Hire the top 3% of freelance UX designers.

Toptal is a marketplace for clients to find UX designers from around the world. Each Toptal freelance UX designer is thoroughly vetted and trusted by top companies for their most critical UX design projects.

We've been blown away by the level of talent we've been able to hire through Toptal.

Brad Rozran, Optimizely

Trusted by leading brands and startups

Our Exclusive Network of UX Designers

Alexandra Jones

UX Designer

Alexandra has over eight years of experience as a UX designer in four countries. She has partnered with both small startups as well as innovative, market-le...ading blue-chip brands at both top-line strategic and granular levels—including Johnnie Walker, Waitrose, Barclays, Weetabix, KFC, World Animal Protection, and more. Most recently she has been working extensively with software market leader Atlassian in San Francisco. 

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Tamara Olson

UX Designer

A self-employed UX designer and developer, Tamara spent several years at Google, first as a UX manager in Ads (DFP), and then as UX design lead for Google C...lassroom. She has crafted experiences for Apple (apple.com redesign), The Paperless Post, Conde Nast, and The New York Observer (2009 Webby nomination, best newspaper). Tamara is an adjunct professor at FIT, teaching interaction design, and holds a Master’s from NYU’s ITP. 

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Maureen Murphy

UX Designer

Maureen has been a UX architect for 14 years and has experience with websites, web-based applications, kiosks, widgets, and mobile interfaces. She’s also go...od with content and data. She believes that all users' needs matter—even the edge cases—and she prides herself on tenaciously finding usable and scalable solutions to complex problems. Right now, she’s playing with prototyping tools, eager for what they bring to the table. 

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Michael Clingerman

UX Designer

Michael is a skilled designer with twenty years of brand identity, product development, and graphic design experience as an art director and an independent... designer and artist. He directed interactive design for Yahoo!, where he specialized in advertising, branding, product development, UI/UX, and ideation, and has recently finished a thirteen-month project for Microsoft as a senior UI/UX design lead for a next-generation big data CRM platform. 

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Bill Tribble

UX Designer

Bill is a UX lead who has improved the lives of billions with his work on digital products. He also teaches design, and has over two decades of professional... experience in UX, media, and education. He has an entrepreneurial attitude, has worked in a wide range of media, and his design process is tactile, collaborative and user-centered—with beautiful results. 

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Natalia Cackowska

UX Designer

Natalia is a user experience designer and researcher with nearly ten years of experience creating business applications. Most of her experience comes from d...esigning large enterprise software and SaaS web applications, where her analytical, design, and user research skills are put to work. 

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Angel J. Perez

UX Designer

Using an educational foundation with a doctorate in technology design, a master's in computational sciences, and bachelor's in physics, Angel has made signi...ficant impact at companies such as Nest, Microsoft, AKQA, and Bank of America throughout his professional career. He is a talented UX/UI designer with his finger on the pulse of the latest technology and communicates extremely well. 

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Jeffrey Davis

UX Designer

Jeffrey has been working alongside entrepreneurs to help build their businesses for more than half a decade. Most recently, he has worked with a digital age...ncy in London called Grampy. For those two years, he traveled the world consulting with C-level executives and building digital experiences for leading brands. 

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Jake Frey

UX Designer

Jake built Fancy which was deemed one of the best apps of the year from Apple and Google. Other clients include Apple, Twitter, Snapchat, Shopify, Hermès, a...nd Kanye West. He's privileged to work on amazing projects with brilliant people. 

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Fabio Muniz

UX Designer

Fabio is an experienced product designer who's worked with venture-backed startups and enterprise clients like Google and Viacom. He had been searching for... more projects that piqued his interest so he made the decision to try freelancing platforms. At the time, there were many to choose from, however, Fabio chose Toptal because he not only wanted more work but also solid clients and teammates to work with. 

Hire Fabio

Hire UX Designers Seamlessly with Toptal

1
Talk to One of Our Industry Experts
A Toptal director of design will work you to understand your goals, technical needs, and team dynamics.
2
Work With Hand-Selected Talent
Within days, we'll introduce you to the right UX designer for your project. Average time to match is under 24 hours.
3
The Right Fit, Guaranteed
Work with your new UX designer for a trial period (pay only if satisfied), ensuring they're the right fit before starting the engagement.

FAQs

  • How are Toptal UX designers different?

    At Toptal, we thoroughly screen our UX designers to ensure we only supply experts of the highest caliber. Of the more than 100,000 people who apply to join the Toptal network each year, we accept fewer than 3%. You'll work with design experts (never generalized recruiters or HR reps) to understand your goals, technical needs, and team dynamics. The end result: expertly-matched talent from our network, hand-selected to fit your business needs.

  • What is the no-risk trial period for UX designers?

    We make sure that each engagement between you and your UX designer begins with a trial period of up to two weeks. This means that you have time to confirm the engagement will be successful. If you're completely satisfied with the results, we'll bill you for the time and continue the engagement for as long as you'd like. If you're not completely satisfied, you won't be billed. From there, we can either part ways, or we can provide you with another expert who may be a better fit and with whom we will begin a second, no-risk trial.

  • How fast can I hire UX designers through Toptal?

    Depending on availability and how fast you can progress, you could start your no-risk trial with a UX designer within 48 hours of signing up. Most of our engagements start within 2 weeks of discussing your project with us.

Tap Into World-Class Talent

  • Trusted Experts Only

    Trusted Experts Only

    All of our talent are seasoned experts who ramp up quickly, readily contribute as core team members, and work with you to minimize onboarding time.

  • The Right Fit

    The Right Fit

    We have a knack for matching you with the right fit. Start working with your new hire on a no-risk trial period, paying only if satisfied.

  • Scale as Needed

    Scale as Needed

    Hire in under 2 weeks and scale your team up or down as needed, no strings attached.

  • Seamless Hiring

    Seamless Hiring

    We handle all aspects of billing, payments, and NDA’s. Let us take care of the overhead while you focus on building great products.

  • Flexible Engagements

    Flexible Engagements

    Choose the engagement type that suits your needs — hourly, part-time, or full-time — with the ability to change anytime.

  • Expert Talent Matching

    Expert Talent Matching

    Focus on your project and enjoy support from your dedicated account executive and expert talent matcher.

Guide to Hiring a great UX Designer

A user experience (UX) design expert is a multi-talented jack-of-all-trades who possess knowledge in the areas of psychology, design and technology. As with any area of design, there is a high level of subjectiveness. This guide will help remove some of the subjectivity by allowing you to discover what makes a great UX designer and help you make the right hiring decisions.

Read Hiring Guide

How to Hire a Great User Experience (UX) Designer

A user experience (UX) design expert is a multi-talented jack-of-all-trades who possess knowledge in the areas of psychology, design and technology. These designers have a thorough understanding of the user and business goals and filter those into the digital experience so that your product feels intuitive, simple and facilitates the user and business goals.

The questions presented in this guide help identify user experience designers with the experience to produce masterful digital products.

As with any area of design, there is a high level of subjectiveness. This guide will help remove some of the subjectivity by allowing you to discover what makes a great UX designer and help you make the right hiring decisions.

The Challenge

User experience design encompasses many facets of both the design and development process. A great user experience designer will be an empathetic communicator who is curious and uses both qualitative and quantitative data to validate design hypotheses. The work of a UX designer is difficult to measure due to the varied nature of the role and output of the work.

Finding a UX designer requires a highly-effective recruiting process in conjunction with considered questions, as outlined below, which help identify candidates who are true experts.

UX design is a growing discipline with an extremely broad definition

UX design is a growing discipline with an extremely broad definition.

UX design is a growing discipline. It was created by Dr. Donald Norman, a cognitive science researcher, who first defined the importance of user-centered design. User experience actually has a formal definition (ISO 9241-210), but it boils down to: How people respond to what they experience. Effective UX design allows users to find value in the system and their interactions within it.

This extremely broad definition translates directly into the various skills that an expert UX designer will deliver:

Strategy and Content

  • Competitor Analysis
  • Customer Analysis
  • Product Structure/Strategy
  • Content Development

Wireframing and Prototyping

  • Wireframing
  • Prototyping
  • Testing/Iteration
  • Development Planning

Execution and Analytics

  • Coordination with UI Designer(s)
  • Coordination with Developer(s)
  • Tracking Goals and Integration
  • Analysis and Iteration

Such varied output can make any designer’s head spin, not to mention that of a hiring manager. So where do we start when interviewing UX Designers?

Strategy and Content

Before designing the digital experience, a UX designer’s job is to work on the strategy and content of the experience, working together with relevant experts. Strategy involves assessing the market and competitors, ranging to market positioning to full sitemap analysis and product feature content audits.

In addition to getting to know competitors, UX designers discover the product demographic and create detailed user personas. From here, a good UX designer will develop content and a strategy that differentiates the product and speaks directly to the target demographic. The following questions will support you in finding an excellent UX designer, from a strategy and content perspective.

Q: What is the definition of User-Experience?

A good definition, and an expected answer, should be somewhere in the lines of Nadeem Khan:

“It is a process that solves a problem of design, by taking into account the user’s goals and needs.”

Good responses may vary depending on the diversity or the key focus of the UX candidate. From a research perspective, a good UX designer can broaden their answer to include covering, “using data and research to guide product decisions, where user and business goals are taken into account.” A good candidate will have, above all else, the ability to use empathy and science to back up product design decisions.

Q: How would you best describe user-centred design to a client who is unfamiliar with the process?

Excellent answers will focus on placing the user in focus and making design decisions based on the evidence provided by users during research, data collection and the iterative approach to designing a service, product or tool. Placing the user in the centre of the design process is essential.

Q: What do you do on a personal and professional level to advocate for good usability?

A great UX design candidate will be able to outline several different examples of how they advocate for good usability. At the core, testing and iterating ideas, prototypes, concepts and products, and using user- generated data to inform design decisions will guide good usability.

The candidate may also talk about technical issues, such as cross-platform accessibility, or designing for access in environments where constraints from the user or technology limit a user experience. For example, making sure that blind people or people with restricted eyesight can read and access a website to gain information.

Wireframing and Prototyping

Once a UX designer has gathered data and research on the key user profiles, the next job is to start using that data to begin mocking up wireframes and later prototype products to further support (or reject) the initial data gathering. This phase should be rapidly iterated upon and the wireframes will later act as blueprints for a user interface or visual designer to step in and continue with the product design. The following questions will support you in finding an excellent UX designer, from a wireframing and prototyping perspective.

Q: Do you specialise in wireframing and functionality design, or other areas of design?

There are many different design profiles. From UX to UI, Visual, Interactive and Print, plus a surplus of emerging design fields, such as game design and more. With all these different profiles, a good UX designer will identify with being a UX designer. He or she will validate this by using examples that illustrate user-generated research adapted for designing new interaction patterns, interfaces and systems that solve design problems.

Q: What kind of data would you use to validate your design?

This question seeks to understand whether a UX designer uses valuable data points to either support or reject design decisions. Good answers will vary depending on the specific design to be validated, but this is the point and what the client should be looking for.

The ability to provide an answer that is relevant to a particular problem will set apart a designer who knows what s/he is talking about. Other thing to look for are metrics on specific features and patterns in design, data gathered from user interviews, surveys and in-product testing.

Q: Do you have a prototyping tool and wireframing tool preferences?

The software that a user-experience designer uses varies greatly due to the large number of products available. A UX designer may start with pen and paper prototypes, then use tools like Axure, Balsamiq, Justinmind Prototyper, Solidify App, Filesquare, Mockingbird, iPlotz, InVision, Framer.js, XCode, Quartz Composer or others to both wireframe and prototype their design.

Execution and Analytics

A good UX designer will be able to keep track and iterate upon the user experience as the product evolves. Part of this is good communication with other designers and teammates, including UI designers, visual designers and interaction designers. Setting goals and iterating towards them is part of the expertise of a UX designer.

Q: Give me an example of a project where the requirements changed halfway through, and how did you approach this?

Listen for answers where the designer talks about being agile to iterate on various requirements, as well as advise the client to backup any changes to requirements with data generated from users. This is somewhat subjective, as you will have to check whether or not the candidate’s approach to evolving requirements will be a good fit for your project and organisation.

Q: How do you provide clear instructions for other designers and developers to work from?

A good UX designer will be an excellent communicator, both with users and other teammates, using empathy to guide them through communication patterns. A possible answer is to provide a clear brief plus instructions in the form of user personas, sitemaps, information architecture, wireframes and prototypes, as well as effectively communicating verbally or through writing to the relevant team members.

Q: Where does your role as a user-experience designer finish?

A user-experience designer’s work is never finished and there is always more testing and iterations to make.

Top UX Designers are in high demand.

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