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I have been working on a mobile application design: conducted the user research, designed and iterated the wireframes, and did a clickable prototype of the app. Now we need to do the UI + visual design of the application, and we're outsourcing it to external agency (the development is done by other vendor). I wonder what should I deliver to them 1) For them to understand the scope of work and give me a timeframe estimate 2) The full package needed for them to do their job.

I think that the app description + wireframes + interactive prototypes + scope of work (what exactly needs to be delivered) are enough to understand the amount of work, while for the total work I can supply them with personas, user stories and use cases (user journey not relevant in this case. Is there anything else that may be needed for the two phases?

  • Sounds about right. If you have any branding guides, give that as well along with any predetermined things like fonts and icon sets. If there are none, it'll add some time for them. – Wanda Sep 21 '17 at 11:57
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The main thing to keep in mind, when you outsource a job, is to make sure that it doesn't become obvious that you had the job outsourced to an external or third party group for development. Having said this, what can you do to make sure your product, even with the fact that it was outsourced for development, looks like an original product that reflects you or your company?

  • Make sure you make the outsourced team feel like they work for you and your company, and isn't a completely different organization. This means that you must treat them as your own employees.

  • Make your company policies and visions perfectly clear to them. Give them a complete overview what your company does, what you guys are expected to do, and what is the standard of work that is generally delivered.

  • Do not give them the impression that once you outsource the work, your work is done. You need to continuously collaborate with them. This, not only ensures flawless work, but also maintains a high morale for the team.

  • Provide them with all that they might need. This includes the complete wireframes, user stories, click-throughs, prototypes, as well as a high-level or a user overview of what your application or product is supposed to do, in non-technical terms. Also give them the correct font families, images, icons, color themes and other standards.

  • Give them properly evaluated estimate. Make sure you estimate with a little buffer time, but make sure you do not give them lax time.

  • Your user stories and user journeys should be crystal clear. This should not change amidst the development. This maybe very difficult for them to incorporate in between development.

  • Always make sure that you or your team is always available to them, in case they have doubts (which they will, naturally).

Always remember, you are the clients of your outsourced team. So you have to treat them exactly the way you want your clients to treat you. This includes a proper morale, a good chemistry and proper availability of resources.

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