The UX Consultancies I found through search
I spend a lot of time studying and talking about the User Experience (UX) and what it means for companies and their products and services. So if UX is a real thing, then who are the people and agencies that are applying it? What are they called? Where are they located? Who are they serving? How do you find them?
Come to find out, it’s not all that easy to find “UX Consultants.” My Google search brought up a freelance designer, links to articles, a posting for a job and a question query service. Not what I expected. I extended my search to “UX designer”, “UX consulting” and “user research” which brought up some more companies that consult for UX. I know they exist, but I had to extend my search from google into LinkedIn to find companies and professionals in the field of UX.
There were many firms that implement UX into their processes, but have not branded themselves “Consultants.” Perhaps it is a vocabulary issue or the fact that most of these companies are not only consultants, but they have the staff and capability to apply the recommendations they make based on user feedback. Although there were a lot of firms from outside the US that came up in my research, I wanted to focus only on the ones in the US.
So here are some of the firms came across in my research. These are the big guys. So are smaller companies hiring UX consultants? Where are all the UX consultancy firms? If you know of one, list it in the comments!
Dell, Microsoft, South by Southwest (SXSW) Inc., Quicken Loans, Inc., Starbucks, Starwood Hotels and Resorts, Hewlett Packard, Palm, Inc., ConocoPhillips
As you know, UX is all about user feedback. These guys are the research people. They are doing the research, conducting the test, making the recommendations and then turning it back over to the designers and programmers to implement the recommendations. They are handling a very important aspect of the UX process.
- Usability Testing
- Eye Tracking
- Shop Along
- Diary Study
- Triads/Focus Groups
- Competitive Benchmarking
- True Intent
- Open Web Research
- Card Sort
- Prototype Testing
- Intercept Surveys
- Latin America Beta Testing
- Analytics Review
- Expert Review- looking to gauge how you stack up against your competition
- UX Scoreboard- a usability expert reviews your current design and identifies potential usability problems
- UX Roadmap-assistance with overall strategy
ACS, a Xerox Company, Barnes and Noble, Domino’s Pizza, ESPN, Health Care Management, HSBC, Kroger, La-Z-Boy, Novo Nordisk, PayPal
Key Lime Interactive is not a UX design company, they are doing research, evaluations and recommendations for their clients. I really like this company for a few reasons: I heart key lime pie (I make a dang good key lime pie) and their CEO is a lady web nerd. Also, they know what they are doing when it comes to user research and usability testing.
San Francisco, CA
- Behavioral Segmentation
- Contextual Research
- Mobile Research
- Rapid Testing
- Remote Testing
- Formal Lab Testing
- Information Architecture
- Visual Design
- Application UI
CBS, Sony, Adobe, TriNet, viator, National Library of Medicine
Whereas other companies do the research and pass the baton to the next guy, gotomedia is a firm does the research and then they implement the recommendations themselves.
Westlake Village, California
- Product Development
- UX/Web/Mobile/Graphic Design
- Software Engineering
These guys appear to be more in the product development sector of UX with their primary clients being start-ups. They came up in my search for UX consultants but considering the user does not appear to be in their design process. But let’s hope that they are in fact, listening to the user.
Expert Services: These are intensive and fast-paced UX projects
- UX Diagnostic™
- UX Charrette™
- UX Feature Planning
- Usability Testing + User Research
Partnership Services: For Clients in the early stages of a business-critical, multi-phase UX initiative.
- User Experience Strategy + Planning
- User Experience Design
- User Experience Design Implementation + Specifications
Usability Lab Rental
Wells Fargo, Target, EcoLab, Life Touch, 3M
They primarliy work with Fortune 500 companies. I see them as a full-service UX firm, being instrumental in every level of the product and design development process through research, planning, and design.
A freelance UX designer in the UK
- User experience (UX) strategy
- Information architecture
- Online/Internet strategy
- Conversion rate optimisation
- Usability testing and analysis
- Heuristic evaluations
- A/B split and multivariable testing
Listerine, Barclay’s Wealth, NatWest, Q8, Trend Micro, Hertz, QUBA
Although David isn’t really what I was looking for in my research, I had to list him in this article since he came up as the 2nd search result in Google for the phrase “UX Consultant” and appeared in several other searches. Although David is his own brand and is billed as “freelance UX designer” he has an impressive list of clients and testimonials.
San Francisco, CA & New York, NY
- User Experience Research- Insights for every stage of the development cycle
- Mobile & Tablet
- Digital Strategy
Adobe, Skype, Amazon.com, McAfee, Best Buy, CBS
They are the answer people! These guys are serious into user research and reporting for UX for big-time brands like Adobe and Amazon.com. Their emphasis on benchmarking progress with their clients and their own company helps them t0 always stay in tune with where UX is heading.
San Francisco, CA & San Diego, CA
- STRATEGIC WEB CONSULTING
- USER INTERFACE & UX DESIGN
- WEB APPLICATION DEVELOPMENT
- INTERACTION DESIGN, XHTML, CSS
- CUSTOM WORDPRESS DEVELOPMEN
Skype, McAfee, Adobe, Walmart, HP, Ebay, Facebook
Hello Bar, Flare, Slide Deck
I was very impressed with this company. I really like their value proposition “21.6% Conversion Increase in Less than 30 Days.” That’s pretty powerful stuff! Although they are not branded as “UX Consultants”, they do implement the user into their design process (see below). They are also responsible for the development of Hello Bar and Slide Deck.
UX is a real thing. A BIG thing that a lot of individuals and agencies have adopted into their product design and development processes. Based on my research, primarily larger corporations are embracing UX and many are hiring third party agencies to do the work. There are many different types of UX firms out there, some do all the work internally, some perform different aspects of the research and implementation process. In addition to hiring third party firms, UX consultants are hired as full-time employees within an organization.
The important takeaway is that organizations see the value in considering the customer and they are taking action to listen and seeing positive results from the initiative.