San Francisco is considered the top innovation hub in America, and even the entire world. This means that a lot of the biggest technology companies have offices in the city and a lot of tech startups consider San Francisco their home. People, particularly those looking for job opportunities in the tech world, flock to the homebase of the 49ers for more than just the tourism spots.
According to the Computing Technology Industry Association or CompTIA, a non-profit organization that does information technology researches, Silicon Valley added the most tech-related jobs in 2018. Consulting firm A.T. Kearney also reported that San Francisco still holds the top place in the Global Cities Outlook because of the city’s continued strength in innovation.
UX agency in San Francisco
That said, finding a UX agency in San Francisco is going to be an easy experience because some of the best UX designers and agencies are in the area. But that doesn’t mean that if you are looking for a great digital product design that you will just grab the first San Francisco-based UX and UI firm that you encounter.
Hiring a UX agency or designer could spell success or failure of your website or mobile application. User experience is the holistic functionality of a web and mobile page or application. It mostly refers to the satisfaction the end-user experiences after navigating your business’s online presence whether through websites or mobile apps.
A good user experience could mean loyalty and marketability. If you have a website or mobile application with a great UI / UX design, then chances are the users will return to your page over and over again. With a loyal audience, there is a higher chance of market conversion.
Importance of hiring the right agency
Some businesses might have their own altruistic goals, but all businesses want to make profit. This means that business owners cannot take the hiring of a UX design agency very lightly. As an entrepreneur, you have to make sure that your user experience has the potential to make people want to buy your business’s products or services.
So here are five considerations when looking for a UX agency that can help your business’s online presence or enterprise software:
1. Find a UX agency that knows how to explain user experience and the specific design for your business
User experience is not that easy to understand because it is a technical navigation of the web through industrial science. Especially if you are an entrepreneur that is not tech-savvy, the experience design is not something that is easily understood. The concept may be simple to figure out but the in-depth importance of the UX design may be lost in translation when you are facing a UX team that doesn’t know how to explain the nitty-gritty of it.
More importantly, a UX firm should be able to tell you what the digital products could do for your business. And most importantly, the firm should be able to translate your goals and core values to the audience and potential market. As earlier mentioned, every business aims to make a profit. So the UX design should be able to convey that message to the users—that they should purchase the product or service that your business offers.
Agencies like Ramotion employs teams of UI and UX designers that create full-service digital designs that increase conversion while reducing cost of maintenance.
When shopping for agencies in San Francisco—you need to meet at least three in order to find the right one—you have to ask questions about the user experience in general and the UX design the firm will be offering your company. Ask for details. Every design has layers. So the firm should be able to explain to you the design’s macro structure. Then there are the other layers or elements of the design: strategy and scope. The agency should be able to delve into those in great details, enough to really satiate your concerns.
2. The UX agency should be as curious about your business as you are about the user experience
The entrepreneur should not be the only one asking questions during meetings with UX design firms. As an entrepreneur, you have to find a UX agency that is curious about your product or service. But you also have to evaluate whether the firm is asking the right questions. Because if they are asking shallow questions like “what is your business?” or “what is your mission and vision?” that would mean they did not do their job. You need a UX design agency that is prepared—one that researched about your company before the scheduled meeting.
So what should a UX agency in San Francisco be asking for? The questions should be more in-depth like the target market, business model, 10-year expectation about the business, etc. The questions should be on things that cannot be researched about you—questions that only you and your management team can answer.
There should be a great understanding about the respective businesses between the two parties before signing any design-and-build contracts. That kind of understanding only comes from a deep-level of professional communication.
This is a given. Every entrepreneur needs to see the portfolio of a UX agency before making a decision. You want to make sure that you can browse through actual design projects. The important giveaway here is that if the UX agency has a thick portfolio of UI/UX outputs for a variety of clients, then it must provide outstanding work.
Once you have an idea of the agency’s portfolio, you can browse through the web pages or mobile apps of the firm’s clients. This way, you can experience for yourself how satisfactory the UX design created by the agency you are eyeing is. Then you can ask yourself: Do I want something similar satisfaction in my own business?
But you can’t preclude a UX agency just because it is a startup and doesn’t have a professional portfolio yet. Every business begins as a startup and it would not have gotten big if nobody took a chance on it. You may take a chance on a beginner as long as that small firm can still give you portfolio, albeit not along the lines of professional outputs. It doesn’t have to be a full-scale work or an actual web user design from an active company. The infant UX agency can show you a mockup or prototype of a UX design and if you feel like the firm can give your business what you need, then go for it!
There are two important advantages to hiring a new agency. First, San Francisco-based digital output is cheaper than most of its competitors. San Francisco, as a tech hub, generally has more expensive services. But a newbie can give you a full-service web output at minimal cost. Secondly, a startup digital agency wants to prove something. It wants to ensure that its first client will be able to spread the word that it is a great agency that provides great user experience despite its youth. There is a greater chance that a newbie UX agency in San Francisco will give you the best UX agency design possible as your business will be its main focus. If you go for the bigger agencies, you are just one of its many clients.