We enjoyed this recent UX Matters post by Baruch Sachs. The article was posted earlier this month on the UX community website, and is the second in a series about what makes a great UX consultant.
The article makes the case that effective UX consultants should know how to collaborate, communicate well, and not so much educate, but inspire clients to develop amazing user experiences for a product, application, or Web site.
The UX Matters article is a terrific reminder of the value user experience consulting provides to businesses looking to optimize their business performance.
Good Business Sense
There’s an additional consideration when it comes to delivering usability services.
We would add that effective UX consultants keep an eye on business results. When a company puts their end-users first – the very people using their applications or systems — it makes good business sense to keep the user’s perspective front and center. This approach is proven to yield larger returns than other investments in the typical product development process. Why? Because keeping the end user happy makes for a happy bottom line.
Put another way, a business performs successfully when products successfully serve end-users.
Loss Prevention Experts
TecEd’s founder, Stephanie Rosenbaum, puts it like this, taken from a TecEd presentation given in previous years:
“User experience professionals are loss prevention experts. Frustrating devices and interfaces, confusing navigation, and unfamiliar terminology all reduce profitability – investing in user experience is a proven way to reduce these losses.”
Thinking of the UX consultant as a “loss prevention expert” hits a chord with many businesses that seek to minimize risk as they develop new applications and systems.
This focus on minimizing risk by incorporating the voice of the user into the product design pre-launch should be part of any user research and business performance discussion.
An Effective Approach
The UX Matters post captured the idea of the best approach to deliver effective user research services.
We fully agree, and believe that the essence of user-centered designis to reduce risk, and optimize business outcomes.
UX consultants are wise to keep this idea alive as they team with their clients, and tailor their research and design services to drive such results.