Despite UX UI design being a relatively young facet of product design, the number of companies which are involved in it have been steadily increasing over the past two decades or so. Today, thousands of UX firms worldwide are striving for greater designs, with more prestigious clients. The abundance of these firms raises the question, how does one select the ideal UX UI design company for their purposes? Like all other creative fields, UX UI design studios tend to differ greatly not just in quality, but also style and execution. In this blog, we’re going through the things to look out for when selecting a UX UI firm, as well as how to gauge a firm’s overall quality. Additionally, we will cover common misconceptions about what makes a quality UX UI design agency, and why they aren’t necessarily great parameters to look out for.
Past Projects or Case Studies
First off, looking at a UX UI design company’s prior work can give you a great general idea as to their strengths, as well as their personal style and mannerisms. Past work can either be assessed directly, or indirectly using a medium, such as a case study. The direct approach is straightforward, find an app or website that the UX UI design company has worked on, and assess from there. Using a digital product firsthand can speak greatly to the quality of the firm which designed it, however, it’s important to realize that look and feel are greatly subjective things, which were likely designed with the client’s requests and recommendations in mind.
The method of assessing past work, which we suggest more strongly, are case studies. Normally, UX UI design companies that are proud of their work will display it on their site in the form of a case study, as seen here. These allow viewers to gain insight into a company’s design process, as well as their creative spark. More importantly, it allows designers to provide the rationale behind their decisions, which can speak greatly to their quality.
A great amount can be discerned by looking at the current, or past clients of any UX UI design company. Again, there are two main things to look out for, the diversity of the client base, and the quality of individual clients. A UX UI firm which has worked with a wide range of clients displays dynamism on their part, which is a great quality to exhibit in this field, while a firm that has high-profile clients in any field shows specific tools and expertise.
Having a diverse portfolio of clients, from various different industries and fields, as seen here shows an adaptability on the firm’s part, an ability to shapeshift, and meet the requirements of projects, irrespective of the type. For example, an e-commerce app for a grocery chain will look far different than a connected car app, and the experiences and interfaces must be adjusted accordingly. Should a UX UI design company have worked with companies from diverse backgrounds, chances are, they will be able to help you too.
The second way a client profile reflects quality, as mentioned, is the quality of clients. If the client list has industry leaders, multinationals, or fortune 500 companies, it reflects glowingly on the design firm. Earning the trust of large corporations is no small feat, but what also reflects positively is having smaller companies, with innovative ideas. This shows an eye for great products, and a desire to break new ground, another great quality to have when working with anyone.
Arguably the most important point on this list, is the communication and collaboration process of a respective UX UI design company. As with everything, communication is key, and it’s no different when it comes to selecting a design company. This is contingent on many things, how the company reaches out, their professionalism, receptiveness to feedback, and frequency of communication to name a few. A design firm which strives for client satisfaction, through constant communication, iteration
Simple honesty, and genuineness is also a major point to consider when seeking a UX UI design company. Lack of communication, and transparency is probably the leading cause of issues in agency work, which is why finding a team you can trust should be on the top of your list of priorities. An authentic, smaller team will serve you far better than a convoluted, confused, larger team, so personalities, as well as group dynamics are not to be overlooked.
Understanding of Technology
Yet another way to gauge the quality of a UX UI design company is how well they understand the technologies at play in the UX UI field. An understanding of what programs to use in which scenario is an indication of a good designer, since the field of UX UI design has become so vast, and multidimensional over the years. Utilizing different tools for things such as visual design, wireframing, prototyping, and testing, shows an understanding not only of the field, but the design process at large.
The use of top-tier, industry leading products (which you can find out more about here) can really separate the cream of the crop from the rest. In particular, firms which not only are familiar with multiple tools, but utilize them on a daily basis will be dynamic enough to tackle any design challenge put before them.
Testimonials are a fantastic way to gauge how good a UX UI design company truly is, from the clients perspective. It’s no secret that clients can be tough customers, and with good reason, since at the end of the day, it’s their name which goes on the finished product. So to have a glistening review, or kind words from the client itself speaks volumes about the quality of a UX UI design studio. Having testimonials such as these speak to the professionalism, timeliness, and most of all, quality of work of a particular firm, all three of which are primary factors when considering which company to work with.
What NOT to Look For
Unsurprisingly, there are many misconceptions floating around about things which could be problematic in a UX UI designing company. The first of which is the age of a company, which people perceive to be equivalent to experience, or skill. UX UI design service is an industry which is constantly innovating, and evolving. As such, the age of a UX UI design agency isn’t nearly as indicative of its quality as you may imagine. Some of the great UX firms in the world are relatively young, whereas hundreds of companies have already come and gone.
Another factor which falsely gives the illusion of quality amongst UX UI designing companies is team size. While a large team, in any sense, shows growth, collaboration, and an abundance of work, oftentimes, most UX UI design companies choose to keep a tight knit group. Having a tight team in purely creative fields has its benefits, in what can be construed as the “too many cooks spoil the broth” effect, so don’t be alarmed should you come across a UX UI design team, which isn’t overflowing with people.
Deciding on a UX UI design company is no simple task, and hopefully these pointers give you some perspective, and allow you to make a more informed decision when it comes to doing the same. There is an accompanying piece to this blog about both the top, and upcoming UX UI agencies in the world, which you can read here