Opinion How to brief a UX consultant to get the best results

By Tim McQueen Published on 21 Nov 2017

Briefing a UX consultant

  • Read time: 4 mins
  • Tech level: low
  • Key point: having a good brief returns the best results
  • Resource: Brief builder tool.
Professionals in Sydney office discussing a UX brief
Get better results from your UX agency with a better brief

If you’re planning to hire a UX design consultant, then it’s important that you get the best ‘bang for your buck’. We'll take you through the best way to brief your consultant, and in turn get the best from your UX consultant.

Why do you need one? 

Having a usable interface is an extremely important part of launching a successful website. If people can’t easily use your website, they just won’t.

Hiring a UX consultant is an important step to take in achieving a user-friendly website, and the brief you supply them will be an invaluable first step to getting a more user-friendly, and successful website.

A good UX consultant will take you through a wide range of options to ensure that your end product achieves its core objectives. Whilst ensuring users visiting your website get the most effective, efficient and enjoyable experience possible.

Before your UX consultant can do this, they will need to intimately understand your business and your offering. You can expedite their learning curve by supplying a well-prepared and well-written brief.

Brief your UX consultant to get the best results

Budget

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Get a 'ball-park' costing now with our online quoting tool

You can get a ball-park costing now with our online UX calculator. One you have a budget set, being upfront with your budget at the start of the meeting will determine whether or not you and the UX consultant are a good match. They will then find the best possible solution to deliver within your price range. This will save time dealing with responses and actions that don’t fit your budget.

UX brief

Start with writing a UX brief. When it is written down you can be very clear and detailed on your instructions.

If you don’t have a clear action plan when you meet with the UX consultant, your ideas can come out vague, leaving the designer guessing what you what them to do.

It’s all about giving your UX consultant enough information to understand your objectives.

Objectives

Outline your objectives. What exactly do you want to achieve with your user experience project?

Outline your problems and the changes that you would like to achieve. Allow your UX consultant the freedom to suggest other possible outcomes too. It might well be a solution or something you hadn’t thought of yet.

Background information 

Give your UX consultant as much background information as you can. Help them to understand why you are at this stage for improving your website. See below for information to share with your UX consultant:

  • Other steps you have taken to achieve your business goals
  • Relevant research you have already done
  • What you already know about your users
  • What your company strategy is and;
  • What is at the core of your brand

Time-lines

If you have a deadline date in mind it is useful to get this out the way in your initial meeting.

You may need this project to be finished so it coincides with an existing project, or your business needs to hit certain dates that are critical for trading, such as the Christmas shopping period or seasonal products.

What your UX consultant will do for you

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Try our online briefing tool

A UX consultant will research everything for you, from what’s out there to your potential target audience and all before they start the design and layout process of your website.

This invaluable step in building your website will save you time, money and possibly heartache down the track.

Terms that your UX consultant may use

  • Usability: How easy it is to use your website
  • Design: How appealing and aesthetically attractive is your website?
  • Engaging: Is your website enjoyable enough for the user to come back?

Wrap up

Hiring an experienced UX consultant can be the difference between the success and failure of your project. So hiring right the first time around is crucial to your business. Remember to ask your UX consultant:

  • Specific questions
  • Know exactly what you want the UX person to help you with
  • Ask to see their portfolio and;
  • Be open to their suggestions

How to make your website easier to use 

There are usability techniques that UX agencies use to make your website easier to use. These include:

  • documenting your ideal visitors (personas)
  • user testing
  • menu and navigation improvement (card sorting)  
  • wireframing and prototyping.

Learn more about making your website easier to use by using these usability techniques.

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