Three Questions To Ask Your UX Consultants

Three questions your UX (User Experience) consultant better know the answers to!

UX consultants, be them Information Architects, Search Engine Optimization experts, User Experience Designers, Interaction Designers, or something else can be very important to the success of your product, service, and brand. You are paying them money. Sometimes very big money. How can you get more for your dollar?

To achieve the maximum return on your outlay, you must personally make sure your consultants can answer the following 3 QUESTIONS.

Here are 3 questions that you should ask your consultants every so often, or even better make them write up and give to you:

1. How does MY company make money?

Wow, what a powerful question. You want them to know how your company makes money, how it sustains itself, how it grows. You would be surprised how some UX consultants are not focused on the client's business side of things. They spend an enormous amount of time, energy, and attention on the user side and don't balance that with an equally sophisticated understanding of the business needs. It is YOUR FAULT if you let them come up with great ideas that customers like, but aren't willing to pay for.

2. How are MY customers going to change over time?

This is not as easy. They usually are working from personas that you have given them or perhaps your consultants are researching and creating the personas as part of their deliverables. Do not see personas (or your customers) as permanently static bulls-eyes. People change. The situations change. You need to make sure your plan and design can change too. At the most simple level look at demographic changes, such as your 34 year old customer now in 7 years will be 41. What does that mean for the user experience? Those two age groups are very different, but it was the same person. How do you grow with them, or is the default plan to abandon them as you pay to acquire brand new customers.

3. What will get ME promoted?

Ok, this might seem a little selfish, but I can assure you that if your consultants know what it is that you are being measured on it can only be a good thing. Whether it is for your next promotion, a raise, or a bonus this kind of insight helps them in a micro way in the same way the first question helps them in a macro way. It might not be the focus of their current efforts, but their creative minds will work this over throughout the project and perhaps come up with some great ideas. If they see their fortunes and your fortunes as tied together, a rising tide raises all boats. What a testament to their success.

These questions and knowing their answers are about making sure you are getting the most value from your consultants. The answers change over time and sometimes quite often so at least at the start of every project refresh these mutual understandings and make sure that everyone has the same basic answers. It will help make your UX consultant more valuable and in the end help make your product/service and brand more valuable too.

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© Dennis Schleicher Jr 2019.

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