11 tips on how to choose the right user experience UX design agency 2019

Entrepreneurship

Authors

Mario Stipetic

What Is UX Design?

User experience design (also referred to as "customer experience design" - CX) is the process is overall experience of a user while using a product such as a mobile/web app or website. Is the experience good, frustrating, pleasant, difficult or baffling for example. The user experience has a direct impact on the product conversion, engagement, and retention rate. The UX design of the product must include everything like branding, technical side, usability, and design. In other words, the UX must take into account the entire product and should be created according to the user's requirements and needs.

Importance of a good UX agency

As a design agency with extensive knowledge in the UX design field, we are familiar with all aspects of a design agency quality and what should a design agency provide to the client. That's why we decided to help you to choose the right UX design agency.

The right UX design agency is essential to your business as it can help you and your company go ahead of your competitors. It can take time to select the right UX design agency but it is neither impossible nor complicated. It is very important for your company to find a strategic UX agency partner so your product can achieve quality grow rates.

Your competition never sleeps, especially in this time of booming IT and rising competition, you should make sure that you have an edge in the user experience field.

Companies that have a user-friendly interface have a stronger chance of gaining loyal and trusty customers. The key to an excellent customer experience online lies in quality visual design, low effort task completion, intuitive navigation, and many other fields.

We will soon publish more details on how the UX design should impact your brand and product so please subscribe to our newsletter on the blog list page.

Create a base for your design project

Before contacting the design agency, you might want to consider compiling a short brief of your design project:

  • your new project end goal
  • for whom the website is for/ what kind of audience
  • what is your budget
  • exact features list
  • expected timeline

In this article, we published a detailed guide on creating a request for proposal (RFP). Please subscribe to our newsletter on the blog list page to receive similar articles to your email.

How to choose the right UX UI design agency?

At first, you will have trouble finding the right UX agency, and it will take time. But there are some questions that you can think about that will help you choose the one you were looking for all along.

1. Examine the past experiences of the agency

It is good to first go through an agency's portfolio. In that way, you will be able to determine the company's major projects and how professional they are in their work. Here are some of the main points you should ask yourself.

How many projects did the agency complete?
Make sure that the experiences are live projects and not merely concepts.

Are their previous works following the same design pattern or every project is different?
It is good to choose a company that takes a unique approach to every project.

What is their design quality?
Quality of work is highly essential. Examine patterns like are the spacings, sizes correct and information properly presented and if their navigation is easy to follow.
Beautiful design sometimes does not mean that the UX is good.
We will soon release an in-depth guide on how to spot a good visual and interaction design so please subscribe to our newsletter on the blog list page.

Does the agency case study include actual user experience, retention, engagement and conversion metrics?
UX design, in the end, is all about improving the metrics and not how pretty the interface looks. The users should report a high user experience metrics and they should have a pleasant time in using your product.

Did they describe the actual process and end design goals in the portfolio?
If they can describe a design process correctly, then that means they have full knowledge of their previous work and take their job seriously. It shows that they connected with their project from the start. Designers need to know all about the process of their project with facts as well as stats.
It is always good to ask the agency to provide concrete examples of what did they do exactly to reach the end design goal. The end goal can be conversion, engagement, or retention rate improvement.

What is the agency best work and why?
How they react to criticisms and feedback is also essential.

2. Communication quality

Communication is a clear way to see if the company you are working with, will perform well or not. The agency should present determination and enthusiasm to work with you.
Enthusiasm can also be viewed via intro emails or by interviewing the agency and question their thoughts about the project.
Ask them about how frequently they communicate with a client, frequent communication is mandatory and crucial to project success. After the design start; you should always know what task is the agency working on in the previous day, today and tomorrow.

3. Design task understanding

It is a good sign if a company wants to have a detailed understanding of your projects. Detailed questions and research indicates interest and that the company wants to have a full understanding of the goals of the project before they start. If they want to start with mockups, then consider refusing.

4. Project management

For a project's success, a team's project managing skills determine how well they can manage it.
- will they deliver the design according to a schedule
- how frequently will the company update you on the progress
- is there anything that the agency needs

Finding out in advance how the agency will deliver results can be challenging but there are a few tricks. See how they communicate often and did they send the proposal on time, this is the first indicator of their management skills and motivation.

5. Look for testimonials

If you know someone who has already worked for the company, then you can gather some evidence and ask around how they worked. You can ask from a common connection or a recent client. Ask them if they would like to work with that company again. You can also see various testimonials on sites such as clutch.co and Linkedin.com for individuals ratings.

6. Agency's team

The agency should present their team and creative director/product manager should be responsible for deliverables, communication, and end quality. The agency team can be remote or they can be located in one office. Each case has its advantages.

During the agency lookup, before hiring, you should definitely talk to an agency lead designer and not just to an agency project manager or salesperson.

7. Services scope

If an agency specializes in your niche, for example, UX design, then the agency should deliver better conversion metrics then the general design agency that handles regular web page design or branding. You should always look does the agency have a dedicated presentation page or blog post on the subject of your project. This will indicate their strategic direction and motivation.
Inclusiveness, the quality of covering or dealing with a required range of subjects or areas is also important.

8. Beware of big clients portfolio and low-quality work

If an agency did business with large corporations it does not mean that they are performing on a quality level. We saw so many examples when the agency did minor work and added a corporation as their clients. Also, similar cases include that they created a larger design for a corporate client but did not deliver high-quality UX or UI design.
Do not be impressed with their clients, look for what exact work they did and is it a quality one.

9. Quality assurance

Quality assurance management plays a crucial role in UX design by ensuring that coded released products meet the design and interaction specifications. The agency should plan, direct and coordinate design quality assurance programs so your final coded project will meet the end user expectations.

10. User research, testing, audit, and benchmarks

Every UX design agency should have extensive experience with
- user research
- user testing
- UX audit
- usability testing / usability studies
- usability benchmarking
- wireframe and interaction prototype design
- mockup design
- personas reports
- sitemap and Information Architecture
- experience Maps
- user Journeys
- user Flows
- final visual design

The majority of UX design work is actually user research, testing, user flow design, etc. and not the actual final visual design.

11. Price

Price is always one of the most important factors in making a decision on who to hire. An old saying goes "I’m not rich enough to buy cheap things". There are three factors that should be considered.

1. hourly price
Either you would like a fixed price estimate or if you are hiring an agency on part-time/full-time basis the estimate should include how many hours will be needed for the project to be finished.

2. how many hours will the agency invest in your design
For example, a fixed price estimate without guaranteed hours invested can mean that the agency will not invest a lot of hours into a most crucial part of the design - perfecting details and they will maybe charge a lot for the service.

3. how fast are the agency designers solving problems
Of course, hourly price does not mean a lot. For example, an experienced and quality designer can finish the design task within 200 hours with excellent results at a costly rate of $100 US. The final cost would equal to $20,000.

A medium level designer can maybe allocate 400 hours while charging around $60 US per hour and deliver low/medium quality results. The final cost would equal to $24,000.

Several questions that are asked while people look for a UX agency

How much does the UX design cost?

Every UX agency price is different from the other. Various clients have various requirements who want a unique design every time. Companies charge accordingly, either they have a fixed rate or hourly charge. Hourly rate is usually between $40 - $200 USD depending on the agency.

The usual cost range of medium-sized mobile app project is around 10,000-30,000 USD for mockup/UI quality design that includes interaction prototype.

User research and user testing are priced separately.

What is the process of UX design?

There are a few basic steps for the majority of the UX designing from agencies.

The first step usually involves a discussion of the project and project research. This also includes user research etc. Once the scope, primary structure, and personas are identified, the designers start working on the ultimate goal; information architecture wireframes, prototype, etc.
Then, the prototype is presented for initial feedback and testing.
After this, the agency starts working on the interface design such as brand colors, typefaces and other design features that are relevant to the brand.

Once ready, the project is then composed into a much higher level of finish. This project is then moved onto the user testing and then ultimately to the development team.

What are the most popular UI prototyping tools?

There are a few favorite interactive prototyping tools for designers. They include Figma, Adobe XD, Sketch, InVision, Flinto, Marvel, etc.

Where can I find and hire a user experience design agency?

There are several blog posts that compiled a list of the best agencies, here are some of them:

https://clutch.co/agencies/ui-ux

https://uxplanet.org/top-user-experience-ui-ux-design-agencies-3696f3daed4e

Our agency is also offering UX design service so please contact us by using the "Schedule a free 20-minute consultation" link.

Download free Figma product page design template

The file is in .fig format and it is free to download
Download template

Schedule a free 20-minute eCommerce UX design consultation

We will be glad to e-meet to know more about your project.
Schedule Consultation

Download the UX design Request for proposal (RFP) template for free here

The file is in .doc format and it is free to download
Download RFP template

You might be interested in...

We ensure that our designs meet  the high standards  of all three sides: customer, client and aesthetic/functionality.

20 tips for optimizing your eCommerce product page UX

The goal of every eCommerce shop is to increase sales rates, raise average order value(to maintain lower shipping costs), create trust and loyal customers. To do so, eCommerce shops need to follow a few guidelines.

See Post

Top UX consultants in London 2019

Finding a good UX consultancy agency in London can be difficult. There is a huge number of agencies but only some of them offer a true multi-discipline approach with concern about the overall product quality.

See Post

Customer journey mapping

Customer journey mapping is a great technique for visualizing the customer's experience that any company can use but there are some basic steps that should be followed in order to get the proper results.

See Post