- How to Find the Best UX Design Agency
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Wondering how to find the best UX design agency? You have come to the right place!
User experience is far too important if you plan to build world-class digital products. You need the right UX design to implement your digital strategy effectively. It’s great if you have in-house UX designers. If you don’t, then you need to hire a UI/UX design agency.
You certainly need a trustworthy and competent UX design firm. Companies that hired DevTeam.Space can attest to that, as the following case studies illustrate:
- Adventure Aide: It’s a tourism and recreation app that enables users to book unique outdoor adventures.
- A face, sex, age, and video emotion recognition system for NEC: This security-focused system uses image recognition, machine learning (ML), and neural networks.
- An app for Vital Interaction: This app is for Vital Interaction, a provider of software products that automate healthcare communication workflows. This app manages pre-visit and post-visit communications.
We now talk about how you can find the right UX/UI design agency.
1. Decide the kind of services you need from a UX design agency
As a first step, you need to think through your requirements. Ask yourself the following questions:
- “Do I only need people for graphic design, etc.?”
- “Do I need UI designers for web design?”
- “Should I hire UI designers for mobile apps?”
- “Do I need UI and UX designers for designing my proposed digital products?”
- “Should I manage the UI/UX design work, or should I expect a UX company to manage it?”
- “Do I need the services of a branding agency?”
- “Do I need advice regarding digital marketing, UX strategy, etc.?”
- “Is there a requirement for the UX designer to work in a specific city like San Francisco or New York?”
- “Do I need services like web development and mobile app development in addition to UX design?”
- “Should the digital product agency have experience in a specific industry like the financial services industry?”
This isn’t an exhaustive list of questions, however, you get the point. Clearly formulate your requirements.
2. Issue a “Request for Proposal” (RFP) looking for a UI/UX design agency
You have written down your requirements, therefore, you can now start to look for a UX/UI design agency. Create an RFP (Request for Proposal).
You should provide the following information in the RFP:
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- Your project requirements;
- The kind of services that you want from a user experience agency;
- The process and template for UX firms to respond to your RFP;
- Credentials and documents that UX studios should provide along with the RFP response;
- The process for UX agencies to get answers to their questions;
- Proposal submission deadline;
- Schedule and criteria for evaluating the proposals submitted by the UX design agencies.
Read the Investopedia guide to RFPs for more information.
Issue the RFP. You should get responses from the top UX agencies. Ideally, the RFP should not exclude an up-and-coming digital agency or web design firm. Many of these UX design firms provide credible services.
3. Understand the criteria to evaluate a UX agency
How would you evaluate the proposals submitted by the different UX design agencies? You need to understand the evaluation criteria first. Consider the following criteria when evaluating a UX/UI design agency:
3A. Track record in business ethics
Upholding business ethics isn’t the sole criterion before choosing a service provider. However, you need to treat this as the proverbial “entry ticket”.
You shouldn’t do any business with a digital agency that can’t uphold business ethics. Entering into business agreements with such companies expose you to too many risks.
E.g., your corporate secrets might not remain a secret if you work with a questionable UX design firm. Most of the industries witness cut-throat competition, and leaked corporate secrets can put you at disadvantage.
To take another example, a UX design agency with a questionable track record can sell sensitive information about your users. The UI/UX design company might have gotten hold of this information while conducting a user research exercise. This compromises the privacy of your customers, and you just can’t afford that.
Look around for key information to judge the track record in business ethics. Customer reviews and employee reviews can provide robust indicators. Read reviews of a UX design agency on sites like Clutch, GoodFirms, and Glassdoor.
3B. Financial health of a UI/UX design agency
You need a UX design company with sound financial health. Even if a UX design firm has competent people and processes, it won’t progress far without good financial health.
The company won’t be able to invest in people, processes, methods, and tools if it doesn’t make enough profits. Financial challenges might even force the company to downsize. This can seriously impact its capabilities.
Look for a UI/UX design company that maintains good financial health consistently. You should study market reports regularly to find such companies.
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3C. Delivery track record of a UX design company
Assess the delivery track record of UI/UX design firms. You might need to ask the following questions:
- Who are the customers of the UX design agency, and what do they say about the company?
- How many digital products did the company design? Which are the most successful ones among them?
- Did the UX design agency use a “cookie-cutter” approach in all projects? You should hire a UX design partner that believes that every business software deserves a unique approach to design based on its target audience.
- Did the UX studio work on designing enterprise software including legacy enterprise platforms?
- Can the UX studio show important metrics concerning conversion and engagement for the web and mobile applications they designed?
- How’s the quality of the work in the design projects executed by the UX design company?
- What kind of project scope did the UI/UX design company handle? Did it focus on the user interface and user experience design only? Alternatively, did it work as a branding firm too? Did the company work on aspects like service design and product strategy? Did the company provide a software development team too?
You might be able to find answers to some of these questions in the project portfolio provided by a user experience agency. A simple Google search might help you to get answers to some other questions. You need a detailed conversation with the UI/UX design agency to get answers to some of the questions.
3D. Skills of the UX professionals in the UX/UI design agency
UX designers in the top UX design firms need the relevant skills. These are as follows:
- Undertaking UX research;
- Field research methods;
- Creating user personas;
- Design thinking;
- Building wireframes;
- Developing prototypes;
- UI/UX design process;
- UX writing;
- Information architecture;
- Visual design;
- Visual communication;
- Mock-up design;
- Interaction design;
- Creating user flows;
- Adaptive and responsive design;
- Core elements of UI design like input controls;
- User-centered design;
- Style standards and guides;
- Familiarity with popular business software for UX design, e.g., Adobe XD, Figma, InVision Studio, Sketch, etc.;
- UX audit;
- UX consulting process;
- Usability testing;
- User testing.
They should also have the following skills:
- Business acumen;
- Competitive analysis;
- Change management;
- Systems thinking;
- Business analysis.
You want UX designers with skills in software development methodologies like Agile. Furthermore, they should understand coding, testing, and DevOps.
You might be able to assess some of these by evaluating successful projects done by the UX design agency. Additionally, you need in-depth conversations with the user experience agency.
3E. Competencies of the UX designers in the agency
UX designers in a high-quality UX design agency should have the following competencies:
- Empathy, which will enable them to see the user’s perspective;
- Collaboration and teamwork;
- Communication skills;
- Problem-solving skills;
- Passion for excellence;
- Commitment to the project objectives.
Note: UX designers should demonstrate the ability to work with different stakeholders like business analysts, developers, testers, scrum masters, etc.
You might need detailed conversations with UX professionals to assess their competencies. Furthermore, read customer reviews.
3F. Project management capabilities of the UX design agency
A UX design firm should have considerable project management capabilities. It should show matured capabilities in key aspects, e.g.:
- Project planning;
- Communications management;
- Risk management;
- Human resource management;
- Quality management including review and testing;
- Project monitoring and control.
Assess its capabilities by reading reviews and face-to-face conversations.
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UX design is a crucial piece when you try to build world-class digital products. Don’t cut corners. Price is an important criterion, however, you must view it in the context of the value. A UX design agency that provides superior services can’t come unusually cheap.
4. Evaluate the proposals of UX design agencies
So, you now have clarity over the evaluation criteria. You also have received proposals from different UX design firms. Now, you need to evaluate the proposals.
Take the following steps:
- Read the proposals thoroughly.
- Eliminate proposals that just don’t meet the RFP requirements. If the RFP rules allow, then you can ask the company in question to submit a corrected proposal.
- Ask for additional information or clarifications if a proposal doesn’t answer your questions clearly. E.g., many companies will claim that they provide outstanding usability. Ask them to furnish evidence of providing outstanding usability. Don’t get satisfied by a sales pitch!
- Ask the companies how they plan to upgrade their capabilities, processes, methods, and tools. After all, a smart UX design agency shouldn’t just show off a former project’s success. It should plan to meet the demands of the future.
- Invite the bidders to present their proposal orally.
- Plan for visits to the offices of the bidders. When you visit such an office, talk to the UX designers there. Don’t rely only on the presentations by the executives.
- Get the rationale for the price quoted in the proposal. Evaluate whether the price matches the value promised by the UX design agency.
5. Hire the UX design agency that you selected
You have selected the right UX design agency. Now, you need to take the following steps:
- Close the RFP process.
- Sign a contract with the selected UX design firm.
- Onboard the team of the UI/UX design agency into your project environment.
- Explain the project requirements to the UX designers and provide the required documents.
- Introduce the UX designers to your larger team.
- Ensure that the UX/UI designers have the required access.
- Set up a communication process and establish accountability.
- Monitor the work of the UX design team.
Key success factors other than UX design for building a successful digital product
In addition to hiring an excellent UX company, you need to plan for the following success factors:
- You need the right people for roles like the project manager, software architect, business analysts, developers, testers, and DevOps engineers.
- Manage the project requirements effectively.
- Formulate an effective software development approach.
- Use cloud computing to your advantage.
- Choose an appropriate technology stack.
- Design and implement a comprehensive information security solution.
- Plan, execute and monitor the project effectively.
We described how you can evaluate UX agencies and hire the best UX design agency. Launching a successful digital product requires much more than engaging the best UX agencies. You need to execute a custom software development project successfully, and you might need help. Contact DevTeam.Space, and a dedicated account manager will explain how we can help.
You can find many user experience companies. Many of them claim to work for large enterprises, while many claim to have delivered crucial projects. The reality can often vary from the claims. You need to work hard to find a trustworthy and competent UX design agency. Plan accordingly.
DevTeam.Space has comprehensive experience in helping companies undertake digital transformation. This includes areas like custom software development, designing user interfaces and user experiences, software architecture, testing, DevOps, DevSecOps, and project management.
DevTeam.Space can provide a complete user interface and user experience design team. We can also provide highly skilled, experienced, and motivated user experience designers. Our UX designers can develop transformative user experiences to help your business succeed in a competitive market.