Improve your User Experience - Hire a Professional

Will Code 4 FoodBesides setting up my own business, more on that later, I freelance an make my experience available for others. This mainly is with software companies that are seeking the next phase in their product development, this might be technology oriented, but quite often is also user oriented. For the technology oriented assignments I'm often the outside expert, while for the User Experience focussed assignments I'm the evangelist. I'm not a User Experience professional, but I can help you building a User Experience team and the first advice I usually give is: Hire User Experience professionals.

Unfortunately this advice is often received with a lot of skepticism, the key reasons are:
  • A user experience specialist doesn't understand our business or product
  • We have product managers that exactly know what the customer wants
  • We already have user groups that provide deep customer insights
  • Having additional people involved will only slowdown the product development process
  • We outsource the design and artwork

My reply is always: These are exactly the reasons you need to hire User Experience professionals, because they:
  • Are trained in and have skills to objectively qualify and quantify the needs and wishes of your customers.
  • Lack the tunnel vision of being years in the business and help you with the right priorities
  • Can facilitate and moderate your user groups and use methods to dive even deeper into the needs of your customers
  • The overall process might slowdown, but you get improved priorities and thus your create more customer value.
  • User Experiences is much more about user insights, interaction design as it is graphical design and artwork.

Putting my deeds where my mouths is: The first hire on the payroll of my new business is a User Experience designer! I'm not only giving the advice, I'm actually following it up!

Image: Zach Dill


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