Getting started on a design project? The most crucial thing to consider is the people who would be using your product. You must know the kind of experience that you will have and what steps you can take to improve it. This process is called user experience or UX. The term may seem innocuous, but it is pivotal to get UX Design right. However, it incorporates technical handling, usability, and even branding. Also, an app/website is designed as per the needs and requirements of the end-users. Naturally, only an expert UX vendor will be capable of edging out the competition, via intuitive page navigation, high-quality visual designs, and meeting the needs of the users, as well as, the company.
So, how do you choose the right UX vendor?
When it comes to selecting the right UX vendor for your design project, formulating the RFP is just as important as keeping the right factors in mind.
What is an RFP and its importance?
According to Wikipedia, RFP or “Request For Proposal” is a document that solicits a proposal and it is typically made through a bidding process by a company or agency looking to procure a service, commodity, or a valuable asset from potential suppliers.
In the world of UX design, however, RFP stands as a formal request for a demonstration of skills, experience, and competencies required to cover the process of the design project. The RFP will be prepared and sent by the agency or company wanting to acquire the right designers and technologies to the potential vendor.
When the question arises regarding the purpose of the RFP, the answer is a comprehensive description of the needs and requirements of your company or design project. The RFP is meant to give the potential vendor a clear and comprehensive idea of what you are looking for and what your project needs.
It also provides a clear picture of how the vendor can contribute to the advancement of your project. Also, it is quite useful in the creation of benchmarks of success that can be utilized when you have selected the vendor and your design project is under development.
What to put in the RFP?
A. Project outline and basic client information:
The project outline ought to include basic client information, goals, and problems of the project, and explaining the areas of work as exactly as possible.
B. Primary goals:
Target users, your goals from the project, and your business purpose should be mentioned clearly.
A price range so that the UX vendor can realistically assess the assignment and provide proper solutions.
Benefits of outsourcing your UX project
1. Optimized workload
The UX/UI workload isn’t consistent. Usually, there’s a lot of work in the beginning and you might feel that an internal team will be better suited for it. But, once you launch the design, there’s just maintenance left. If this is a one-time design project, you won’t be able to keep your internal team busy. A UX vendor, however, offers long-term commitment and also the flexibility of terminating the partnership once your project needs are fulfilled.
2. Save time and money
Outsourcing your design project to a UX design firm is the best option because they have the team to handle your needs which can save you money and time. If there’s any trouble with the team, they have replacement resources as well.
3. Access to the latest trends and resources
UX design firms always stay up-to-date with the latest trends and have access to high-end resources to complete your project efficiently.
4. Proven expertise
The employees of a UX design firm have already been through a vetting process. Working with a UX vendor, you don’t have to worry about the UX designer’s experience or expertise.
Factors to consider for choosing the right vendor
1. Work experience
The years of experience of the UX vendor go a long way in revealing their expertise. Also, find out the minimum requirements the firm has in place for hiring UX designers. This is to ensure that you’re not paying a huge premium on junior resources.
Professional UX firms work with teams of designers who bring a diverse skill set to the table. Among those skills are workflow or functional design, user research, content strategy, and visual design. It is better to find a UX vendor that can provide you with specialty resources so that you don’t have to change vendor mid-stream. A qualified vendor will be able to assist you with a simple design project and also handle the complexities that may arise as the project progresses. Also, keep an eye out for domain expertise so that you can work with a vendor who is familiar with your domain.
UX vendor’s portfolio would consist of some of the past works that will give you an idea of how they have handled the projects and what they did to bring value to the project. It will give you a taste of the team’s visual aesthetics and creativity. Also, this will help you understand the varied domains and industries that the design firm has had experience working in.
While you’re checking the portfolio, don’t just look at the visual elements and the design layout. You must also check the placement of the CTA and the navigation bar.
The question of scalability doesn’t typically arise if you’re looking to hire a UX vendor for your one-time, small project. But, scalability matters the most for large projects. However, it is always good to find out if the vendor has the resources to scale if required. This includes an assessment of the vendor’s recruiting capabilities and if they have the operations infrastructure that will allow cost to scale as your project requirements grow.
5. Design process
Any good design firm wouldn’t hesitate to accurately describe the entire design process. For instance, they should be able to describe why the menu has been designed on the top-right or top-left corner of the application or website, instead of the bottom or in the middle.
This would show that the design agency has in-depth knowledge of their craft and knows how not to compromise on user experience.
Moreover, a good UX vendor would also include tracking information and metrics so that you can measure the success of your design project.
6. Soft skills
Once you’ve ensured that the agency has the required technical knowledge and skills, it’s time to move on to soft skills. The agency’s talent ought to be a good fit for your project and to assess that, you need to get a couple of conversations going. The conversations will help you to understand whether the UX agency is open to discussions and willing to hear your inputs. Also, find out if the agency is responsive and can be contacted easily whenever you have a query or wish to make changes to the project.
7. Project management & quality assurance practices
No doubt, you require the expertise of UX designers for your project’s success, but that’s not all. There needs to be control and oversight of the program. The agency must follow the best project management techniques to make sure that the project stays on track. And, if there are any changes to the timeline, you should be notified immediately. Also, quality assurance practices should exist to make sure of consistent and solid design. And, the right UX vendor would be ready to handle any issues that may crop up from time to time.
Working with the right UX vendor, you can ensure that your UX/UI project is relevant and hits the right chord with your target audience.
In case you need any help with UI UX designs, connect with us at Divami!