5 Reasons Why You Should Hire A ‘Dedicated UX Team’

Lately, more and more of our clients are taking advantage of our ‘Dedicated UX Team‘ engagement model whereby we carefully select and assign a group of UX resources to our client’s project(s) throughout the entire duration of our engagement. It seems too many businesses have experienced failed relationships with design firms because the firm constantly reassigns resources from one client project to another. So, unless you specifically request your consulting firm to provide you with a Dedicated Team, you’re likely going to engage in a time and material project where there’s no guarantee that the resources that start on your project are the ones that stay on your project.

Here are 5 reasons why you should make sure you hire a dedicated team:

1. Intellectual Capital

A lot of our clients have businesses that require a deep understanding of complex complicated business rules, regulations and compliance laws, technology requirements and limitations, and even unusual nomenclature and acronyms. So, there is simply no way a resource could be assigned to a halfway through a project’s completion and expect to create a great software product without that deep understanding. With a Dedicate Team, all the knowledge that is gained throughout a project is never lost. In fact, often times we end up presenting things about our client’s business that they didn’t even know about because our methodology requires us to perform specific research and user shadowing activities that were never done before.

2. Continuity & Consistency

Whether a given team people are designing a product, a website or a building, it is important that the design maintains a certain level of continuity and consistency throughout its complete end-user experience. Since a ‘Dedicated Team’ works on a project from its beginning, the design of your product will be far more consistent than if you had team members swapping out throughout your project. Any great design has baked-in design standards, rules and characteristics that are known by those who create them and those that document them. If you don’t maintain continuity and consistency in your product’s design, you’re users will surely let you know about it.

3. Trust & Stability

Throughout the course of any project, team members begin to develop a trust in each others abilities and recommendations. This trust adds stability to the team and makes the overall team perform much better and faster because everyone spends less time doubting each other and more time getting their jobs done.

4. The Best of Each Role

A great UX Team is typically comprised of Lead UX designer, UX designers, Front-end Developers, a Project Manager and sometimes other supporting resources such as researchers, testers and analysts. When you have a Dedicated Team, you can make sure that each resource on the team is focused on what they’re really good at instead of requiring team members to stretch their abilities to do things they’re not good at. The bottom line is that it is simply never a good idea to have Developers designing and Designers developing.

5. Enhanced Long-lasting Relationship

Some firms shield their clients from getting to know exactly who is doing the actual work for them. We believe in building a long-lasting relationship between our clients and their assigned team members. In fact, our clients get to know each team member on a first name basis, which sounds petty but this kind of enhanced relationship leads to better communication and a sense of comradery that helps the team gel and work more better together.

What is a Hybrid App and When Should You Choose it?

To a user, a hybrid app is almost indistinguishable from a native app. They look and feel like native apps and users can find them in the App Store. Hybrid mobile apps allow users to take photos, track physical activity, receive push notifications, and more. Many of the most popular apps available in app stores today are actually hybrids. Twitter, Uber, Instagram, Evernote and even the Apple App Store itself are hybrid apps*.

*Source: http://blog.venturepact.com/8-high-performance-apps-you-never-knew-were-hybrid/

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User Shadowing on The Trading Floor at Morgan Stanley

For about four months, I had the pleasure of working on an exciting new project for Morgan Stanley. The details of the project can not be disclosed for obvious confidentiality reasons but I can speak in general terms about the experience. As with most UX projects, we like to spend as much time as we can observing users in their natural work environments while they perform their daily activities. In the case of Morgan Stanley, this meant spending a good amount of time in the trenches, on the trading floor, sitting with the traders and sales reps. My job was to not only observe the users but also build a sense of empathy for how they perform all their job activities. In fact, one of the main purposes of user shadowing is to build empathy so that you can see your design through the eyes of the users. Read more

Why You Need a UX Team (Part 1)

In Part 1 of this series on “Why You Need a UX Team”, we examine what specific roles, responsibilities and skill sets a UX Team typically brings to the table. Read more

Sometimes, To See “The Big Picture”, You Need To Draw A Big Picture

To truly understand and design the best possible information architecture for an app or website, find the biggest whiteboard in your office and start drawing.

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Why User Experience is More Than Just User Interface Design

If I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with you or for you, you’ve probably heard me preach on my soapbox more than once about how User Experience is so much more than just the design of a user interface. User Experience is, as the term implies, about everything and anything that can impact the experience a user has when interacting with a software product or website.  In this post I cover just two areas that can have a direct effect on a user’s experience that have nothing to do with UI design. Read more

The Healthcare.gov AbomiNation

A Lesson In How Not To Make Software

The recent failed rollout of Healthcare.gov is riddled with so many issues that it’s hard for the average American to comprehend why it happened and who is to blame. Even the mainstream news reports appear to be confused and scattered about what caused this #EpicFail. Read more

What Is Responsive Web Design?

Responsive Web Design is designing and coding the front-end of a website or app so that the layout “responds” or automatically adjusts (using CSS) to a layout that is optimized for user’s display size. Read more

“Go Slow, To Go Fast” When Designing and Building Software

The concept is simple enough: Take the time to do something right the first time and you will inevitably complete the task faster and better than if you rushed it to “just get it done”. Read more

Less Really Does Equal More (Users)

It seems almost impossible for most software and website companies to resist the urge to add the kitchen sink of features and functions to their products. To this, I say, “Stop the madness!” Read more