Maximizing success with external design Teams

  • May 29, 2023
  • By: Slick
  • 7 min read


    In the fierce battleground of today’s market, where a great idea alone falls short, a seamless and captivating user experience that resonates with your target audience becomes the indispensable key to success.  Many companies rely on their in-house design teams, and startups may have limited resources and lack an established design team.  Companies of all sizes have caught onto an emerging trend- the strategic partnership with external product design teams. By leveraging the expertise of highly skilled professionals, business can tap into a wealth of experiences, innovative approaches, and an impartial perspective, empowering organizations to surpass their competition. Let’s dive into the untapped advantages that entrusting your product design to an external team can bring.

    First, let’s clarify what an external product design team is, and why so many companies are utilizing this method. An external product design team refers to a group of professionals who work outside of your organization specifically hired to handle all aspects of product design. Picture an assemblage of skilled professionals specifically hired to handle every facet of product design, including software development, UX/UI design, and product design. These dedicated teams are assembled from a product design agency and will specialize in providing comprehensive design services to business across diverse industries.

    The rise of outsourcing and globalization has played a significant role in driving the adoption of external product design teams. With the advancements in communication technology and the ability to collaborate seamlessly across borders, businesses now have the opportunity to work with design teams located overseas. This enables companies to leverage a global talent pool and harness specialized skills without location restrictions.

    Specialized Expertise

    Enlisting the services of an external design team grants you access to a pool of specialized expertise that can significantly enhance your product design. These teams are composed of professionals who have dedicated their careers to mastering the intricacies of product designs, from the technical aspects to the aesthetics and user experience. Their depth of knowledge allows them to navigate complex design challenges with ease, leveraging their expertise to create solutions that are both visually appealing and highly functional.  With their extensive experience working with many products and businesses, they possess a deep understanding of industry trends, design principles, and user behavior patterns.

    When you rely solely on building an in-house product design team, you may encounter challenges in mastering the intricacies of product design due to limited exposure and expertise. The absence of diverse industry experience can make it difficult to navigate complex design challenges effectively, potentially resulting in suboptimal solutions that fail to meet user expectations. Furthermore, an in-house design team may face challenges in keeping up with rapidly evolving design trends, which can hinder the ability to create delightful designs that resonate with your target users. The impact of enhancing your product’s design goes beyond aesthetics, as it directly influences user satisfaction, brand perception, and even revenue growth.  Investing in a high-quality design facilitated by an external team can yield substantial returns, helping you build a competitive advantage and fuel success in the market.

    Streamlined Design & Project Management

    Design management is another significant benefit that comes with hiring a third party design team. When you partner with a specialized design team, you gain access to skilled design managers who have extensive experience in overseeing and coordinating design budgets on rapid timelines. These design managers serve as the bridge between your organization and the design team, ensuring effective communication, alignment of goals, and smooth workflow throughout the design process. Design managers bring their wealth of knowledge and expertise in managing design projects from inception to completion. They possess a deep understanding of design methodologies, project management frameworks, and best practices, allowing them to streamline the design process and ensure efficient resource allocation. Their strategic thinking and problem-solving abilities enable them to identify potential roadblocks or bottlenecks in advance, mitigating risks and keeping the project on track.

    Design managers have a keen understanding of the strategic value of design in achieving business objectives. They’ve seen what works and doesn’t work and know how to apply that to your unique project. They work closely with your organization’s stakeholders to align design efforts with your overall strategy, ensuring that every design decision drives towards your long-term objectives. By aligning design efforts with your business strategy, driving innovation, and ensuring user-centricity, design managers contribute to the overall success of your product. Their expertise in strategic thinking, project management, and user-centered design helps you navigate the complexities of the market, gain a competitive edge, and achieve your business objectives.

    Design phases by NN/g.

    Cost Efficiency and Resource Allocation

    The cost-saving aspect is one of the key advantages of opting for an external product design team.  While we know that good UX has a high ROI, in fact, for every $1 invested in UX there’s a $100 return , it is expensive to build and scale an internal design team. Developing an in-house design teams requires substantial investments- you have to pay salaries, benefits, office space, equipment, and design tools. It  also takes time to onboard and develop a team of designers in house. On the other hand, partnering with a third party design team allows you to access top-tier design talent without the expenses associated with hiring and onboarding new employees.

             External design teams typically operate on a project basis, which means you pay for the specific design service you require. This flexibility enables you to scale your design resources p or down based on the needs of your projects, resulting in significant cost savings. Additionally, external product design teams have established workflows and optimized processes. This efficiency allows them to deliver high-quality designs in a shorter timeframe, saving you valuable time and reducing time-to-market. By minimizing project delays and accelerating the design cycle, you can maximize your return on investment and generate revenue faster. This cost-effective approach allows you to allocate your resources strategically, optimize your budget, and focus on core business activities, driving overall success and growth.

    A Fresh Perspective

       The addition of a third party product design team brings a distinct advantage in the form of their unbiased viewpoint and fresh perspective, fostering innovative design solutions. Being external to your organization, these design teams offer a unique viewpoint that is not influenced by internal politics, preconceived notions, biases or attachments to existing design. They approach your product design with a fresh set of eyes, free from any existing assumptions or limitations. This fresh perspective enables them to identify new opportunities, challenge conventional thinking, and explore innovative design solutions that can truly differentiate your product in the market. By leveraging their impartiality, these external teams can bring a fresh breath of creativity and out of the box thinking to your product. They can also provide honest and objective feedback on your existing design strategics and user experiences. They are not confined by internal hierarchies or personal attachments to specific design choices, allowing them to critically evaluate your product’s strengths and weaknesses. This objective evaluation and unbiased perspective ensures that the design decisions made are based on user-centric principles and market demands, aligning with the ultimate goal of creating a remarkable user experience.

          In the dynamic market of digital products today, where competition is fierce and customer experience reigns supreme, embracing the power of external product design teams becomes a game changing move. These teams not only bring a wealth of specialized expertise and efficient cost saving measures, but also infuse your design process with a breath of fresh perspective and unbiased creativity. By partnering with external teams, you tap into a world of innovative solutions, guided by seasoned design managers, who navigate complexity and drive your product towards success. Embrace the paradigm shift that external product design teams bring and empower your business to thrive!

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