Why US companies hesitate to outsource their UX work (but they shouldn’t)

Why US companies hesitate to outsource their UX work (but they shouldn&#39_t)2

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To outsource, or not to outsource – that is the question. In fact, this is not really the question because outsourcing software development has become the norm. A quick glance at outsourcing statistics confirms that.

Of course, India has been at the top of the outsourcing race with a 55% market share. It is also estimated that the Indian IT industry will touch USD 350 Billion in revenue by 2025 from the present USD 150+Billion.

However, while U.S companies have been favorable towards outsourcing software development to outsourcing destinations such as India, they still twitch when it comes to outsourcing UX design. Why is that so?

For the longest time, companies in the U.S wanted to maintain complete control over UX design for the usual reason – design plays a crucial role in winning customer satisfaction. Since UX design has to be user-oriented and hence having local knowledge to design user experience is logical. Local factors have always been seen to be super-important. The color red, for example, signifies happiness in Asia. In the western world, it is associated with danger. This may have made sense to do when there is a huge language and cultural barrier to cross.

Then there was the belief that outsourcing destinations such as India could not provide the expected quality of UX that was in line with international standards.

Such beliefs have kept U.S companies from outsourcing UX design.

However, countries like India are fast emerging as outsourcing destinations for UX design as well now. Here’s why those fears about outsourcing UX design can now be put to rest.

Human capital

One of the biggest exports from India, after yoga, has to be talent.
This is the well-known argument. The Indian IT industry is growing at a strong pace. The quality of engineering talent is increasing. Gartner reports that every year almost 1 million techies graduates each year in India alone. Outsourcing to India gives you access to a huge pool of talented resources to meet your development demands.

But the type of resources is changing. A report from the
British Council talks of the growing design focus in India. According to this report, design programs are branching out to newer applications and utilities such as interaction design and Human Interface Design.

UX design needs specialization especially with the rise of user expectations of seamless and intuitive interactions. With outsourcing, you can now get the blend of technical expertise with design skills.

Access to the latest trends

In a fast-evolving technological landscape, keeping up with technology challenges can be hard. UX frameworks are changing rapidly. New trends are emerging constantly. Then there is the challenge of staying updated with the regular updates from frameworks such as Angular, React and Vu that keep adding new features.
These constant changes can be hard to manage especially in the face of the convergence that is happening between web and mobile. Technology has become the ultimate leveler in the software development space. With new technologies emerging almost every day and the shelf life of technologies reducing, it can be hard to ensure that your in-house team is constantly ahead of the technology curve.
Outsourcing your UX design may be the next best thing because you can then access experts relevant to the task at hand and the technology choice. And the job of staying updated is theirs.

Scalability

With outsourcing, you can match your technology needs with the “at the moment” demands of the software under production. By outsourcing UX design you can ramp up and scale back teams based on current needs and control costs.

UX workloads also tend to fluctuate. It can be tough to scale an in-house team in the absence of consistent workloads. Your outsourced team, on the other hand, can manage these fluctuations easily and accommodate expertise shifts as well. You then do not need to worry about under or over-hiring a UX design team.

Deeper insights

When you have access to an experienced UX partner objective and expert insights are easier to obtain. UX design is no longer just about visual design. It’s about how the product and the user behave. An experienced team can deliver new ideas, information, and trends to drive your project to UX success.

UX is a broad field

Unless UX design is an integral part of your business, it can be a challenge to do right. UX design involves a broad range of specialties. User research, interaction design, prototyping, typography, visual design is all different. These are hard to staff when building your own in-house UX team. Added to this is the high level of technical, coding, and associated software skills.

By outsourcing UX design you can let your outsourcing partner do the heavy lifting. Instead of spending time trying to develop a team with the right skills and establishing the right processes, you can focus on defining the right product and business strategy.

Culture and communication

Great UX design not only demands complete knowledge of the latest tools and technologies but also needs a cultural connect. Outsourcing destinations such as India now make the cut in the globalized world. The majority of the population in the country is less than 27years old and India has more English speakers than the UK and U.S combined. The internet, social media, and communication networks have created homogenous spaces where these citizens of the world reside. The new breed of Indian UX designers is as international as the best of them.

I am not going to talk about the cost advantage. Why state the obvious? Along with costs, it is imperative to evaluate the long-term value that outsourcing UX design can bring. However, I believe it pays to evaluate the UX processes your outsourcing partner has and ensure that there is a strong focus on research, user testing, visual product appeal, integration support and a robust communication process amongst other things to make your UX design world-class. It can, and must, be done!

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