Are there key questions to ask when hiring a UX and/or IXD firm?

28 Jun 2010 - 12:57pm
4 years ago
4 replies
1229 reads
Michele Marut
2005

All,
I've been providing a colleague with a few tips about hiring contractors and firms that do all of UX and/or specific IxD tasks. I have this list ((http://www.upassoc.org/usability_resources/jobs/key_questions.pdf ) but it is geared specifically towards hiring a usability professional.
Some general tips include:- get multiple quotes without stating the budget upfront (i.e. I need to do x... what will that cost?)- test the relationship with a small project to see if it works for both parties - be clear about the deliverables you need and expect 
Questions:- can you suggest other tips?- does a list or document like the "hiring a usability professional" document exist for IxD or UX?
Thanks in advance,
Michele --
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Comments

29 Jun 2010 - 4:44am
Sean Pook
2008

Short and sweet - but a demonstrable track record with deliverables similar to what you are aiming to achieve should be key. Don't let your firm be the guinea pig, even if the quote looks nice and cheap. A good personal relationship is important too. Much better if you feel comfortable with the people who will be your main contact

29 Jun 2010 - 1:05pm
Michele Marut
2005

Thanks Sean!

On Tue, Jun 29, 2010 at 8:26 AM, Sean Pook <sean@ic-creative.co.uk> wrote:

Short and sweet - but a demonstrable track record with deliverables similar to what you are aiming to achieve should be key. Don't let your firm be the guinea pig, even if the quote looks nice and cheap. A good personal relationship is important too. Much better if you feel comfortable with the people who will be your main contact

5 Jul 2010 - 5:24am
dszuc
2005

Can you suggest other tips?

Here are a few:

* Are they passionate about the domain?

* Do they have genuine inrerest in the domain?

* Are they willing to share knowledge?

* Can they walkthrough a like problem and talk about how they approached it?

* Can they point to anything they have written?

* Are they looking for a short term project win or longer term relationship?

* Do they have the resources to help with beyond the initial need?

rgds,

Dan

5 Jul 2010 - 10:05am
Anne Hjortshoj
2007

One note on the question of budget:

Often a client will be taken aback when a potential vendor/firm asks, "what's the budget for this project?"

The firm is not saying, "what's the budget for this project...so that we can max out our estimate and take all your allotted money?"

Rather, the firm is asking, "what's the budget for this project...so that we can determine if we should even bother responding to the RFP, because we know our operating costs and salaries, and if it's a project that can only support the costs associated with two resources, versus a firm of 40 people with a certain overhead, we should probably decline to even bid on the project, thanks."

So, one more tip: know your budget going in, and ask the firm you're talking to if the size of the project seems like a fit for them. It'll save everyone's time, and will focus your efforts on finding the right partner. You may even find that the definition of the project becomes much clearer as a result this kind of discussion with potential vendors.

-Anne

On Mon, Jul 5, 2010 at 7:05 AM, Daniel Szuc wrote: > Can you suggest other tips? > > Here are a few: > > * Are they passionate about the domain? > > * Do they have genuine inrerest in the domain? > > * Are they willing to share knowledge? > > * Can they walkthrough a like problem and talk about how they approached it? > > * Can they point to anything they have written? > > * Are they looking for a short term project win or longer term relationship? > > * Do they have the resources to help with beyond the initial need? > > rgds, > > Dan > >

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