Design processes as a decisive factor while choosing the best UX/UI Agency.
- Feb 9, 2023
- By: Slick
- 8 min read
Have you ever found yourself scrolling through the list of “UX/UI Agencies” and struggling to make a choice between all those highly specialized companies in producing a slick user experience?
Summary: UI/UX design is one of the determining factors of the success of the project, so you should approach the choice of a UI/UX agency with forethought and care. It’s not always enough for a UX agency to look cool and experienced to be a good match for you and your project. In this article, we will explain why you should pay attention to a potential agency’s design processes and explore their interface development methods step by step to understand how they can create a finished product that aligns with your company’s goals.
Along with the realization of the value of hiring UX/UI agencies, competence across the market has increased, design processes have improved, and agencies are getting bigger and bigger while hiring multicultural teams and combining different skill sets. Therefore it creates a large number of agencies with individual approaches and styles of work. Among the countless UX companies, it’s not a simple choice to find the one that is right for you.
Imagine that after endlessly scrolling through Clutch, Dribbble and Behance, you’ve got a long list of agencies that could all, in theory, do a good job on your project. You liked all of those clean and beautiful portfolios. What’s next? We say, vetting their design processes!
We get it, all of us want to see ready-made screens with clean, beautiful interfaces as fast as we can, but we need to understand that spending time and resources on the design process is one of the best investments we can make for achieving high-quality UX/UI products. If you are not familiar with the design process, don’t worry; we are going to describe the design process and explain interface development methods step by step. Be ready to ask questions about these points at the first meeting with the agencies.
What are design processes?
When we talk about agencies’ design processes, we mean the steps that agencies go through with their client (you) before they start designing directly (kickoff meeting, stakeholder interview, competitor analysis, mood board etc.). The design process is the way an agency discovers the essential needs to be accomplished during the partnership. This method helps with accuracy and productivity. At the same time, it can give a big head start to problem-solving.
Why design processes?
First, let’s make this clear: after you choose an agency, it’s not your or their team anymore- since you are both working on one product you are going to become one cohesive team. And, like in every relationship, building trust, setting boundaries, and having a clear understanding of each other takes time. Being familiar with the agency’s design processes helps you to strengthen your relationship during the whole partnership.
Clarity of goals: The design process helps you define the problem you are trying to solve and set specific, measurable goals for your product. This can help you focus on the task at hand and make sure your end product meets the needs of your users.
Communication: The design process can also help you communicate effectively with clients, stakeholders, or team members. This can be especially important when you don’t have experience and may not be familiar with the design process.
Increasing efficiency: A design process can help streamline your work, allowing you to work more efficiently. This can be especially important when working under tight deadlines or with limited resources.
Better work quality: The design process can help you to produce higher quality work because it allows you to iterate your ideas and test them out before finalizing the design.
Iteration and Feedback Management: The design process can help agencies effectively manage iterations and feedback from your team members, resulting in a better outcome.
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What is needed from you?
Yes, design processes help the agency to define – and, hence, consider in a long-term partnership – all the aspects that can impact the product. But remember, you are one team now, so they can’t do it without you!
Do your homework – let’s put it like this, it’s like love-at-first-call when people from companies are informed, ready, and eager to actively participate in workshops. Basically, the agency will provide you with information on how to prepare for the workshops, what activities to prepare (list of competitors, lighting demos), and who should attend the workshop. So, yes- try to do your homework!
Get your team involved – Try to slowly introduce to the agencies every member of your team who will have at least a minor influence on the work process, both inside and outside of the central product team.
So now, we’ve understood what the design process of UX/UI agencies is, and we are convinced of its importance. But each designer studio has its own unique & individual design process.
How do I find the perfect one?
There are many different modifications of the design process that you may come across, but if you omit some of the steps, your product can suffer and it will ultimately cost you more finances and time. So Here is a design process checklist that we never skip with our clients. Take notes!
Kick-Off – the first meeting of the agency team with the client when launching a new project. The purpose of the “kick-off meeting” is to lay the foundation for the successful implementation of the project. Used to collect and organize the first face-to-face communication with potential users.
Stakeholder Interview – is a simple conversation between team members who have an interest and impact on the product and can help to obtain project-relevant information. The main goal is to gather insights and understand the project’s landscape, which can help the agency overcome obstacles before they arise.
Competitor Analytics is a process of understanding where our product & design stands in the market while determining competition strengths and weaknesses and discovering how they solve similar usability issues. The main goal is to develop the go-to-market design strategy and collect evidence for the team to back up design changes.
Moodboard – helps the team identify brand emotional, visual identity, and clarity on the direction before starting designing. It also helps you as a client to communicate your ideas to the agency team.
Design Sprints – this is the process of multiple design thinking activities during which team members answer critical but specific business topics through brainstorming, storyboarding, and prototyping.
Usability Testing – the most common UX research methodology is when a researcher asks a participant to perform tasks, usually within a specific product flow. While the participant completes given tasks, the researcher observes the participant, asks questions, and conducts the feedback.
We hope this checklist will ease your selection process from the list of agencies, and you will be ready for your first kick-off call with the best UX/UI Agency.