Hire the Top 3% of Freelance Designers with Toptal.com
By Greg Nunan
To date, Toptal has been known as a thriving network comprised of some of the best software developers in the world. However, its network is anything but homogenous. There have always been designers at Toptal, and it has always worked to find digital design experts for specific projects to meet client demand. But up until now, designer involvement at Toptal was on an informal basis.
On October 7th, Toptal announced the launch of Toptal Designers, the result of an extensive process of searching and vetting top digital designers from around the world in response to large client demand. Toptal designers focus on four critical areas of digital design: User Experience (UX), User Interface (UI), Visual, and Interaction. Each member of the new community has a background in a wide range of design disciplines, including mobile and web design, branding, advertising, photography, and more.
Since the company was founded in 2010, Toptal has become the leader in offering expert freelance software developers, carefully selecting each freelancer through a thorough process of examinations and interviews. Screening Toptal designers involves a modified, although equally meticulous, methodology of selection.
The designer screening process includes a series of tests for communication skills, problem solving ability, and raw intelligence, in addition to technical design screenings and a sample design project.
Design and its associated skills are, by nature, an inherently more subjective process to evaluate than software engineering. While there is certainly a great deal of creativity and imagination that go into each, it’s hard to devise a pass/fail assessment for artistic sensibilities and taste.
However, as any engineer who has passed the Toptal screening process knows, it’s not just about technical prowess, and many of Toptal’s screening philosophies were adapted for designer candidates. Toptal’s designer screening process includes:
- Communication skills and English fluency tests – Toptal designers must be able to communicate complex concepts and detailed aspects of their work in simple, easily understandable ways.
- Portfolio review – All designers must have an extremely strong portfolio and extensive history of completing successful projects with clients.
- Live design evaluations – Problem solving skills and the ability to propose adjustments on the fly are just as important in design as they are in engineering.
- Sample design project – Just like engineers, designers must also be fully capable of estimating project completion time, understanding deliverables, and bringing it all together with the highest level of professionalism and quality.
To support its community of designers, Toptal has launched its own Toptal Design Blog, as well as designer resources like UI Designer hiring guides. By providing top designers to complement its community of elite developers, Toptal will be providing a more complete service for clients and a greater wealth of knowledge for members of its community to use to improve their own skills.
When it comes to creating high-impact, groundbreaking software, the ability to create and implement superior designs provides companies with an enormous competitive advantage, a reality that has been reflected in the growing number of companies placing an enormous focus on beautiful design.
The Toptal community has long emphasized sharing knowledge and learning about other areas of expertise. With the addition of so many great designers, Toptal now has the exciting opportunity to organize unique events that empower designers to learn about leading engineering principles, and vice versa.
The prospect of welcoming UI, UX, visual, and interaction designers to Toptal’s community and its expanded ability to provide a larger range of services to clients makes this an extremely exciting time at Toptal right now. If you’re actively involved in design communities and think there are ways Toptal can support you and help take your community or its events to the next level, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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