The manual is written by two of our favourite entrepreneurs and UX professionals (Will Grant and Steffan Aquarone), and includes detail on:

  • New expectations for UX
  • Putting together the right team
  • Components of user experience
  • Key principles
  • Personas
  • Mapping user stories
  • Wireframes
  • Prototyping
  • User testing
  • Technical briefing
  • Design toolkit
  • Data collection and analytics
  • Legislation
  • Accessibility
  • The future

User-centred design is now seen as fundamental to business change (see digital transformation), but many companies work with outside parties to assist in setting their approach.

Whether you’re looking for a strategy consultancy or a specialist agency, how do you pick the right supplier?

Steffan and Will discuss putting together the right team in detail in their new guide, but here are their 12 top tips for picking the perfect supplier partner.

Top tips for picking the perfect supplier partner

1. Find a team that understands the difference between UX and design.

2. Not all UX designers are visual designers, and a designer who is a brilliant illustrator may have no background in UX. Experience design is a discipline in its own right.

3. Ask for examples of their previous work.

4. Case studies are a good way to see the challenges of a project and how the team solved them. Even if an end product didn’t work perfectly, you should be able to see the reasons for which decisions were made.

5. Ensure that the team is comfortable with a prototyping stage.

6. So much of good UX practice is about prototyping and experimentation: if they want to ‘skip the wireframes’ and ‘just build it’, move on!

7. Ask for examples of their experience in user testing.

8. A good UX team will have a track record of conducting user tests and often their own documented methodology.

9. Ask what their approach to quality assurance (QA) and testing involves.

10. The best UX design in the world still needs to be tested by a logical QA person. They will devise, plan and run a series of tests to check that the wireframe designs logically cover all the parts of the system they need to.

11. Try to find a team that will challenge you and your assumptions.

12. If they’re saying ‘Right, you are the boss!’ to every little thing, they might not be adding much value. A good UX team will make calls based on experience and research, not just because the client wants things a certain way.

A new way

So much of the current context for UX and interaction design is the disruption of markets by digital incumbents.

These incumbents are design-led and have very goal-oriented, startup mentalities that put the customer first, sometimes at the expense of short-term organisational gain.

What these companies deliver are great experiences that prove a differentiator above and beyond product and price.

Econsultancy’s new guide aims to give advice to established companies on the nitty gritty of UX, but also on reconfiguring the business around UX and design.

That means an assertive approach to recruitment and sourcing partners, with a clear vision and allocation of resources.

Subscribers can download User Experience and Interaction Design for Mobile and Web now.