Karen McGrane

SURVEY: User Experience in Agencies


Take the survey now: UX in Agencies Survey

Do a Google search for “traditional agency” and you’ll find a page of results debating whether and how full-service agencies can integrate digital skills into their mix. As agencies change with the times, they build in new practices and disciplines, hire new people and explore new ways of working.

How agencies embrace digital skills and processes is a big subject, so I’ll limit myself to one area: how do agencies incorporate user experience into their existing toolkit? (If you’re needing a definition of user experience, there are many; Eric Reiss’s is a good one.)

Over the past ten years, many traditional agencies have hired user experience people — from bringing in one lonely information architect or usability specialist, to building whole teams of interaction designers and content strategists. Some even place senior UX pros at the same level as creative directors. How effective has this approach been at integrating user experience principles and values into the agency?

At the same time, digital agencies have grown larger (and more bureaucratic.) Many digital agencies brought UX into the fold early, and it’s likely that a large digital agency also has a large UX team. But digital agencies aren’t immune from challenges in integrating UX, creative, and strategy practices. How does the breakdown of roles and responsibilities work in digital agencies?

I’m working on a benchmarking report to examine how user experience fits into traditional and digital agencies. I’m exploring questions like:

If you have ever worked for an agency and would like to contribute, here’s a brief survey:

UX in Agencies Survey

If you have a lot to say on this subject, please let me know so we can talk via phone or email.