History and Background
Q: Why did you start Blink UX?
We started Blink UX in 2000 to address the emerging UX niche market need. Many consulting firms were burying their UX practice among marketing and advertising services, but our clients had a real need for strategic user research and human-centered design help.
Q: How long have you been in business?
Blink UX was started in 2000 by Karen Clark Cole and Kelly Franznick in beautiful Seattle, WA.
Q: Do you have a brochure you can send me?
We have a high-level overview PDF you can download right now.
Q: Why are you considered a consultancy and not an agency?
You know your business and we know UX. As consultants, we work with you, your internal teams, and other partners to help you meet your usability and design goals. Whereas an agency may focus on deliverables, advertising, marketing, and their own vision, we focus on creating great value for you and your customers as we strengthen our working relationship.
Q: Who are your typical clients?
Our typical clients are those whose businesses hinge on digital products and experiences. These products are often complex, mission critical, and workflow based. They are tools and utilities, not toys. We serve clients in broad industries, including consumer, enterprise software, healthcare, financial services, and travel & leisure.
Q: Why should I hire you over other UX consulting firms?
Depth of Experience. Evidence-driven approach. Extreme UX focus. We have a collaborative team of pros dedicated to providing results for our clients. And we have a great portfolio of results. We are service oriented, cooperative, collaborative, and united in finding the best solution to a problem.
Q: What is UX? Why does it matter?
UX takes into consideration many, if not all, of the factors of creating a product in the service of the end user. UX has been around for eons with brands like The Ritz Carlton and Disney. Look to any highly service-oriented, customer-obsessed organizations as good examples. Now user experience is becoming a business necessity for software and digital products.
Q: How long is a typical usability study? A user-centered design project?
A standard usability study is 4-5 weeks. User-centered design projects tend to last 12-16 weeks.
Q: I only need design help, and don't require research. Do you offer a la carte services?
We want all of our work to be evidence driven. However, in some cases, our clients have brought in their own research that informs our design work as a stand-alone service.
Q: Can I rent out your lab space in Seattle?
You bet. Send us an email with your request and we'll get you set up.
Q: Who will work on my project?
All projects are bespoke and all teams are custom designed to best serve the problem you have to solve. We match Blinkers to your project based on experience and interest in your domain, product, and company. Each project is lead by a UX strategy team and is supported by a multi-disciplinary team of designers, researchers, and a dedicated project manager. We aim for lean, focused teams and our team members are fully dedicated to your project, focusing only on one project at a time.
Q: Is your staff in-house, or will you contract my work out?
Projects are completed 100% by full-time employees. On rare occasion, when deemed necessary by client or skillset, we will bring on outside individuals or companies to help. When this happens this is fully transparent to our clients.
Q: Can Blink UX develop the content for my project?
Content strategy and information architecture are two of the core services we offer at Blink. Additionally, our team will work with outside resources for development of any additional content you might need.
Q: Can I use my own designers/researchers to do some of the work?
Key team members from the client side are always invited into the process as contributors. In our experience it would be rare for a client to fully embed on our team.
Q: Do you work in agile environments?
Yes. More than 50% of the time our clients have an agile enviro. We tend to work a sprint or cycle ahead and this creates a contiguous design process. We can also design and hand off if needed. We also have development resources in house. We use our own team in an agile away.
Q: Do you practice Lean UX techniques?
Yes. We’ve embodied the cores values of efficiency and leanness in our organization since day one. So we're quick and nimble, but we will take as long as needed to do the best work for you.
Q: Do you design and test mobile apps? Mobile websites?
Yes. All the time.
Q: Can you test physical products?
Sure! We design and test physical products that include some form of digital functionality.
Q: Do you do quantitative work?
Absolutely. As part of our evidence-driven approach we use both qualitative and quantitative data to ensure that our designs work. We can implement analytics services or consume existing analytics data to measure the performance of your project.
Q: How do you source testing participants?
As part of our business, blink owns Northwest Insights, a research services firm specializing in hosting and recruiting services. Additionally we can reach out to vetted, frequently-used global recruiting partners. We maintain several non-profit driven relationships with trusted recruiting partners around the globe.
Q: I want a new website/app, but I also want help marketing it. Do you do that?
Sorry, but no. Our focus is on evidence-driven design of products, not the marketing of them.
Q: Who does your programming and development?
Our in-house team of developers that includes full stack and front end devs. When necessary we rely on a couple of key outside partners for development support.
Q: How does project management play a role?
The project management team paves the path to project success. They help define project goals and processes. From there they facilitate clear communication between internal teams and client partners. They assess, communicate, and mitigate any risks or challenges projects may face. With their effectiveness, teams can deliver the best work possible.
Billing, Logistics, & References
Q: How much do you charge for your consulting fees?
A standard usability project runs in the range of $35–$50K, inclusive of all costs. Field research and generative projects can vary in duration from 6–20 weeks and have budgets from $75K and up. User-centered design projects of 12–16 weeks range between $150K and $250K.
Q: Is a long-term contract required?
Not at all, but many of our clients choose to become repeat customers. We aspire to have long-term relationships with our clients.
Q: I see you're based in the United States, but I have international project needs. Can you still help?
Absolutely. The majority of our clients are based in the U.S. and for many of them we do global work. We’ve conducted work in India, Brazil, China, North America, and most of Europe, to name a few locations.
Q. What format will my insight reports come in?
Project documentation is guided by standards but customized to your needs. Deliverables tend to be a combination of Word docs, PPTs, videos, workshops, development-ready files, and graphics.
Q: Can I ask some of your clients about your services?
Yes, we can provide references upon request.
Q: Can you show me a case study?
Yes, we have a few on our website and will happily walk you through an assortment of others in a one-on-one conversation.
Q: Does Blink UX respond to Request For Proposals?
Yes, we are grateful for every inquiry we receive. In our experience we've learned that the most effective way to see if we are a good fit for your business and project, is to have some sort of human interaction before completing the reply—be it a phone call, in-person meeting, over coffee. We're happy to come to you.
Q: I am ready to submit a RFP—how do I do that?
Let's have a phone call and possibly a face-to-face meeting to better understand what you're trying to do. If your RFP is ready and you think it would be informing, please email it to [email protected]. Either Lauren, Jeff, or Kristina will be in touch.
Q: I still have questions—Is there a person I can talk to?
Yes. Please call 206-447-9551 and you'll talk to a member of our client relations team. Better yet, let's answer your questions over a coffee. We look forward to speaking with you!