When you are at the very beginning of your project, wish to improve an existing MVP concept, increase your website conversion rate or hire your first in-house UI/UX team, you may need a specialist who will help you do things right.
Want to know how to choose and where to hire UI and UX specialists? Read this article below to find the answers.
Who is a UI/UX Consultant?
Let me start by clarifying who the user interface designer and user experience designer are and how they play different roles.
Normally, UI and UX specialists consult on different topics. But many of them were UI designers previously, and later on, they combined their UI/UX designer skills. Such specialists are competent in both areas.
UX design consultants identify the needs, habits and emotional state of product users. Such specialists compare users’ needs with business goals, product challenges and alternatives in the marketplace.
UI specialists use the information provided by a client and researcher about the target audiences and their needs to do magic and create a clear, well-structured and interactive look for a project.
Knowing the difference between the two will save you time and resources when deciding who you need and why to hire one or the other specialist.
Now, since it is clear who is who, read on about why and when you may need the help of a UI/UX design consultant.
Four cases when you need UI/UX Consultant
You might wonder why you should spend time and resources on a consultant instead of hiring a UI/UX engineer to do the work.
If you are sure your product or service is going to be an overnight success, you will probably invest in hiring a full-time specialist. But when you are experimenting with offers and target audiences, hiring a web design consulting specialist might be more convenient.
I have come across four cases when owners should choose UI/UX consultant services for business.
- A fresh pair of eyes at a certain development phase. You may have only one full-time employee who volunteered or was assigned to perform UI or UX work. Most likely, you will need a consultant’s help to sufficiently audit the results and help meet your quality requirements.
- Discovery phase. We practice this phase at Solvd. Our clients receive assistance with developing their product ideas or improving a minimum viable product (MVP) concept. At this stage of the customer journey, consultants resolve UX and architecture issues by working in cooperation with a business analyst. If clients choose this consulting service, they may expect to get a good development basis. It will involve User Stories, Personas and Diagrams, Non-Functional Requirements, High-Level Wireframes, Architect Reviews and High-Level Project Estimation.
- Sharing expertise. Clients may need in-depth knowledge of consultants to do UX research and draw up a strategy. Experts can share UI/UX best practices and provide tips on gathering, organizing and analyzing valuable data. I call this case design strategy consulting. The UI/UX expertise of external specialists helps business owners plan meaningful product and service development steps.
- Shaping an in-house team. Clients frequently outsource MVP when they are not sure about a project’s success and business test ideas. As projects mature, owners decide to hire in-house UI/UX design specialists. They need team leads who have worked over an MVP and can consult throughout the migration process. If that is your case, a UI/UX design consultant will help you create a workspace and establish business processes, given that your project is scaling up and the number of employees is growing.
But remember that you, as a client, should have already hired your key employees who will form the backbone of your future product team.
UI/UX Design Consulting: benefits and risks
It’s hard to predict the exact responsibilities of a UI or UX consultant on your project. Anyway, the KPI of a professional consultant is the ability to unearth a working solution for your problem. You gain an expert vision and suggestions of using proven methods for your project success:
- A UI/UX design consultant contributes in-depth expertise to your project.
- A professional consultant works independently, and you spend less time supervising the work.
- The cost of consulting services is reasonable, which allows you to save on hiring an entire team right from the start. The work of a user experience consultant is investigative by nature. A professional will get to the core of your problem by using universal methods.
Although the methods and tools suit many cases, which increases your chances to find a working solution, you should consider the likely risks:
- A UI/UX design consultant may lack experience in a specific area.
- Consulting doesn’t deliver a turnkey product; it just shows you the path.
- You need a specialist with adequate skills in UI/UX, or you risk paying a lot of money for little value. If you have clearly defined the task, assessed the risks and planned your budget, you are likely to know why you need UI or UX consulting services, and you can start looking for a consultant.
What to look at when hiring UX/UI Consultants
The hiring process of UX/UI consultants should be based on the following important factors.
- Experience and portfolio. You need to find a person who has already solved UI and UX issues similar to what you’ve faced. Your business can find such specialists in the same way as you recruit developers for a new project. There are specialists with different levels of experience available in the market.
- Their work tools match your needs and requirements. Thanks to the correct match in terms of UX/UI design tools, you will be able to avoid or prevent future confusion and misunderstandings that could damage your project.
- Strategic thinking skills. For a UX/UI design consultant, it is crucial to have strategic thinking. In other words, not only is the visual taste important but remember to think about problem-solving techniques and the general functional vision of the project.
- Feedback and collaboration. To achieve the best results, UX/UI design consultants should cooperate with the other team members. Therefore, they should be open and receptive to both negative and positive feedback.
All in all, the experts in UI/UX design consultancy can help you determine the success of your design and improve the core business metrics and commercial performance of your project. Such an approach can help you minimize making costly mistakes and facing countless emergencies while maximizing opportunities to drive business growth.
Hiring a UI/UX consultant is not a one-size-fits-all solution. As with all recruitment, your business should weigh all of the pros and cons of such a decision while also considering the candidate’s experience and specialization.
Why choose Solvd?
Need more help with your digital product and search for a company that provides high-quality UX/UI consultation services? Solvd is here to help. We have a large pool of talented specialists that have many years of experience of bringing projects of any scale or complexity to reality. Reach out to us, and a dedicated manager will contact you shortly to discuss the individual needs of your project and explain our value proposition to you.