There are many options and directions out there when it comes to digital product design and user experience. There are graphic design specialists, marketing agencies, development teams, IT companies, etc. However, when you want your digital product or service to respond to the needs of your audience, you need a competent UX design agency.
The question is: how do you find the right company and avoid getting involved with those who will cause only growing costs without providing you with a real solution?
Determine Your Business Goals in Advance
“What are your business goals?” is one of the first questions that user experience design companies ask their potential clients. Even top UI/UX design agencies can’t start without knowing your goals because their approach to your project will strictly depend on them.
Business goals are more related to the outcome you want to get from your business, rather than a deliverable, so make sure you understand that when you describe them. For example, your business goal could be “30% sales increase by the end of 2019,” whereas a deliverable could be a re-designed corporate website. UX design companies from the top of the niche’s food chain try to avoid companies focused on deliverables instead of business goals. The thing is that such clients don’t think about proper user experience, but instead want to get a pretty cover.
A trustworthy UX agency will apply its best user experience design skills to create a balance between aesthetics and usability and meet their clients’ budgets. Therefore, the first step to avoiding an unfitting UX company is defining your business goals ahead of time.
The Agency Focuses on the End-User
While each company will have its methodology and approach, the design process will inevitably involve the end-user. Taking this into account, you have to make sure that your business goals align appropriately with those of your end-users. Not aligning these two can result in releasing a product or service that nobody wants or that is too complicated to use.
And this is another thing that a UX agency can take care of for you. Reliable user experience design companies conduct detailed audience research to get a clear idea of what the end-user wants. It’s about the people who would ultimately use the future product or service, not about your company’s top-brass or things you particularly like. You need it to help you promote your brand and raise your sales, but you’re making it for the end-user.
The Agency Should Have an Iterative Process
In UX design, the end-user defines a product’s effectiveness, not the developer or designer. Because timelines and budgets will always constrain you, it’s usually better to conduct several small-scale audience studies that would help you adapt your product to the constantly changing needs of your customers.
According to a San Francisco UX agency Clay, audience studies that involve as little as five users can reveal quite a few issues with usability. Iterative execution of these studies allows getting worthwhile insights regarding your product’s users and at the same time, lets you introduce essential changes to it. By avoiding this process, you are risking to spend tons of money on the development and design of a product that will either have fundamental flaws within it or that no one will use.
Reliable UX companies put such an iterative process at the base of their work since it extends to far more than just a new feature or product launch. It is necessary if you want either a new or existing product to go hand in hand with your audience and stay competitive in the market.
The Agency Should Be Collaborative
Top-rated UX design agencies will want your company and product to be successful in the market. Due to working with different companies through different niches, UX companies know that it takes the commitment of the entire team to make a great product. Thus, when it comes to working with new clients, agencies often educate their teams on best UX practices, processes, and methodologies, particularly for their needs.
The right UX design agency will help your developers and marketers to understand the critical user experience points that they could incorporate in their work. That is, each time you have discussions with the agency you hire, they will explain to you what they are doing and tell you what should be done in your product or service to supply your end-user with the best experience.
Drawing the Bottom Line
Since you need a UX company to take care of your digital product, it means one of the most significant investments for your company. Proper user experience will help you build a loyal audience, while a poorly executed UX design will most likely lead to frustrated users and lost customers. If you want your investments to generate some return, you should follow the tips described above to avoid running into a wrong UX agency.
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