If you had to recommend to a software engineer how to go about finding an interaction designer or firm, what would you recommend?
I would probably tell them to start with professional associations like AIGA, IDSA and UPA. And look at design resources like Core77.
Are there better ways? Other associations or sites worth mentioning?
For software interaction design, it would be worth checking out CHI groups.
There is a listserve called CHI-JOBS that has daily job postings for software interaction designers. They could easily post a message there and reach thousands of designers.
They could also post something to OK/Cancel’s job site.
Also Dice has lots of software positions. I’m not sure if it’s free to post a job up there though.
If they want to go the recruiter route, tell them about http://www.experiencepeople.com/.
To find a firm, I think the best bet would be to get references for local places that specialize in this work. If it’s around San Fran, PM me and I can refer a handful of small outfits.