Building the In-house Design Agency

By December 19, 2013March 17th, 2015No Comments

There’s a really great article today on Boxes and Arrows, discussing the nitty-gritty of running an in-house UX Agency. It goes in-depth to talk about everything from selling the idea to management, allocating costs, keeping team members motivated, to getting buy-in across the company. It’s a really good read and very relevant.

Some of the high points:

  • Take time to understand which solutions UX can solve are most important to your audience–upper management cares more about vision and strategy, project teams care more about execution and efficiency. Tailor your pitch to your audience.
  • Sell your team by offering small UX Favors–run a sketch-session, a heuristic review, a survey, etc.
  • Prevent burn-out within the team by rotating projects and responsibilities.
  • Arrange the team in a way that promotes creativity–good coffee, nice workspaces and a 10% allocation of “Creative Time” to work on things that aren’t immediately applicable are all helpful.
  • Try to have the team funded through a hybrid approach: centrally funded for a percentage, but also funded by the teams who request UX services. When people have to pay for your service, they respect your time and opinion more than if it’s just “free.”
  • Run periodic “Innovation Projects.” Get some business people together, design a project and then pitch it to management rather than waiting for work to come to you. It establishes you as an innovation service.