Whether your company is preparing to introduce a new digital product or there's a risk that current user experience issues prevent you from expanding, it's a good idea to revisit your user experience strategy. The area of user experience design is large, interdisciplinary, and intriguing. It influences the goods and services we use regularly, and it may make or break a company's or brand's success.
The profession of a UX designer is dynamic and requires a wide range of skills. In this article, we'll give you the best introduction to UX design, discuss UX consulting, and tell you everything you need to know.
After reading this article, you will learn:
- What are the key differences between a UX Designer and a UX Design Consultant, and how do their roles complement each other in a project?
- How do UX Design Consultants contribute to boosting a company's return on investment (ROI)?
- What are some key traits to look for when hiring a UX Design Consultant for your business?
- How can a UX consultant help a company discover new business opportunities and hidden problems?
- How important is the ability to learn and adapt to new UX trends for a UX consultant, given the fast-paced nature of the IT sector?
So, let's get started.
Table of Contents
What is UX design?
User experience encompasses all aspects of the end-user’s interaction with the company, its services, and its products.
— Don Norman, Cognitive Scientist & User Experience Architect
Any contact a user has with a product or service is referred to as user experience (UX). Every aspect that forms this experience, how it makes the user feel, and how simple it is for the user to achieve their intended objectives are all taken into account by UX design. This may be anything from the experience of a tangible object in your hands to how simple the checkout procedure is when purchasing anything digitally. The objective of UX design is to provide users with simple, effective, meaningful, and overall enjoyable experiences.
What is UX design consulting?
By applying the proper UX procedures, methodologies, and tools, UX consultancy helps organizations enhance their product's overall usability and save costs.
A professional design and UX consulting firm will assess your product holistically, give product strategy advice, run workshops, and provide education to empower your company with the finest UX techniques.
The best UX consultants focus on at every stage of the product development cycle, from product discovery and prototype validation to post-release support.
What does a UX design consultant do?
Here are the core duties of a UX design consultant.
- help to gain an understanding of customer needs and their detailed personas
- perform audits of applications, websites and SaaS products
- build prototypes and perform usability tests
- provide a roadmap to user experiences strategies
- give ongoing direction and means to measure the effectiveness of the UX
- engage and educate staff members
When do you need UX design consulting?
It's difficult to establish your own in-house UX design team unless you're a computer behemoth or a software firm. It's difficult to find and hire the appropriate professionals, especially when you require individuals with the knowledge and experience to recognize possible UX roadblocks and uncover additional optimization possibilities.
On the other hand, qualified UX consultants would have worked on several projects in a variety of sectors and for a variety of businesses.
Here are a couple of situations where you should consider hiring a UX design consultant:
- When you need an outside perspective a consultant can reveal solutions that are concealed at a closer range. Professional counsel and objective assessment, result in specific suggestions and creating better user solutions.
- Hiring a consulting team will help you boost your productivity and profitability. Improve the UX design of your product to maximize its potential.
- UX consultant will help you develop effective usability testing strategies and determine if your products work properly.
- A UX design consultant will assist you in gaining a significant competitive advantage.
- Engaging a UX consultant is also a good idea when you need a complete audit of your application or website to find areas for improvement.
- You might also want some assistance from a UX consultant when developing a new UX strategy.
UX designer vs. UX design consultant?
There is a lot of overlap among UX designers' and consultants' everyday tasks, but there are also significant distinctions. Client expectations for UX consultants are different from those for other types of consultants. A shift in priorities and mentality has occurred.
The main features of each position are listed below.
UX Design Consultant
- A UX consultant's job is to highlight the need for user research for both generating leads and increasing sales.
- UX consultant conducts a holistic evaluation and auditing of the digital products.
- He/She performs big-level prototyping and usability testing of the products.
- Research and create roadmaps, strategies and implement UX.
- Inform staff and other stakeholders regarding the best UX practices.
- Monitor organization growth by educating staff members regarding the changes made around.
- Lead and influence the top-down UX efforts of an organization for better results.
- Recommend best tools and methods to measure and improve UX.
- A UX designer's job is to execute and implement a specific design task included in the UX strategy.
- UX designers own a certain aspect of the user experience.
- Evaluate and monitor the UX design processes and how they impact the overall UX experience.
- Interpret data gathered by research and implement it into design work.
- Improve the UX design over time.
- Keep the stakeholders and management aware of the issues in UX design.
What can UX design consulting do for your business?
UX consultants are recruited to assist, not to criticize, or crush everyone else's ideas. A UX consultant do many jobs such as:
Set up the proper UX procedures
A UX design consultant can use agile methodology and a customer-centric approach to assist you in driving organizational development and internal change.
Learn about new business options
A UX expert looks at the overall picture of your company to help you uncover hidden problems and possibilities.
Boost your return on investment
UX consultant experts can help you determine how to assess the success of UX design and enhance the commercial performance of your product.
Create outstanding user experiences
If you want to enhance the performance of your product but don't know where to begin, then a UX consultant can help you figure out what consumers want and how to solve usability issues.
A UX consultant can help your company save time and money on design, research, and engineering by prioritizing product design and development activities.
Improve your company's UX maturity.
To equip your organization with the proper UX tools and methodologies, UX consultants offer workshops and training for key stakeholders and product teams.
What to look for in a UX design consulting team?
There are several crucial characteristics of an elite consultant. Here are some key points:
Consultants have completed a large number of projects, which makes them the finest experts in their industry. They may be paid more for each hour than an average worker, but this should be accompanied by their greater expertise and knowledge. They can discuss both the advantages and disadvantages of each proposal.
Knowledge acquired by a group effort
Scaling up knowledge is something that a strong consulting team excels at. Even inexperienced consultants have immediate access to top advisers with years of expertise, as well as internal databases, frameworks, and case studies to apply to your project. Quality consultants aren't embarrassed to confess when they don't know something right away, but they are creative and seek assistance from others when necessary to discover the best answers.
The ability to learn.
While you should expect a consultant to be knowledgeable and experienced, in the fast-paced IT sector, it is their ability to learn that counts the most. Daily, new user interface patterns, techniques, and trends emerge.
It is not just academic knowledge that is important, but also actual abilities. This is especially true when it comes to the current design approach. UX designers gather essential insights and data, discuss viable solutions, settle on the most promising ones with the team, and verify their decisions in UX design sprint workshops. These duties need excellent analytical abilities as well as the capacity to think effectively and come up with novel solutions on the go.
A skilled UX consultant has excellent communication skills, which enable them to pull knowledge from your team — regardless of their personality. They are also capable of leading workshops. Your team may already have the answers to the questions you're posing. Client service workers, sales reps, analysts, and software developers all have a distinct perspective on who your users are and who they could become as you expand your customer base. Furthermore, when making presentations, competent consultants introduce concepts gradually and effectively explain them to the consumer.
Extreme ownership culture
The finest consultants are in charge of their meetings and the outcomes of the process. They are professional while being friendly, aggressive while remaining open-minded and innovative while remaining motivated by the value they give.
High productivity. You want your consultants to be able to produce outcomes quickly. This applies to every area of their job: analysis, which leads to a better knowledge of the underlying problem, brainstorming solutions to problems, and lastly, the real-world impact. They must be able to efficiently perform and integrate the outcomes of their labor into the framework of your product or organization.
Not only will the best UX consultants enhance your UX design process and core business metrics, but they will also help you save money. They will train your team on how to establish your product with a design-first strategy for as long as their commitment to the project lasts, and they will encourage everyone involved in the project to continue to develop their points of view.
When a project with a top consultant is completed, you should be able to conduct your design sprints, spot potential UX issues, plan user journeys and develop innovative ideas to overcome roadblocks and improve performance.