Hey Bruce, great question! Most people don’t realize this but before hiring a developer OR designer, your best bet is to spend a lot of time with a UX designer, someone who can understand user’s wants and needs and help to illustrate to the designer what your platform should look like and how it should function. At that point you can begin hiring a developer and designer (at the same time even) and have them collaborate on your project in order to accomplish what the UX designer laid out for them. The developer will focus on the functionality of “how it should function” while the designer focuses on “what your platform should look like.”
Let me know if you have any further questions and we look forward to seeing your app!