Top 6 Questions to Ask a UX Agency Before Hiring It

How to hire the right UX design agency for your digital product. Practical tips for startups, SaaS, and enterprise companies for finding a UX design firm.

Hiring a UX Design Agency
Photo by Cytonn Photography on Unsplash

In your search for achieving an excellent user interface to freshen up your product or service, you have potentially made the vital decision of hiring a professional team to take care of the UX design project for you. Once you have made your list of potential UX companies up for consideration, you will need to choose the one that you will hire for the job. The process begins by reaching out to prospective candidates and having a conversation to see who you feel is the most uniquely qualified for the task. The method of hiring a UX agency can be somewhat tricky, so here is a helpful list of 6 “must-ask” questions to inquire about before hiring a UX agency.

Perhaps on its face, many would not regard this as an essential question, it is especially pertinent if your business operates in either a very unique or a very complex industry. The process of studying, getting acquainted with, and gathering enough knowledge of the industry takes time and can delay or slow down the project’s progress. It is, for that reason, always preferable to work with a UX agency with prior experience in your particular industry.

If the agency possesses prior knowledge and understanding of how your industry works, they will likely be able to advise you on the best techniques to approach the project in terms of information architecture and content, as well as how to maximize the user experience. However, you will also make sure that the company has experience in various other industries as that will increase their creativity, innovation, and flexibility.

Some businesses believe that any UX design company they work with will have the appropriate staff to supply all of the answers, but that is not generally the case. The teams at UX agencies may be well versed, but they still need to reach out for help with certain parts of a project that will likely be outsourced to other professionals better versed in those areas. It is crucial, therefore, for a business to figure out which parts the agency will work on in-house versus those that they will outsource. The outsourcing portions can affect not only the scheduling, cost, and complexity; it could dramatically alter the final result.

While the UX company that is hired should take care of the majority of the work using their staff, sometimes outsourcing might be an inescapable necessity. In those situations, you would want to know which parts will be outsourced and who will be working on those parts of the overall project. This can help you make a better decision about hiring a particular company.

Every UX agency will have its process by which they go about working through a project. This process is crucial, depending on what you need from the agency. Understanding the methodology behind the process the UX agency uses can help you learn a lot about what your expectations from them should or will be. This is a good reason always to try and meet the team in person, if possible.

With some rare exceptions, UX design should be developed for all devices users will access it from, whether they are desktop-based or mobile. This could depend on your project needs, of course. You may only need customer loyalty apps that can only be accessed from a smartphone, in which case, unless you have an exclusive bonus perk on your website, you are unlikely to need a non-mobile feature. On the other hand, websites should be optimized for every device type, and UX companies will make sure to consult you on these matters to help you to select how you wish to proceed.

While sharing information about your available budget, it might be a good idea to do so. Think of it as sharing your budget with a realtor who is helping you look for a new home. If you do not let them know your budget, they will not have any idea what falls into a suitable price range for you. Similarly, knowing if a UX designer agency can accommodate your needs and provide you the services you require can help both sides come to terms with the financial boundaries and to negotiate an arrangement that works for both. Without having this information on hand, when you find out the cost is way over your budget, you will need to restart your search for a contractor anew.

Don’t forego any opportunity you have to speak to former clients assisted by the agency you are considering in the past. The agency will boast its positives, but former customers will be able to give their take on the reality of that working relationship. Some pertinent questions you may want to ask former clients might include finding out how the project delegation process worked for them, if they were happy with the outcome, were they happy with how the project launched, and if there are any issues they ran into while working with the agency. If there are red flags, you will not get them from the agency itself. They want your business and are unlikely to share any information like that, while former clients will provide your valuable insight based on their own experiences.

There is far more than a UX company’s qualifications and expertise. Your company is the one who is investing and wants to be able to rely on their end of it to help you out, so it is entirely within your rights to ask all of the pertinent questions you need and press the agency for details if need be. Their approach matters, as does their behavior towards clients, their flexibility, reliability, and many other aspects should be thoroughly questioned to help you make the most informed decision about the agency you trust your project to.

My name is Nik. I write about UI/UX, Web Design, and Branding.