The field of UX has witnessed tremendous growth in recent years. And rightly so, since it is an area that requires constant learning and improvement. UX consultant is a term that has been turning up often lately. You might be familiar with UX designers and UX researchers, but what is a User experience consultant? What do they do? Why do you need one? In this article, I aim to give a complete overview of the UX consultant. So let’s get started!
What Is a UX Consultant?
A UX consultant can be explained as a combination of a UX designer and a business consultant. A UX consultant’s focus is not on the design of a product but instead on the business aspects of the design. Their attention is on enhancing the entire ecosystem of a business. A UX consultant comes with years of experience in the UX field that enables them to provide a cohesive perspective to organizations.
User experience consultants help businesses to unify their outlook regarding a product or service, perform client analysis, do design audit, create strategies, and support designers. Thus we see that UX consulting has different implications. On the whole, they use their experience and knowledge to provide expert advice for organizations to better their user experience.
Why UX Consulting?
A user experience consultant can enhance an organization’s efficiency with their expert opinion and experienced viewpoint. The benefits of having an outsider perspective is always a boon, and UX consulting can provide that.
Here are some reasons why you should do user experience consulting.
- Find UX issues: User experience consulting can help find issues that a UX team could not detect. They can help diagnose these issues and at a faster pace owing to their experience.
- Honest feedback: If you plan a UX redesign, you would want honest feedback on your current design and understand its pain points. A UX consultant is the best choice for that.
- Business transformation: A UX consultant focuses not only on design but also on business analysis, insights, and strategies and can be of significant help in business transformation.
- Innovation: UX consultants can help businesses discover unexplored opportunities and meet unseen needs. This can help to take the business to a higher level.
What Is the Difference Between a UX Designer and UX Consultant?
The role of a UX consultant has some similarities with a UX designer; however, there are considerable differences between the two.
- A UX designer focuses on the design of a product/service, whereas a UX consultant focuses on the user experience provided by the organization.
- A UX designer solves UX challenges related to a product/service while a User experience consultant solves UX challenges related to business problems.
- UX consultants use UX design to gain insight into business problems and find solutions.
- UX designer does research to improve the experience of a product/service while UX consultants perform research to understand business challenges.
- UX designer works under the guidance of business leads, whereas a UX consultant leads an entire organization’s UX journey with their expert service.
- UX designer informs stakeholders of any UX issues, whereas UX consultant shares best UX practices for improvement.
How to Become a User Experience Consultant?
What are the things one must do to become a UX consultant? Like any field, it is essential to have the passion for channelling yourself, the expertise to guide your actions and decisions, and the insight for growth. User experience consulting is a vast field, so it is important for an aspiring consultant to choose his particular spot or niche.
You have to find what you are great at. It could be
- Digital product design where you provide hands-on expertise for a product/service
- Rapid expert design where you provide tactical support for the development team by utilizing research and insights
- New-gen concepts where you provide innovative ideas and implement the latest UX design trends to develop new revenue sources
- UX coaching where you provide outsider perspective and strategic guidance
When you choose your spot, it empowers you to work with enthusiasm and conviction.
To get clients, you have to set up business cards, social media profiles, blogs, or portfolios- anything that would get you exposure. Here, you should clearly mention the UX design services you offer. You also need to have good communication skills to build relationships and create networks. It is essential to constantly assess yourself and have a work discipline.
As a UX consultant, you should come out as leading and demonstrating. You should be absorbent, listening, and reflecting on your client’s needs. You should show eagerness, willingness, and curiosity to invest in a client. You should be equipped to give expert advice and clarify goals and milestones.
Who Employs User Experience Consulting?
Whether startups or big corporations, organizations of all scales can avail UX consulting services when they get stuck with their business growth. When businesses feel the need for expert services to boost their team or products, they should hire a UX consultant.
- Design agencies hire UX consultants when they need extra hands to give life to their designs
- VC firms hire user experience consultants to enhance the growth of startups or emerging companies
- Mid-level startups employ UX consultants to guide junior designers and help them become a great UX designer.
- Large corporations avail UX consulting services to get an outsider perspective to enhance the vision of their organization
How Can a UX Consultant Help Your Business?
By now, you have an idea of what a UX consultant brings to the table. You might have a full-fledged UX team, but the value that a UX consultant can bring to your business is unrivalled.
Most times, what hampers the growth of brands is the lack of clarity about their vision. Often, people know what is needed, but a gap comes in communication. A UX consultant can fill this gap by interviewing the members and gathering data. And to illustrate their insights, they use techniques such as journey mapping and storyboards that can help organizations to clarify their vision.
UX consultants have often experienced UX designers, making them very quick to spot weaknesses or common mistakes in strategies. Thus, they are valuable assets in performing audits. Their expertise can help a brand improve by finding areas of improvement, fixing them, and increasing their conversion rates. With efficient UX consulting, this can be achieved in a short time-span.
As we saw earlier, a UX consultant brings about the digital transformation of an organization. They do a lot of research, analysis, and implement strategies to achieve organizational change. Then, they help organizations implement this change by addressing the challenges in policies, culture, and assets and providing support and guidance.
Implement a Design System
As an organization grows, it is natural to have differing goals. But if there is no unified approach in place, it will lead to inconsistencies. A UX consultant can implement a design system that can help employees to move in the same direction. This design system can include guidelines about UX design principles, content, UI components and their consistency, and documentation.
UX consultants can help develop a UX team by coaching them to enhance their UX design skills and personal skills such as their mindset and communication. To do this, they conduct workshops, brainstorming sessions, and provide tips for best practices in UX design. They thus aid the personal as well as professional growth of employees in an organization.
What Is the Salary of a UX Consultant?
The salary of UX consultants depends on various factors, such as their experience, skills, location, and the type of service that is expected of them. Usually, the more experienced, the higher is the salary. Because they bring with them their expertise and can make transformative changes to businesses in a small period, user experience consultants are often hired on a short-term basis.
A good UX consultant charges $300/hr and above on average. Depending on the type of service and the industry they work in, the charges may go up or down. When a consultant’s service is availed for developing innovative processes and rebuilding organizations, it can be more expensive. There is no upper limit for such large engagements because the user experience of a product is a critical factor for its success.
Things to Look for When Hiring a User Experience Consultant
Organizations might require user experience consulting services for different needs. It could be during the beginning of a project, or during a redesign, or when there is a need for expertise and innovation. Whichever the reason, it is vital for the organization to know why they are hiring a UX consultant and what it is that they look for.
User experience consultants usually specialize in specific areas or industries. Once an organization is clear about their need, it should find experts in that line. It is essential to know about their experience and work history. Discuss their previous works if possible, ask about their approach, their UX design process, and budget. Make sure that they are reliable and authentic.
Where to Find Good UX Consultants?
There are several good consulting firms that provide efficient UX consulting services. Most of them have a presence online. So if you are looking for a UX consultant, you can contact these firms and go through portfolios of potential candidates. Such firms usually provide a review of each candidate and sample works, so it would be easy for you to find the right choice.
Another reliable method to find UX consultants is through referrals from friends or other companies who have availed one’s expertise. This comes with a 100% guarantee of the expertise of user experience consultants.
An experienced UI UX design agency will also provide UX consulting as a part of their service. Aufait UX is one of the top UI UX design companies in India that provide exceptional UX consulting services to organizations.