UX is becoming an integral aspect of all businesses. Today, businesses of all scales, small to large, integrate UX into their products. UX designers, UX researchers, etc., are becoming very sought after job titles. Like that, another UX job title that has been gaining popularity in recent times is UX consultant.
A UX consultant is an expert who combines the role of UX designer and business consultant to augment UX design with business analysis. When someone works as a UX designer for years, they gain a lot of expertise and knowledge in the UX field. Then, the job of a UX designer might seem to limit them, and they might want to use their extensive knowledge to do in-depth design analysis. Most times, that is how a UX consultant is born.
A UX consultant is someone who focuses on the working of a whole organization and not just a product. For them, UX challenges are a business problem and not a design problem. They also take actions like research, prototyping, journey mapping, etc., but with a focus on the big picture of the organization and not products/services.
So, how does one become a good UX consultant? What are the things one must take care of?
Clear Idea of Business Objectives
A UX consultant focuses on the business aspects of an organization and works more strategically to achieve good results for the entire business ecosystem. So, by having a clear idea of business objectives is how they can get started in providing their expertise to any business. Understand why the client has hired you, what they are expecting to achieve through your work, and what are their end goals. As long as that isn’t clear, there are chances of misunderstandings and dissatisfactions and might lead to an unhappy culmination of the project.
You are an expert, and your services are valued, but that shouldn’t mean you invalidate the opinions and efforts of others. Be it communicating with junior UX designers or clients, be humble. Don’t talk them down on their views or achievements. Offer your guidance in whichever way you can. If you disagree with their views, share your expertise, not your attitude. Your experience with working for other companies might have provided you with an insight that others might not have. Put your points across gently and with a friendly attitude.
Find Your Area of Focus
A UX consultant can specialize in providing different services. Each person will have a specific area of interest, and if they specialize in where their passion lies, they can provide quality service to organizations. To know your area of interest, ask yourself what you like to do, what you are good at doing, and what you want to do. Introspect the answers and direct your focus towards a specific outcome. Your interest may lie in UX coaching, digital product design, next-generation conceptualization, design audit, etc. All of these fall within consulting. Choose a stream you want to focus on, and excel yourself in that.
The stepping stone to providing good UX consulting services is building relationships with clients. You have to be genuine and make meaningful connections to really understand the perspective of your clients. The needs might vary from client to client. It is essential to know the type of client you are looking at, the type of service they are expecting, and have authentic communication regarding the same. Be genuine in your feedback, provide the best of your guidance, and create a safe space where clients can openly discuss everything with you and get the best support from your side. In order to build a business, you first have to build a close relationship with the business holders.
Becoming a good UX consultant is easy if you are sure about your services and expertise. It takes passion for getting into the field and constant learning to grow and remain in the field. Know your focus, build relationships, be genuine, and strive for the greater good.