Is outsourcing UX design right for my business?
You already have an innovative tech product, but you need to drive custom and take your business to the next level. You’ve certainly spent a long time thinking about how your users interact with what you’re building. No matter what industry you’re operating in, start-ups and established tech firms alike need to consider one critical component: user experience design.
The following points will help you decide whether outsourcing UX and product design is right for your business. I’ll be looking at the pros and cons of calling in the design experts, so you can make an informed judgment.
Pros of outsourcing
It might be that your team is fast approaching an important milestone and you don’t want to interrupt them by introducing new staff or departments. If design is a looming challenge and you don’t know if your team can manage it alone, it might be time to consider outsourcing.
Play to your strengths
The age-old advice is to focus on your strengths, and nowhere is this more important than in a new business. It could be software engineering, business – or maybe you’re just the best cat psychologist around. Either way, you have to consider whether employing in-house designers might impact your ability to focus on your core strengths, or otherwise disrupt your company culture.
When you need a high-quality product but don’t want to think about the long-term role of a design team in your company, outsourcing provides the perfect solution.
Access a diverse pool of talent
UX design professionals come from a range of different backgrounds – from interaction design to psychology to science. And the design requirements of tech firms are just as varied. You may need a UX writer one day, a specialist icon designer the next, and a customer behaviour expert to make sure everything works from the client’s point of view.
And what if you’ve got parallel streams of UI design for both desktop and mobile? One talented unicorn designer simply can’t respond to the range of challenges that modern tech firms face. That’s why outsourcing to a professional UX design team is unbeatable for complex projects.
Get an Outsider’s Perspective
It happens to the best of us – you’re working on a project for days or weeks, and you’re so enthusiastic about moving forward that you overlook something important. Sometimes, you can’t see the wood for the trees.
A fresh pair of eyes is ideal to ensure that you get an independent, unbiased perspective on your work. UX design professionals won’t pull their punches, and if there’s something that can be improved, they’ll make sure you know about it. They’re obligated to stay up-to-date with the newest technologies and trends, so you know you’re getting the keen eyes of an external expert.
Cons of outsourcing
Sounds good so far, but before you decide to outsource, you need to consider everything. There are some important things that you need to take into account.
There’s no way to avoid the question of cost. Outsourcing usually costs more in actual numbers, especially if you require experienced experts. That’s why you should be clear about the value you want to get from this investment decision and how it balances with other overheads and risks like pensions, training and staff costs.
Reduced Opportunity for Development
They say every challenge is an opportunity – and great product design is certainly a challenge. While it may be easier to call in the experts, if you instead decide to hire an in-house design team, you can add value to your business in other ways.
Internal teams can consistently develop IP and maintain constant focus on your own brand. They’ll come to understand the nuances of the company and, if cultivated well, can integrate into your company to help stimulate innovation. If you believe you can rise to the challenge, developing an internal design team will pay dividends over time.
Although we sometimes need to let others help us if we’re going to be successful, there’s nothing wrong with keeping everything under one roof. You may prefer to maintain control and communication, so you can interact face-to-face with your teams in real time. You might want to keep a close eye on your budget and make sure you stick to your roadmap and vision at all times.
In the rapidly evolving world of technology, there’s no single right way of doing things. You’ll have many decisions to make as your company progresses, and you need to consider all your options if you’re going to succeed. When faced with a design challenge, just remember the above points and you’ll be able to make sure you’ve got the best designers for your project!
Illustration by Onkel Wanskicks