX designers improve how the product feels for the users.
Source: @jma245
Source: @jma245

Imagine you’re making an online form for your app or website, with input fields and a button. The UI designer creates the entry fields and button, while the UX designer creates ensures the form can be completed with ease. The UX designer could also make button feel more physical, or add visual cues to communicate that the information was correctly entered.

How to hire a UI Designer

Whether you’re making a website, mobile app, or logo, knowing how to hire a freelance UI designer and how to hire the right one for your job—will be one of the most important decisions you make.

Why? Because even your idea, which might seem like everything, is worthless without proper execution.

The challenge is, you likely want to know if a UI designer is the right fit for your project before you start working together. You don’t want to waste time and/or money working with someone who might not be the right fit.

At Crew, we’ve refined a process to increase the odds of choosing the right professional to work with.

It’s not a foolproof recipe yet, but it has improved our ability to identify the right freelance UI designer before we start a project and can help you in your search of how to hire a freelance UI designer.

So, let’s get started. 

The most important things we look at first to assess a UI designer before starting a project are:

  • Quality of work: How well does his/her past work fit within the project we’re looking to do?
  • Quality of communication: Whether it’s offsite or in-person, how well does he/she communicate information?
  • Ability to execute: What can we expect in terms of timelines and process when working with him/her? Has he/she executed well before

Assessing quality of work

How do you know if a freelance UI designer is right for your project? See what they’ve done in the past. 

An experienced designer should have a personal website and easily be able to point to at least 3 examples of past work that relates to your project.

Personal site of freelance UI designer Joshua Gross

Now, let’s say you’re looking to hire a UI designer to help make it easier for people to interact with your website or app.

Looking at their past work, don’t just look at the visual appeal of their past projects. Click through the screens of their examples and note how you feel as you go through them. 

As you click around, do you understand what to do next?

Apart from clicking the links and looking at the projects, you should also find out what role the creative professional you’re looking at hiring played on each example project.

What did they personally contribute?

Designing the logo on a website would be a much different role than designing the core product interface.

Granted, a past project example might have changed since the designer you’re looking at working with contributed to it. But if that’s the case, you should ask to see the design work they did do in mockup form or ask to see another example project.

It may seem obvious, but when you’re reviewing the work, look for projects similar in scope to yours. A great UI designer who built a single-page website may have been the right fit for that job but might not be the right fit for designing your iPhone app.

If you’re looking to hire a developer, this process can be a bit trickier.

While it’s hard not to evaluate past work based on how it looks, that’s not always the fairest representation of what was done, especially when it comes to something like backend development.

Instead, ask the developer you’re looking at working with if you can message a past client.

As a rule, ask any creative professional you’re looking to hire for at least 3 examples of past projects similar to yours and understand what level of contribution they had on each of these projects. (We’ll cover this more later)

Relate this back to the type of work you need to determine if there’s a level of experience from similar projects that would make him/her a good potential fit for your project.

Assessing quality of communication 

At first, it may seem like the quality of work is the most important thing when you’re looking to hire a freelance UI designer or developer, but from our experience, working with someone who is a strong communicator is just as valuable, if not more

Before choosing to work with a UI designer, it’s a good idea to have a call to get a feel for his/her ability to communicate. After seeing the portfolio of a UI designer, you might feel excited and ready to start the project right away, but it’s important to not just look at the quality of past work as the only qualification to hire someone.

Emailing back-and-forth is good, but having at least one conversation by phone or in person can reveal more about what it might be like working together than almost anything else.

You’ll get a much stronger idea if your your communication styles are in sync or not. During the project you’ll be communicating regularly, so it’s important to at least get a taste for how this feels before you kick off.

When we have a call or meeting with a UI designer we’re looking to work with, we often like to discuss the level of communication we expect to have on the project and ask how he/she typically keeps clients updated.

There are many ways to communicate during a project:

  • Weekly emails 
  • Calls 
  • A project management tool (like Basecamp or Trello
  • Or a combination of these things.

Make sure it’s clear how communication will flow during the project and that the UI designer you’re looking to work with will be comfortable working that way.

Independent developer Joshua Gross, has over 10 years of experience working as a freelancer. Reflecting on his experience, Joshua wrote:

“No matter how good your designs, how fast your code, or how amazing the result, poor communication will sink projects and end client relationships even faster than a poor work product.”Joshua Gross

Make sure you know what communication expectations you have and discuss those before you hire anyone. Even if they change during the project, setting these expectations for communication before a project starts will help remove the most common way creative projects go wrong: poor communication.

Assessing their ability to execute

An idea doesn’t exist without execution. 

To find out about a professional’s ability to execute, ask for at least 3 references from past clients and/or project collaborators.

Contact each reference and ask these questions:

  • Was work delivered on time?
  • Did the project stay on budget?
  • How happy were you with the end result?

At the same time, input from references might hold more or less weight depending on what you’re building.

For instance, if you need to work with a developer to help build the backend of a robust social networking app that has similar functionality to Facebook, a reference from a past client that needed a custom blog would probably not be the most valid.

Ideally, ask for references where the UI designer you’re looking to hire had to deliver on a project that was similar in scope to yours.

Speaking with references can give you feel for how a UI designer works and executes on a project. But at the same time, references shouldn’t be the only thing you use to make the decision of who to hire.

There’s a good chance most client references you get will be good. After all, they will likely be provided by the UI designer you’re looking to hire.

Yet these references can still give you insight into someone else’s experience working with the UI designer you’re thinking about hiring, especially if you ask the right questions.

If you’re still not sure, start with a small project

If you’re not sure about how to hire a freelance UI designer for your project you can make things less risky by working on a small part of the project together.

This will give you a chance to see what it’s like working together when the stakes aren’t as high. 

By doing a small, initial project, this is a way to ‘date before getting married’ so to speak, and ensures both you and your creative professional feel comfortable before committing on a long-term project.

For larger projects, it’s common to set up a first milestone, which could be used as your initial project. By doing a smaller initial project, you’ll likely get the strongest idea of a UI designer’s work quality, communication, and ability to execute compared to anything else you could evaluate.

Finding the right people to work with is one of the most challenging parts of any project. Businesses regularly cite ‘hiring the right people’ as the biggest challenge they face so don’t beat yourself up if you miss the mark off the bat.

By following the steps above, we’ve increased our chances of hiring the right people.

We don’t get it perfect every time, and chance is always a factor when it comes to hiring people. The point is to balance this chance with a few more data points and push the odds in your favor.

As a reference, here’s a summary of the steps mentioned here:

  • Assess quality of work by asking for a personal website and at least 3 past project samples
  • Assess quality of communication by having at least 1 phone call or in-person meeting before hiring
  • Assess ability to execute by getting at least 3 references from past clients

Lastly, if you want a hand finding a talented, vetted UI designer get in touch and we’ll help you find the best person to bring your idea to life.

Hire an acclaimed freelance UI designer

Not only have our hand-picked freelance UI designers won the industry’s top awards, their work has been used by tens of millions of people. On top of that, they’ve worked for the world’s biggest companies, like Apple, Google, Uber, and Dropbox.

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Hire from our exclusive network of freelancers

Crew is a network of freelance designers, developers, and small studios, matched to you in under 24 hours