How to Select an Experience Design Provider

Forrester Report Cites projekt202 in Survey of 51 Experience Design Services Providers

The market for human-centered design is red-hot, as companies seeking to improve customer experience (CX) look for help from agencies or consultants offering experience design (XD) services. 

But what are the best ways to find the right provider for your specific project and organization?

A June 14, 2018 report by Forrester Research -- "How To Select An Experience Design Provider, North America, 2018" -- explains what these providers, including projekt202, have in common; how they differ; and the right process for identifying which ones are relevant to an organization's needs. [Note: Report access requires purchase or subscription.]

Authored by Forrester Analyst Andrew Hogan with David Truog, Amelia Nickels, Will Willsea and Shayna Neuburg, the in-depth document highlights key takeaways such as the growing market for design talent and the collaborative nature of XD providers.

In a June 14, 2018 blog post ("How Do You Get The Right Help With Design In 2018?"), Hogan noted that the Forrester team "surveyed 51 XD providers, talked to clients, and spoke with other vendors in the design space to develop a full picture of the North American market and how to navigate it."

Forrester defines an XD provider as a services firm that helps companies improve customer experiences and business outcomes by applying expert design practices.

Expert design practices were further defined as effective qualitative and quantitative research, workshops, generative ideation, visualization, and iterative prototyping and concepting.

3 Types of Providers Offer Human-Centered Experience Design

A key Forrester finding in the June 14 report was that XD providers fall into one of nine segments that cluster into three broad types (Forrester takes a closer look at the XD providers within each category in subsequent reports, available via purchase or subscription. Click on the appropriate hyperlinks below for details.):

  • Business designers: A services firm that helps companies apply expert design practices to creating strategies and business models and to overhauling digital ecosystems from end to end.

  • Convergent designers: A services firm that helps companies apply expert design practices to products, services, and spaces.
    Note: projekt202 is included in Forrester's survey of convergent designers.

  • Specialty designers: A services firm that helps companies apply expert design practices to a narrow business goal or a specific technology.

Source: Forrester Research, Inc. Unauthorized reproduction, citation, or distribution prohibited.

Source: Forrester Research, Inc. Unauthorized reproduction, citation, or distribution prohibited.

3 Questions to Ask to Help You Choose the Right Provider

When determining which service provider is the right fit for your company, the report further suggests creating a shortlist by clarifying your needs. Companies and team leaders should answer three questions to narrow down the consideration set:

  1. Scope: Do you need to change your business?

  2. Medium: Do you need an app or website?

  3. Method: How do you want to work with your XD provider?

The Right Methodology for Success

Fully understanding the people who will use an organization's products and services is the foundation of projekt202's repeatable, programmatic methodology.

This proven process allows developers, designers, marketers and architects to make decisions that support the intended customer experience. Successfully reaching a business goal depends on having a clear target, one based on an understanding of what customers and users value. 

As noted in projekt202's book Designing Software for People, "By directly observing people, we can get to the heart of their needs, motivations and aspirations. We observe users in their 'habitats' -- in the office, at home or at play -- and we uncover what drives them, what inspires them and what connects with them on an emotional level. By doing this, we create knowledge for our clients of where to invest resources based on this deep understanding of what people value."

projekt202 is the leader in experience-driven software strategy, design and development. We have a unique and established methodology for understanding people in context — we reveal unmet needs — which drives everything we do. This leads to a crisp, clear understanding of the customer, which shapes the design and development of new solutions and experiences. We have the expertise, teams, skills and scale to deliver sophisticated software solutions that improve any and all touchpoints across the user journey.

projekt202 has spent over 15 years bringing to life and to market compelling experiences through our Experience Strategy & InsightUser ExperienceSoftware DevelopmentMarketing & Analytics, and Program Management practices. Our talented team has delivered emotionally-rich and intuitive solutions for global brands and clients such as 7-Eleven, Allstate, Canon, Capital One, Dell, McKesson, Mercedes-Benz Financial Services, Neiman Marcus, Samsung Electronics, Subway and The Container Store, among many others.

projekt202 has offices in AustinChicagoDallas and Seattle.