You may be familiar with this situation when you launch a website for your business, and the product works well from a technical side, but still does not sell as well as the owners would like. One of the possible reasons for such annoyance may be poor user experience. Customers visit the website and leave it because their tasks or problems were not solved.
How to fix it? A UX consultant may help there. According to UX Planet research, 80% of consumers are willing to pay extra for a better user experience. So investing in a good user experience is important. Every dollar invested in UX brings $100 in return. Forester Research claims that’s a huge 9,900 percent ROI. Because UX improves conversion, session time, and helps to solve business and user problems faster, better, and with fewer errors.
In this article, you will read about all benefits that UX consulting can give you and your business.
What is UX Consulting?
A full understanding of UX design meaning is crucial when you are thinking about UX consulting help for your business. Our team believes that UX is the simplification of the rituals (uniform actions) of the user in order to achieve business goals and make life easier for the user. UX is done for business, but its main consumer is always a person.
“User experience encompasses all aspects of the end-users interaction with the company, its services, and its products.”
– Don Norman, co-founder of the Nielsen Norman Group Design Consultancy, Cognitive Scientist & User Experience Architect
User Experience Design (UX or UXD) is a term about creating a product that will meet all business and user’s needs and will be pleasant to use. A good UX impacts on the business metrics like conversion, customer engagement and gives users satisfaction, and doesn’t force them to take many efforts towards their goals there.
UX components such as interface, layouts, content have affection on how customers embrace your website. UX consulting can help you find issues there and make the UX of your website work better. Of course, you can find problems by yourself, and even try to solve them, but it will take time. A time in business costs too much, so it is better to leave it to the professionals.
Yet, UX consulting may give you recommendations on how to improve not only your UX but the whole visual design and marketing strategy. This is a complex process during which not only the technical side of the product is analyzed, but also its audience. After this analysis, suggestions for improving the marketing strategy can also be provided. This will not be just an instant decision, but a plan for the long-term improvement of your project.
Read more about app or website redesign in our previous article.
Step by step guide on how to redesign your app or website
What is a UX Design Consultant and What Do They Do?
While the UX designer is responsible for solution creation, look, and feel, the UX consultant is focused on research. UX designer often has a creative background and can help resolve known issues while UX consultant is working deeper. User experience consultants can analyze your existing product, make a deep research on users’ needs and provide you with a new improved strategy that will influence all processes you take in your solution.
The role of a UX consultant may depend on the project. For example, you can hire a user experience consultant for an already launched project. There, this professional can help you improve the whole process. They analyze the product, find bottlenecks, and suggest how to fix them. to solve the business problem and make it convenient for the user Or you can hire a UX consultant on the beginning stages of product creation. There, UX consulting can help you to find potential opportunities and detect potential issues, so you will be one step ahead.
To conclude everything, a UX consultant looks at all issues your product has from different points of view. The user experience consultant acts as a liaison between the business and the design team itself. This professional researches information and structures it. With this, you will see weak sides in the UI/UX design of your product. The results of deep research will give you a new strategy not only for design but for all other processes. This expert will help you resolve crucial issues that prevent your business from being effective. In general, there are a few stages in UX design consultancy:
This step includes gathering all information about the product, business goals, communicating with the project team, and domain and competitor research to understand a context. Here could be conducted an expert review or UX audit.
Based on user interviews and surveys, the UX consultant creates customer personas. With this, it will be possible to make a Customer Journey Map (CJM) for understanding how the user interacts with the product. The main point of this stage is finding the areas of improvement and collecting insight about the project.
The UX consultant prepares a report based on the activities carried out. This report contains recommendations and ideas for improvement. As well as how best to carry out these improvements.
After receiving approval from the business for making changes, the UX consultant, together with the design team, prepares a roadmap for the implementation of changes. There UX consultant changes pages outlines, site maps, and wireframes and then makes sure that all of these elements are working correctly to meet all user’s needs. Yet, user experience consultants can help to develop all of these elements from scratch, if it is needed.
Ideally, all these changes need to be tested. Either at the design stage or already in the product in action to track how they affect business metrics.
After implementation of improvements, you can periodically repeat everything in a circle, since the market and users change and you need to constantly update your product. And a look from the outside allows you to bring something new to the business.
What Your Business Can Get From User Experience Consulting
UX consulting can help to improve the overall usability of the product. And at first glance, this is working with users. But how does this help the business?
89% of consumers shop with a competitor after a poor user experience. Poor UX leads to losing your leads. That’s why it is important to invest in your website. After UI UX consulting your website will be improved and sales will increase along with it.
Fewer customers complain
The better UX the fewer customer complaints you will get. After a bad customer service experience, 39% of customers will avoid a company for two years. So as you see, it is important to reduce possible issues on your website for better returning of customers also.
The UX consultancy can help you to optimize the time and resources spent on design and development. There will be fewer contacts to support. And if you are designing a back office, then the work of employees will be accelerated and their work will be optimized. So, it can save your money and even multiply it by improving your website and marketing strategy.
A user experience consultant can help evaluate the effectiveness of UX design and increase your website’s performance. The UX consultant will help with what design metrics can be considered and what is not so critical. Thus, there will be an understanding in which critical moments it is worth investing resources.
Discover new business opportunities
UX consultant looks at your business with a fresh view. It will help you to discover untapped opportunities and implicit issues.
69% of US consumers say customer service is very important when it comes to their loyalty to a brand. A UX consultant can help you to define your audience’s needs and with this provide better customer service.
According to Statista, 60% of consumers rate usability as an important design characteristic for online products. UX consulting will help in discovering users’ needs and based on this resolve usability issues.
A superb overall UX design can boost website conversion rates up to 400%. And it could be related to the customer portal as for the back office. Every click and every second matters and the UX consultant will optimize it. Everything is interconnected.
After we’ve made out what UX consulting is and what benefits it gives, it is time to learn about how to understand that you need one.
Hiring UX Consultant Makes Sense When You Want to…
Having a product or are preparing for a launch may be a good reason to hire an independent consultant. They will not be biased and will be able to look with fresh eyes. Are there other points to hiring a UX consultant? This can work fine if you need to:
When you are working on your project for a while but can’t figure out why it is not working. You can try to provide usability testing, but hiring a UX consultant will simplify the task. The user experience consultant will not only help you find errors but also show you how you can solve them.
Imagine, you’ve rebranded your product and it works well from the technical side, but still has some issues with the design or navigation. Or you’ve just developed and launched your product but something is still going wrong. In this case, the user experience design consultant can give you a capacious review and suggestions on what to redesign.
It may be needed when you understand that your product doesn’t stay ahead of the competition. The UX consultant will give you a fresh view of your business and provide you with ideas on how to implement innovations and update your product.
Better understand your users
The product may be launched and it may work well from the technical and design side… But this is only at first glance. Sales are still poor. The UX research consultant will make a deep analysis of your target audience to find out if there are some hidden issues.
Develop a new product
UI UX consultant can help you at the start of your way to developing a new product. They can help you in building your strategy and finding the right target audience. Hiring a UX consultant in the early stages of product development can help you to avoid possible issues in the future.
What Steps Does User Experience Consulting Take?
Besides detecting issues and helping to build a more effective strategy, a UX consultant can improve your team’s UX processes. Further, we will take a closer look at how your project will be improved with user experience consulting.
A UX consultant can audit your website and identify problem areas that can help you to achieve your business goals. A project audit is a complicated process for defining potential usability issues that require many steps.
To make this, a UX consultant collects behavioral and attitudinal metrics. This will give information about user flows, website conversion, or abandonment, and hotspots. To gather more information, a UX consultant collects feedback from real users and communicates with the development team.
After collecting all information the UX consultant analyzes and organizes data to see all problem points of the website. Sometimes user experience consultants may visualize all collected data into Customer Journey Maps (CJM), or empathy maps. As a result, you will get a full understanding of the weak sides of your product. Yet, you will have a list of suggestions on how to improve the visual design, branding, marketing strategy, accessibility, and responsiveness of your product.
If you would like to know more about this process, you can read our article.
How to boost performance with UX audit (and who can do this for you)
Prototype And Test to Provide a Better Experience
The UX consultant can give you many suggestions on how to improve your product’s usability. Building a prototype is the best way to find the right solution. Later, this prototype should be used for usability testing. To build a good user experience, it is always required to go through a consistent cycle of prototyping, testing, and modification.
In the process of testing prototypes, it will be clear which elements are good and which ones distract users’ attention from their main goal. It is very important to test prototypes on a large number of different people.
Inspire And Coach Your Team
There are many ways to improve the skills of a team. You can send a team to courses, training, conferences. You can provide employees with reading and viewing materials. But none of this compares to information from a practicing professional. Usually, user experience consultants don’t teach hard skills. They mainly focus on soft skills, which are also important. It may be mindset or strategy training. Anything that UX designers may need to thrive in a big business.
User experience consultants can create guides and training to teach your team. They can even create team-building activities and workshops that will help them to inspire and educate your team. It is important that the team not only understands the logic of project changes but be inspired by its purpose and idea. This is why the UX consultant can coach your employees.
It is impossible to fix everything qualitatively in a day. To create a great user experience it is important to work consistently and hard. So the UX consultant should provide you with a strategy to follow. After deep research and clarifying the company’s goals, the user experience consultant will create a long-time vision for your product to understand what should be done for a better user experience. Together you will create a roadmap for implementing all im[rovements step by step.
A good strategy lies at the crossroads between UX design and business goals. It is also needed to provide an understanding between designers and project goals. Getting the business strategy and validating the user experience strategy right will reduce the risk of creating and innovating things that users don’t need.
The work of a UX consultant is not just about advice, but about mentoring someone who will guide your team on the way to their goals. The implementation of changes may be difficult. During this process, hidden issues can be revealed. It may be possible that you need to adapt your strategy according to changed positions and maybe even change some processes so they will meet users’ needs in a better way.
A UX ecosystem is a term that describes the connection between all elements that the user interacts with when using your product. It can be devices, apps, people, websites, other people, or even the weather. A UX consultant will help you to understand how your product should fit and interact with all elements of the user’s environment.
The elements in the ecosystem can change according to the newest technologies. To help your business to be the balanced part of this, the UX consultant needs to gather data and feedback using the newest methodologies. With this, it will be possible to define new pain points that stand in the way of making your business fit perfectly into the user’s environment.
Hiring the UX Design Consultant: Requirements
After you have figured out what the UI UX consultant is for and what steps he takes in his work, you need to prepare for hiring. To begin with, decide for what specific purpose you need a specialist. Some companies provide such services and this is a good option for hiring. But before you contact any company, make sure that their specialization suits your case.
Then, you can conduct an interview. Find out the budget and the time frame in which the ux design consultancy can be performed. Ask the specialist a few questions about your case to make sure you work well. Next, you can consider some of the requirements that a consultant must meet:
The professional may have overall expertise but don’t have specific skills that are needed. So, it is important to hire a specialist in a specific field. Thus, his knowledge will be relevant specifically for your business.
The UX consultant should be able to listen to your needs and find a common language with your team. This specialist should be attentive and fit into your company culture. Make sure that they share your company’s values and goals. If it will be so, you will work well together.
The user experience design consultant must be able to quickly adapt to the rules and objectives of the company, as well as to the conditions of the project.
The UI UX consultant must be good at strategic planning in order to come up with an excellent and understandable plan for improving your project.
A portfolio speaks better than words. It is important to look through the portfolio to see what challenges the specialist faced, how he dealt with them, and what solutions he offered.
For now, we understand what is needed to know before hiring a UX consultant and what requirements you need to set for him. When it comes to interviewing, it is also important to know what exactly might turn out the wrong candidate.
How to Spot Unsuitable User Interface Consultants
There are some points by which you can understand that the UX consultant is not quite suitable. If you notice any of the following points during the interview, think twice before hiring such a specialist.
Focuses on short-term success
A good UX consultant or UX design consultancy team would rather set a long-term goal, so your business will get real benefits from this collab. Thus, you will feel the profit from this cooperation for a long time to come.
Promises an easy answer
The UX consultant promises an easy answer to a problem that is more complicated from your point of view and rejects all the pieces of evidence that don’t meet their assumptions.
Tries to fit your case into a rigid category
It means that a specialist may try to fit your case into a template that worked well on another case. But they do not take into account that it may not work on another product and customers.
Disrupts your business model
A good UX consultant won’t disrupt your business model immediately but first will try to identify design and technology issues that prevent your business from growing.
A UX consultant is like a dentist: you don’t have to come when everything is already bad. It is better to visit this specialist regularly and tweak everything little by little. Your product will only benefit from this.
If your product faces some challenges, you can try UX consulting which can help you to define the issues and build an excellent strategy to improve customer experience. The user experience consultant may audit your website, app, help you to define your target audience, teach some new things to your team and implement changes into your product to provide a better solution.
Partnering with the UX consultant will improve your business in the best way. If you want to try this, we are here to help you! Our team has rich experience in various fields. We’ve worked with different startups and businesses. We can provide you with a consultation to improve your business.