Pricing UX Research, Product Design, Service Design, and Usability Testing Projects

Pricing

Transparency

As much as possible, I like to be up-front about pricing. I do not like dancing around the money question and I suspect you don’t like it either.

There are some activities that are not on the list below because they are harder to price as they are often too contextual and need some conversation first. For example:

  • Technical/UX Writing
  • Editing
  • Product Design
  • Service Design
  • Building Research & Design practice and teams
  • Organisational alignment and leadership therapy

Happy to work with you to figure out scope and pricing.

That said, the below project types are what I can quantify relatively consistently.

Discovery Projects (Strategy)

I propose these projects when one of two things come up:

  1. A client genuinely wants to “see what’s out there.” Generative research can be very rewarding to do and it usually helps better determine where you need to focus your time and efforts.
  2. A client is entirely unsure what they need. This is very much an okay state to be in! But the solution isn’t “let’s guess our way out of this.” Instead, let’s see what the work truly needs to be.

Discovery projects are not allowed to go longer than 10 business days. At the end, we’ll have documented a path forward. More than likely it will be one of the other project types listed below.

Scope

I will interview stakeholders and, potentially, customers and employees. I will determine the number of people needed.

Price

$8,000

There is an $800 per day additional fee for projects that take longer than 10 business days to complete. I scope these specifically to complete as quickly as possible. If Gary is on vacation, but you want to start ASAP, this additional fee will apply until I can speak to Gary. An option to avoid this fee is to wait until Gary is back to start.

Delivery

A report on the outcome of the project with guidance on next steps. This will be detailed enough that you can do the next steps internally or have someone else do them for you. Or we can chat about continuing to work together.

UX Research Projects

Generally speaking, Research can cover speaking with Stakeholders, customers, and employees, as well as past customers and employees. During these projects we may use one or many methods for conducting research.

The pricing for this will depend on:

  • who needs to be interviewed
  • how many interviews
  • what methods we want to employ
  • the level to which your company needs to be persuaded by the outcome of the project
  • complexity of the audience segments (who the customer is)
  • How much buy-in/internal alignment you have for this work
  • How urgent is the need

Once we determine the answers to these questions, I set the pricing on a per-participant basis with a range of 3-12 participants to run a project.

Scope

I will interview stakeholders, customers, and potentially employees. We will determine together the number of people needed.

Price

Low complexity: $800 per participant

Example (from a real project!)
“People have meetings. Go find out about that. We aren’t too concerned with who you talk with and we don’t need a shiny report at the end. This is entirely so that we can understand where the team needs to focus its efforts over the next year.”

High complexity: $1,500 per participant

Example (from a real project!)
“The participants are male nurses, who specialise in palliative care, work in a rural setting, and who are paid via Medicaid/Medicare. The higher-ups don’t think we need to focus on their needs, but I do. I need a spectacularly designed presentation to persuade them we need to do more to support this segment.”

Your price: Somewhere in the range of $800 to $1,500 per participant

Delivery

A detailed report on the outcome of the project with guidance on next steps. This will be detailed enough that you can do the next steps internally or have someone else do them for you. Or we can chat about continuing to work together.

Usability Testing Projects

Usability testing, like voting in Chicago, should be done early and often. Sorry, Chicago…old joke.

I do a lot of usability testing and it is a great way to find things to fix, or things that are missing, with your product or service. Relatively speaking, it’s a very inexpensive way to reduce the risk you are delivering products and services your customers can’t use.

Scope

I will test your product or service with participants who accurately fit the identified profile. I will determine the number of people needed, but the range is typically 5 to 12 participants.

Price

Low complexity: $400 per participant

Example (from a real project!)
“We need to understand what information is relevant to people when searching for a new doctor on our production site. We need a punch list of things to fix.”

High complexity: $1,800 per participant

Example (from a real project!)
“We have a barely functional prototype which we need help with. We’re offering a brand new service with this app and want to see if people can find what they need with it. We’re also not entirely sure this is a good idea, but the CEO said we need to do it. We’ll need a video showing clips of people crying about how bad it is.”

Your price: Somewhere in the range of $400 to $1,800 per participant

Delivery

A detailed report on the outcome of the testing with guidance on how to fix what is broken or missing. This will be detailed enough that you can do the next steps internally or have someone else do them for you. Or we can chat about continuing to work together.

Things to Consider

I want to help you. I know you’ve been burned by people in the past who do this kind of work. I’ve seen their deliverables and I am sorry you’ve had to deal with it.

There is an asterisk for everything. I reserve the right to say, “That is not actually what I described on the Pricing page and here’s why…” I won’t bait-and-switch you.

All projects are done remotely. I’ve been doing most of my work remotely for 12 years. It is rarely necessary to have people together in a conference room or lab. Especially with a pandemic. If you’re adamant that you need to be in the same room with the participants, Studio VO is not the right fit for you.

Recruiting participants can be a challenge. Sometimes it takes a lot of effort and time to find the right people to learn from. Recruiting is either:

  • rolled into the price (usually for low-complexity projects) or
  • passed-through at-cost to you if we use a recruiting specialist (usually for high-complexity projects)

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Based in Portland, Oregon.
Projects worldwide.