User experience is a vital component of every digital product that we use and interact with and can make or break a company’s success. Ultimately, whether your business wants to build a new application or piece of software, user experience is fundamental. What’s more, it’s always worth revisiting your existing user experience strategy to see if there are any issues that are holding back business growth. By engaging with a professional UX consultant, you can stay ahead of the fast-paced and demanding world of user experience and ensure your users are always delighted.
What is a UX Design Consultant?
User experience covers every way that a user or customer interacts with your business. It encompasses how easy they find it to achieve their goals while interacting with your products and services and how they feel afterwards. By designing the user experience for digital products, the aim is to create a simple, effective, meaningful and enjoyable experience. When that happens, the impression of your brand as a whole is improved.
A UX design consultant can help you at every step of the way during product development, from user research to post-release support. This starts by helping you to gain an understanding of core customer needs and build detailed personas. It also goes on to include aspects such as audits, prototypes, usability tests and ongoing strategy. A professional consultant will have in-depth knowledge of UX procedures, methodologies and tools that can help to not only enhance your product but to save you costs.
When Do You Need a UX Consultant?
Unless you have a pretty large digital team within your organisation, it is difficult to establish all the roles needed for modern software development. User experience is a distinct discipline that requires in-depth knowledge and experience. After all, that is the only way that you’re able to spot gaps in user experience, improve interactions and optimise results. What’s more, by engaging quality UX consultants, you are hiring knowledge from many previous projects from different sectors and industries, all of which can help your product be even better. You might want to consider hiring a UX consultant if you need:
- Outside Perspective – when you’re working on a project, it can be difficult to have an objective view, which can make it really challenging to truly understand your product or service from a user’s perspective. With a fresh viewpoint on your development project, you can find new solutions that better meet your customer’s needs.
- Increased Revenue – firstly, by having a dedicated team working on your project, you will be more productive and will be able to move faster. However, more than that, by having a UX consultancy firm on your side, you’ll ensure that you maximise the potential of your product and improve overall profitability.
- Improved Results – a UX consultant will help you to develop effective usability testing strategies. This is a vital piece of product development that will help you to ensure that your solution is working properly and delivers what you expected. By testing, you can assess user needs at all times, make incremental changes and gain that all-important competitive advantage.
It’s worth noting that there is a distinct difference between a UX designer and a UX design consultant. The former helps to execute and implement specific design tasks that fall within the UX strategy. The role involves evaluating and monitoring how the design impacts user experience, gathering data and aiming to improve UX over time. UX consulting, on the other hand, provides a more holistic evaluation of digital products and involves carrying out extensive research and creating ongoing strategies for how to best implement, measure and improve the user experience. A UX consultant is a partner in strategic thinking and understands the behavioural psychology behind the user. They offer a new mindset and often a change in priorities that can help set your business apart from the competition.
What to Look For in a UX Consultant
When looking for a UX consultant, you’re looking for a partner who can work with you on your project. To ensure you have the right team on board, you’ll want to consider the following key skills:
- Expertise – to ensure you are getting the best, you’ll want to find a UX consultancy firm that has completed a large number of projects. Find out if they have worked with others in your industry and look for testimonials. The more experience they have, the better they will serve you and your users. It may mean that they cost more than others, but they will be worth their weight in gold.
- Collaboration – when you’re working with a consultancy firm, you’re not just hiring another member of your team; you’re hiring a whole team of experts to support you. Make sure that they work well together and share knowledge both internally and with you, so everyone can improve their UX knowledge and create better products.
- Passion – if you find people that love what they do, they’re guaranteed to be better at it. In the fast-paced world of technology, new techniques and trends are emerging all the time. Your consultant should be able to quickly learn and adapt and should be excited to share everything that they learn with you.
- Communication – when it comes to user experience, consultants will need to work alongside a huge range of people throughout your business. Each of them will have a different background and area of expertise. Your consultant needs to be able to pull knowledge from your team, deliver insights and communicate effectively at all times.
- Productivity – in the business world, being able to deliver outcomes quickly can make a huge difference to your bottom line. An experienced consultant will be able to effectively analyse the issues you’re facing, brainstorm solutions and help you to quickly make a significant impact.
Can a UX Consultant Help Your Business?
A UX consultant isn’t there to criticise your business or your projects or to overpower everyone else’s thoughts and ideas. Instead, they are there to add value to your existing skills and industry knowledge and form a valuable part of your team. By engaging a UX consultant, you can develop a customer-centric approach to product development, set up best practice UX procedures and uncover new business opportunities. If you want to create outstanding user experiences and improve your company’s UX maturity, an experienced consultant could well be the perfect partner.