A bad hire is an expensive mistake.
The US Department of Labor says it costs 30% of the employee’s first-year earnings. Zappos
CEO Tony Hsieh even estimated that bad hires had cost the company “well over $100 million.”
How can you avoid the turnover and decreased productivity that come from bad hires? It all starts with the job description—the first place that a candidate will learn
about your company and the role.
And for specialized roles, like UX designers, it’s even more important to paint the right picture with your job description.
Here are five examples of UX designer job descriptions to help you identify the best candidate:
Example 1: Define day-to-day tasks
We are looking for a UX designer to take ownership of user research, interviews, and surveys, and translate the findings into sitemaps, user flows, customer journey maps, mockups, and prototypes. The UX designer will also design the overall
functionality of the product, and continuously iterate to ensure the best user experience.
- Research, conceiving, sketching, and prototyping
- Designing and delivering wireframes, user journeys, and mockups for a variety of devices and interfaces
- Following a user-centric design approach and rapidly testing and iterating
- Improving the user experience related to core functionality and new features.
Why it works: While this job description doesn’t say exactly what the designer will be working on, it does give a full picture of what the person’s day will look like. By listing out tasks like this, you can quickly weed out
designers who don’t have experience with required aspects of the role.
Example 2: Clearly define projects
Our company is looking for an experienced UX designer to improve the onboarding experience of our app. At this point, we would like to simplify signing up for a new account, educating new users about our most popular features, and accessing
account information. The long-term responsibilities of this person will include improving account upgrades/downgrades, our referral program, and other customer success initiatives.
- Evaluating our current app and recommending improvements
- Designing user flows
- Conducting user surveys
- Performing A/B testing to improve pages
- Creating a style guide
- Developing wireframe layouts for our development team to follow
Why it works: This job description clearly defines the projects the UX designer will work on and sets short-term and long-term expectations. You could also follow this same approach when looking for freelance designers to work on
A great team and a strong
mission can be make-or-breaks when it comes to employee happiness.
Example 3: Focus on the why
We’re looking for a UX designer to join the UX team. You will be responsible for increasing customer retention rate by personalizing the user experience, improving recommendations, and facilitating discovery. The goal: Create a place where
customer want to keep coming back.
“Soft skills, like friendliness and empathy, are as important as technical skills.”
- Conducting usability testing and gathering feedback
- Developing wireframes and prototypes around customer needs
- Communicating design ideas and prototypes to developers
- Illustrating design ideas with storyboards, process flows, and sitemaps
- Designing graphic interface elements, like menus, tabs, and widgets
Why it works: A great job offers more than a check to pay the bills; it excites employees and gives them a purpose, whether that’s surprising and delighting customers or making a meaningful impact on the business. This “why” is
key in job descriptions, and will attract thoughtful, self-starter candidates.
Example 4: Promote cultural fit
We’re small, growing company of just 30 people and are looking for a UX designer to join us on the ground floor. We’re looking to hire a thoughtful, empathetic, and experienced designer to build and lead the design team. You’ll have the
opportunity to shape our product alongside other industry experts while educating others about design best practices. This role is a good fit if you are a self-starter that can own projects end-to-end with little direction and can work well with
- Leading the design of our product
- Conducting and managing customer research and usability studies
- Working directly with engineers to provide product specs and assets
- Working with other designers to conceptualize and iterate on designs
- Designing mockups and high-fidelity user interfaces
Soft skills, like
friendliness and empathy, are as important as technical skills.
Why it works: Depending on your company, you may prioritize cultural fit over background and experience. If that’s the case, you need a job description that pinpoints the kind of personality traits that would thrive in your team’s
environment. Don’t be afraid of coming across as too nitpicky. Being particular in the early hiring stages will help ensure you find the right person.
Example 5: Lay out the challenges
This example comes from Ev Williams, CEO of Medium.
Medium’s goal is to help the best ideas and stories in the world reach as many people as possible. This means creating a simple but powerful toolset to help people create those stories and a seamless experience for consuming and interacting
with them. And a lot more.
Here are some of the things that make this challenge interesting:
Medium is broad. Medium is meant for a wide range of content, from a wide range of people. Amateurs and professionals. Long and short. Words-only and image-heavy. We need to create a system that handles it all elegantly.
Medium is integrated. We are not just a publishing tool. Nor just a reading tool. Nor just a discovery or discussion tool. We’re also not just a web site or just an app. We’ve taken on the challenge of integrating all of these things,
because we think tight integration makes the best experience possible.
Medium is a system. The way I look at creating products is through the lens of system design, which means every feature and decision affects everything else. And in a complex system—which all systems that incorporate the actions of
millions of people are—the effects are hard to predict.
I believe there are few levers as powerful as design by which to impact a product, a company, or the world. So I am looking for a few great designers to work with me personally to take Medium to the next level.
You might be a good fit for this if you:
- Care about the future of media and publishing and want to shape it
- Want to work with passionate, curious people on a team that values bold ideas and attention to detail
- Want to work on hard problems and set a new standard for web/mobile experience
- Can think at all layers, from product (system) design, to interaction, to beautiful pixels
- Are among the best at what you do and want to work with peers who challenge you
Why it works: This job description is aspirational and motivating. What’s especially unique is that it doesn’t actually say what you’ll be doing. Instead, it lists out the challenges you’ll be facing. This is a risk that
pays off—for the right person, these challenges will be an exciting opportunity to grow as a designer.
Figure out what your
team needs, and then you’ll be able to find the perfect person to step in.
“Figure out what your team needs, and then you’ll be able to find the perfect person to step in.”
How to write the best UX designer job description
Before drafting the job description, first think of what is most important to you: cultural fit? Number of years of experience? Education? Experience using certain tools? Once you identify the must-haves, you can craft a story that will excite
And, just like what you would expect from your new UX designer, test and iterate. A/B test job descriptions and post one version for two weeks then replace it with something totally different.
Then, when you’re interviewing candidates, get feedback on the job description. What appealed to them most? Did they feel like anything was missing?
Over time, thanks to that user research and data, you’ll hone in on the narrative that attracts the best UX designers.
Emily has written for some of the top tech companies, covering everything from creative copywriting to UX design. When she's not writing, she's traveling the world (next stop: Japan!), brewing kombucha, and biking through the Pacific Northwest.