I have a web application developed using Spring and Hibernate, which uses a REST API and Javascript to display and update content. The project is nearly completed, but I want to enhance the look and feel. This will include better graphics and some extra behaviour.

I want to outsource this task to a freelancer over the Internet. I don't have experience with outsourcing and don't know how to incorporate an outsider to the project. I mean I'd like to avoid other people to access the back-end source if I can. The only code that i want to be changed runs on the client side.

Is this doable? I thought I can just give the URL to the designer and require them to use "Augmented Browsing" tools, like Greasemonkey or Tampermonkey to work on the UI. Is this something Web designers are accustomed to or willing to do? Or are there any better options to accomplish this?


A basic requirement: There are items on a list which are generated on-the-fly according to JSON data, using handlebars templates. I want these items to be removable, like when the mouse is over these items a button should appear. I also want those items to look better. This will require some Javascript, HTML and CSS integrated into existing code.

  • probably better to give them screen shots of your app, and then describe what you're looking for, best case you'll receive the HTML / CSS back which you will then have to integrate, and they wont give you each page, but you should be able to apply the same look and feel globally
    – hanzolo
    May 22, 2013 at 19:26

2 Answers 2


I'm a freelance graphic designer! I have experience creating UI designs for mobile and web applications. Often, clients give me a mockup of the UI they want or refer me to some other app UI that is similar to their app. Then describes his apps functionality(how the app works!). After providing a screenshot of UI by the designers, client gives feedback! In all cases clients prefer designs in PSD format. There are many famous marketplaces does this kinda outsourcing! I found 99designs.com best for design related works, besides other marketplace like freelancer.com, odesk.com etc are good.

  • 2
    this post is rather hard to read (wall of text). Would you mind editing it into a better shape? Since you claim to be a designer, one would expect you to be capable of presenting your thoughts in a way that's convenient to read, wouldn't one?
    – gnat
    May 22, 2013 at 17:57
  • I've used 99designs in the past, but you have to give the designers a lot to work with.. and usually they'll provide the HTML and you have to integrate it
    – hanzolo
    May 22, 2013 at 19:24
  • Thanks for the answer. I will definitely need a screenshot and will provide feedback of course. What i am asking is what the designer will need to produce that screenshot?
    – lunr
    May 22, 2013 at 19:44

There are two aspects to creating a good looking UI, and they need different skill sets.

On the one hand, there is the graphical design. Here an artist creates a design for the website, basically by arranging all the elements in a pleasing manner in a drawing and deciding on supporting artwork like (background) images. This requires mostly someone with a sense of what your users will appreciate in a website and does not involve any actual programming (although it helps if the artist knows what can be achieved within reason).

On the other hand, there is the actual implementation of the design. This mostly requires someone familiar with HTML/CSS (and perhaps JS) to bring the design to life, but this person does not have to be artistically inclined. During the implementation, there might be some back-and-forth between the artist and the implementer to create the images(-sections) that the implementer needs, but otherwise the work of the artist is done.

You need to ask yourself, which of these parts you want to outsource and if you want to outsource both, if it should be to one or to multiple parties.

If it is only the artistic side, then you don't need to give them access to your code, but it could help to give the URL so they can get a feeling for how the website operates.

  • Thanks for the answer. In this case i want to outsource some of the both. I have already designed a basic layout and implemented it. I am expecting the designer to design and implement some details. Also i think separating those two aspects you talked about and outsourcing each to different people would be more difficult.
    – lunr
    May 22, 2013 at 19:37
  • @lunr: If it is just details where you know how you want it, but don't have the expertise to pull it off, then most of the artistic work is already done and you just need a programmer who can also create the needed bitmaps. May 23, 2013 at 6:51

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