UI/UX Designers

Does anyone have a good resource for frontend designers for web apps? I’m looking to outsource the html/css of my app and haven’t had much luck attracting talent on Odesk.

I’m entirely bootstrapping this on the side so I don’t have the means to go the design agency route. My app is still in early beta so I’d like to get the UI and design cleaned up before launch, and I am just terrible at design.

If anyone has a contractor they have used and could recommend that would be awesome.



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I always start with a themeforest.net when I need something UI related. It’s the cheapest and fastest way to get started without involving another person. If the project takes off, then you can invest in hiring someone to design something unique.

I think the easiest way is to use something like Twitter Bootstrap and then buy a theme.

We had great success finding a designer via Folyo. You can post your budget and required timescales so you don’t get people contacting you who are way out of your league pricewise.

I just went through this process on oDesk. Here were my steps, which you might find useful:

  1. First I found someone that solely does great UX, since I’ve found it almost impossible to find a person that can do both.
  2. I worked with that person to do the interactive UX mockups (in Axure).
  3. Once they looked great, I found someone that does great designs.
  4. I handed the mockups to him, showed him a few designs I liked, and he created the mockups into awesome looking PSDs.

The key for me was learning to separate out the UI/UX.


Thanks Rachel,

I never heard of that site before, I will dig into it more today.

Nice idea, I hadn’t thought about that but it might be the way to go with the Odesk route.

Similar to @anthonyfranco’s approach - I’ve had success separating the design creation from the HTML / CSS creation in the past.

For example, i’ve used http://99designs.com/ as well as working directly with a designer. You should have much more luck finding a slicer on oDesk or there are also many sites dedicated to slicing PSDs.

I’ve found that it is much easier to find a good designer that doesn’t know HTML / CSS and let them focus on the design alone.

One other thing to bear in mind is you need to guide any slicers so you end up with HTML / CSS that is easy to modify going forward. Beware of fixed pixel layouts, possibly look to have the slicer use your framework of choice (Bootstrap, Foundation, etc), and if responsive is a consideration, the slicer may be able to handle that as well if you find a good one.

You might get some value out of @uibreakfast’s course on managing designers: http://uibreakfast.com/coefficiency/

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Travis, thank you for sharing the course! Hope it helps to shed light on this sensitive UI/UX matter.

I think techniques by @tdavies and @anthonyfranco indeed are the most productive. You put eggs into different baskets and only try to find top talent in one niche, which is much easier. Another most helpful thing is to test waters on small projects to make sure the person is a good fit.

After all, your business is only as good as the team you build!

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I was searching for designers last week and eventually settled with Crew.co (just found an amazing designer there, it’s about $950 for a custom landing design). There’s an obvious problem with designer discoverability.

  • Dribbble: went through dozens of top profiles, they mostly look too expensive ($950 is also expensive for us but for an average result I would buy a template). Search results are limited – can’t get to non-top profiles. Need to contact everyone to manually check their availability.
  • Behance: a bit better search but average portfolio is not that good and I was spending too much time finding candidates. Again – manual contact is required, no option to post a freelance job.
  • Upwork: average skill is really low even on $60+ hourly rate, going through profiles is slow (because you can’t go through portfolios).
  • 99designs: tried it for a banner, got a very unpleasant experience of denying people money for their work because there can be only one winner. We had #2 candidate and there was no option to send money to her for a great idea we used (I eventually managed to create a custom job).

Like very much that you give something to #2. This all or nothing contests result in lots of wasted work , and are not always efficient.

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You may also want to read You’re My Favorite Client.

I’m a UI designer and agree that there’s a problem with connecting designers and SaaS companies looking for designers. My suggestion would be to look on Dribbble for a designer’s work that you like (filtered by “ui”) and get in touch with a few there.