It is said that “Every $1 invested in UX brings $100 in return (Forbes)”. This sums up the importance of UX for any organization which is trying to grow.
“Investment in UX is often the difference between businesses that grow and those that sputter.” - Roman Nurik, designer and design advocate at Google
It can almost be taken for granted that investing in User Experience(UX) generates a massive return on investment. This is repeatedly mentioned or indirectly referred to in many of the product launches by several major companies. Most organizations now strive to achieve the same by incorporating a design mindset across all teams. A mid-sized company dealing with a digital product is most likely to have a UX team or an external UX agency which helps them operate at a higher level of UX Maturity.
At the same time, there could be companies, most startups and even large organizations in which there may exist a design perception among the top leaders. A person who is knowledgeable about user centricity and directs the product design with a certain approach. But, due to lower UX maturity levels, the chances are that the design directions don’t get converted into desirable outcomes. The major reason for this is the absence of a UX design partner.
Hiring and investing time into fresh in-house talent is a time taking task as it requires finding the right talent, creating a culture, training the bunch and then deploying to work on a live project. Given the requirements and deadlines of certain projects, it is not always going to work out practically to hire in-house talent.
In such a scenario the ideal solution is to approach a UX design partner who could be a lifeline to a project and provide the crucial design service as required.
Collaborating with a UX design partner comes with more pros than cons. The benefits can be broadly described as service-related and non-service-related.
Service-related benefits have to do with the design work a UX design partner can provide you. A team of industry experts who are acclimatized to finding solutions for a variety of problems. UX design partners provide services such as:
- Redesigning your whole digital product
- UX Assessment of your current product and help form a new strategy
- Being part of your existing design team and contributing to the design work.
Non-service-related benefits are:
- Amount of time and
- Amount of money
Now it is up to you whether you want to invest in hiring a fresh in-house talent or you want to hire an already trained professional for your work.
- Service-Related Advantages
- Faster Design Solutions: When a company invests in a UX design partner it invests in a team of industry experts, who can deliver the desired quality of work. The team in a UX firm is always a diverse group of people who have been exposed to a wide variety of products and would have provided solutions in various fields (Healthcare, Fintech, logistics, Agritech, etc). Given the exposure and expertise, the resources of a UX design partner can also deliver multiple design solutions faster compared to hiring in-house talent.
- Sizing Up Your Design Team: A UX design partner can also be approached when an organization needs reinforcement of its existing design team. This mainly happens as a strategic step to involve a third party in the system to bring innovation. As mentioned earlier, a UX firm is always a diverse group of people who have been exposed to a wide variety of products. The experience and skill sets which come with the collaboration will help in creating a significant difference in the outcome. Apart from adding members to the team, a UX design partner can also act as a design mentor for startups which have a small teams. Resources of a UX design partner such as experienced UX designers, the tools and software owned by the UX design partner etc. at a startup's disposal would facilitate informed design directions, methodologies, and execution. Thereby producing positive user-centric solutions.
2. Non-service-related benefits
- Time Invested In Hiring Talent: Partnering with a UX firm comes with a package and not just expertise and talent. Capabilities, tools, software etc come at a cost which is already handled by the UX design partner. The people are equipped with a skill set to utilize them. Hiring fresh talent is investing time in finding the right talent, creating a culture, training the bunch and then deploying to work on a live project. When a company is focused on establishing itself it is crucial to keep the customer first. Investing in user-centric design right from the start can ensure that your product meets customer expectations on point. A UX design partner might help a startup walk over all these obstacles by providing trained talent exposed to a wide variety of fields. Diving into products won’t be much of a challenge.
- Cost To Hire In-House Talent vs UX Partner: It doesn’t go without saying that investing time is quite literally investing money into hiring talent. Cost to train, cost of resources, the overhead of finding the right talent, the cost of hiring an agency etc. All these come as costs whereas a UX design partner can simply be hired on a contract basis or a few months' engagements. Working with a UX design partner, in the long run, works out to be a pure exchange for the service.
If you own a start-up, you know that the investment made is huge and there is an immediate need to place your foot in the market, especially in today’s cutthroat competition. In such a scenario partnering with a UX design partner will not only help you in getting the work done by trained professionals but will also save a lot of time and effort needed to train the beginners. And once you set a standard for your startup, you will see it reflected in not only the work but also in the culture of your organization.
As Robert L. Peters, a graphic designer, has rightly said, “Design creates culture. Culture shapes values. Values determine the future.”