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Risks or benefits of the offshore UX – which are more?4 min read

May 20, 2019 3 min read

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Risks or benefits of the offshore UX – which are more?4 min read

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Long-distance relationships are always complicated. Just have a look at this concept “Treemap” as a way of understanding the problem of the communication barrier in LDR.

The provocation to design this kind of a tree was searching for a way to strengthen a relationship which was suffering from a lack of interrelatedness.

Designed by Yang Q.

The listed elements allow us to see the major patterns in the problem and also perspectives to approach the UX challenge.

Going offshore for designing and developing a project is often seen as a way of gaining favour. However, sometimes saving costs as outsourcing web projects could hide some risks.

Let’s have a quick look at both sides of the coin now.

Are there real risks of the offshore UX?

It is perceived that having a remote team should be easier and more effective, but the truth is that it depends.

This UX approach is commonly used because it enables the mid-level companies with smaller starting budgets to scale more quickly and to extend their services.

Is this affecting the quality though and how, if it does?

CONS

The most common issue is that it is hard to design for users which are living in different cities, countries, or even continents.

The differences in the interaction and the barriers in the communication

are problems which are hurting the UX.

The UX professionalists has to spend

more time examining the behaviour of the target users and their culture overall.

Or if they do not have the time, they just develop a product which is not so effective or fabulous at the end.

PROS

Nowadays, we have multimedia connections which enables us not only to communicate more freely abroad, but also to do

a better remote usability testing.

And let’s be honest, offshore testing saves time and money to companies, as well as to the users who have to come to a concrete place first.

However challenging it is to find the right partner, regardless of your location, most of the design teams are doing it very successfully.

As Jay Miller from Mentormate suggests,

“The water is changing. The importance of UX is infiltrating every profession at nearly every level, and the need for a shared understanding has never been more important.”

INSIGHT COMPANY EXPERIENCE

As long as the experience is more important than sitting behind your monitor and wondering if going offshore gonna hurt, we want to share some insights of coping with the offshore UX.

Stan, Design Director and Co-Founder, and Martin, Technical Director and Co-Founder, at StanVision are sharing their experiences here.

Stan’s 3 TIPS:

“We are currently outsourcing projects for worldwide clients in different cities in our country, so the usability traditions are not so hard to maintain, although hundred of miles separate us as a team.

We’re maintaining the distant design work on a same project with the help of:

  1. Online UX tools which are essential to understand the user’s behaviour and improve the overall experience.  My favourite tool is FullStory which can be used from every side of the world.
  2. Empathy & understanding – being user’s advocate and putting yourself in his shoes at every given task. We never start work on anything without being sure we completely understand all cultural and behavioral differences and motivations.
  3. User personas and journey – we make research and work with stakeholders to clarify these in advance.”

Martin’s 3 TIPS:

We manage to pass over the threats of the offshore UX work through the following things:

  1. Mutual trust, which we’re trying to maintain daily
  2. Transparent work process, which is achieved by receiving notifications when somebody started working on a concrete task and when that task has been finished.
  3. The most important – stable communication which consists of short but clearly enough daily meetings, during which we talk about UX project aims from the development point of view.”

Inside there are many more things the team is managing, so as to get better developed UX from its distanced employees.

Making a style guide for example and using a consistent design system are another essentials about which we would talk more in another article, so stay tuned.

Finally, we should be aware that understanding the offshore UX development is not an easy task makes us one step forward in creating a greater user experience.