I've recently become product manager for a small team - our product is a business management software (HR, Estimating, Contracts, etc).
In a survey of our current user base, Usability improvement is the number one request we are hearing. "It's confusing and hard to use", "It looks very old" are the general comments from many users.
The application has been actively developed for 10+ years. Unfortunately, there hasn't been much focus on UX when building the application.
We want to put a focus on User Experience in the next year. There is no one on our team currently who is a UX expert.
Where should I start? Books to read, practices to employ, etc.
Also, we are hoping to hire a UX consultant.
How can we successfully find someone who will help us improve the UX of our application?