Why Outsource UX Research: A Complete Guide

10minutes read
outsource ux research

User experience reigns supreme, dictating the success or failure of products and services across industries. At the heart of this success lies UX research, a dynamic process that delves deep into users’ minds and behaviors to uncover invaluable insights. How to do it effectively? The answer is to outsource UX research. It’s a strategic solution that offers companies access to specialized knowledge, streamlined processes, and accelerated results. In fact, IT services make up around three-quarters of all global outsourcing contract values.

Here, we'll explore the benefits, challenges, and best practices associated with outsourcing UX research, empowering businesses to make informed decisions and unlock the full potential of their digital offerings.

What Is UX Research?

UX research is a systematic process of understanding users' needs, behaviors, and motivations through various qualitative and quantitative methods. The primary goal of UX research is to inform the design and development of user-centered products, services, or systems that meet users' requirements effectively and efficiently. UX researchers employ a variety of techniques to gather insights into user experiences, including:

  • user interviews,
  • surveys and questionnaires,
  • usability testing,
  • contextual inquiry,
  • competitive analysis,
  • persona development,
  • journey mapping.
ux research process
how to research ux?

UX research helps designers and developers gain valuable insights into users' needs and preferences, leading to the creation of products that are more intuitive, efficient, and satisfying to use. Ultimately, UX research aims to enhance user satisfaction and drive business success by delivering products that meet users' needs and expectations.

Gapsy Studio will provide UX audit services for your existing project.

Benefits of Outsourcing UX Research

Interestingly, every dollar invested in UX brings $100 in return. This is an average figure, but it’s a return of investment (ROI) of an impressive 9,900%. Outsourcing UX research emerges as a strategic solution, offering a myriad of benefits that not only streamline the design process but also elevate the overall quality of the end product. Let’s explore them.

ux research outsourcing benefits
why to outsource ux research?


Cost-efficiency stands tall among the various benefits of outsourcing UX research. In today's competitive market, businesses face pressure to deliver exceptional user experiences while managing budgets effectively. Outsourcing UX research offers a strategic solution to this challenge by providing access to specialized expertise without the overhead costs of maintaining an in-house research team.

Outsourcing allows companies to tap into a global pool of talented UX researchers, often at a fraction of the cost compared to hiring full-time employees. By partnering with specialized agencies or freelancers, businesses can benefit from the expertise of professionals with diverse skill sets and experiences without the burden of ongoing salaries, benefits, and training expenses.

Outsourcing UX research eliminates the need for investing in costly research infrastructure and tools. External partners often come equipped with state-of-the-art research methodologies, software, and facilities, sparing businesses from hefty upfront investments and ongoing maintenance costs.

Access to global talent at competitive rates

Global talent pools bring together researchers with varied backgrounds, perspectives, and methodologies, enriching the insights gained from UX research. 51% of organizations outsource to gain access to new capabilities. This diversity fosters creativity and innovation, enabling companies to approach problems from multiple angles and ultimately deliver more robust and user-centric solutions.

Outsourcing facilitates faster turnaround times for UX research projects. With experts worldwide, companies can leverage resources across different time zones, enabling round-the-clock operations. This continuous workflow accelerates the pace of research and product development, helping companies bring their offerings to market more quickly and stay ahead of competitors.

Access to specialized knowledge is yet another advantage of outsourcing UX research. Certain regions may specialize in specific industries or technologies, offering unique insights and expertise that may not be readily available locally. When you outsource UX research to these regions, you can leverage specialized knowledge to address complex challenges and optimize their products for specific markets or user demographics.

Increased flexibility

Outsourcing provides scalability, a critical facet of flexibility in UX research. Organizations can dynamically adjust their research efforts to align with project scope and timelines. Whether scaling up for comprehensive market research or scaling down for targeted usability studies, outsourcing enables organizations to optimize resources efficiently. This agility in resource allocation enhances cost-effectiveness and accelerates time-to-market, allowing organizations to stay ahead in today's fast-paced digital landscape.

24% of small businesses outsource to increase the efficiency of their operations. Flexibility in outsourcing UX research enables companies to maintain focus on core competencies while delegating specialized tasks to external partners. By streamlining workflows and leveraging external expertise, organizations can allocate resources more strategically, fostering innovation and driving business growth. Focusing on core competencies allows organizations to stay agile and responsive to market demands, positioning them for sustained success in a rapidly evolving landscape.

Flexibility extends beyond resource optimization to encompass adaptability in project execution. Outsourcing partners can adapt their approach to accommodate changing project requirements or unforeseen challenges, ensuring that research efforts remain aligned with organizational goals. This adaptability fosters resilience and agility, empowering organizations to navigate uncertainties and capitalize on emerging opportunities.


You minimize the time and effort required to recruit, train, and manage an in-house research team when you outsource UX research. External partners come equipped with established processes and methodologies, streamlining the research process and accelerating time-to-insight. This reduction in organizational overhead allows you to focus your energy on driving innovation and delivering exceptional user experiences rather than getting bogged down by internal challenges.

Outsourcing UX research helps mitigate risks of unstable project demands, resource constraints, and market uncertainties. External partners assume a share of the project risk, offering flexible engagement models and contingency plans to ensure project success. This risk-sharing arrangement gives organizations peace of mind, knowing they have a reliable partner to navigate challenges and deliver results, even in the face of unforeseen circumstances.

External partners bring a fresh perspective and objectivity to UX research initiatives, free from internal biases. This neutrality enables them to approach research projects critically, uncovering insights and opportunities you may have overlooked internally.

Finding the Right Outsourcing Partner

Whether seeking specialized expertise or optimizing resources, finding the right outsourcing partner has become paramount for businesses aiming to stay competitive. However, navigating the vast array of outsourcing options can be daunting, requiring careful consideration of expertise, reliability, cultural fit, and cost-effectiveness.

findning the ux research outsourcing partner
how to find the right outsourcing partner?

Research and due diligence

Identifying potential outsourcing firms for UX research requires a strategic approach to ensure the selection of a partner that aligns with the organization's goals, values, and project requirements. Research potential outsourcing firms to understand their areas of expertise and specialization in UX research. Look for firms with a track record of success in relevant industries or domains as well as demonstrated proficiency in specific research methodologies and tools.

Review the potential outsourcing firms' portfolios and case studies to assess the quality and depth of their previous work. Pay attention to projects similar in scope or complexity to gain insights into their approach, methodology, and outcomes.

Communication & collaboration

Maintaining regular and transparent communication channels is essential for keeping all stakeholders informed and engaged throughout the research process. It includes scheduled check-ins, progress updates, and status reports to provide visibility into project milestones, challenges, and achievements. Leveraging collaboration tools such as project management software, video conferencing platforms, and shared document repositories facilitates seamless communication and collaboration, irrespective of geographical distances.

Collaboration between the outsourcing partner and the client fosters a synergy of ideas, expertise, and perspectives, enriching the research process and outcomes. Encouraging open dialogue, brainstorming sessions, and cross-functional collaboration enables stakeholders to contribute insights, share feedback, and iterate on research findings collaboratively.

Scalability & flexibility

Determine if the outsourcing firm has the scalability to accommodate projects of varying sizes and complexities. Assess the size and composition of their research team and expertise in different UX research methodologies. A scalable partner should be able to assemble teams with the right skills and experience to meet project requirements efficiently.

Evaluate the outsourcing firm's ability to allocate resources dynamically based on project demands. Ask about their process for scaling up or down, including how they handle fluctuations in workload, deadlines, and scope changes. A flexible partner should have mechanisms to adjust resource allocation quickly without compromising quality or timelines.

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Overcoming Challenges in Outsourcing UX Research

Challenges may arise when you outsource UX research. From ensuring effective communication and collaboration across distributed teams to maintaining consistency in research methodologies and deliverables, overcoming these obstacles is essential for success.

challenges of outsource ux research
ux research outsourcing challenges

Limited product knowledge

One of the primary implications of limited product knowledge is the potential for misinterpretation or misalignment of research objectives. When outsourcing partners lack a profound understanding of the product's features, functionality, and intended user experience, they may fail to ask the right questions, prioritize the most relevant research activities, or accurately interpret research findings. As a result, the insights generated may not fully address the organization's strategic goals or provide actionable recommendations for improving the product.

Organizations can take several proactive steps. First and foremost, they should invest time and resources in providing comprehensive onboarding and training to outsourcing partners, ensuring they have a solid grasp of the product's functionality and value proposition. Companies should establish clear channels of communication and collaboration, fostering an environment of trust and transparency where both parties feel comfortable sharing insights and feedback.

Limited customers knowledge

Narrow client knowledge can interfere with effective collaboration and communication between the organization and its outsourcing partners. Clear and open communication is essential for aligning expectations, sharing insights, and incorporating feedback throughout the research process. When outsourcing partners lack familiarity with the target audience, communication gaps may arise, leading to misunderstandings, delays, and inefficiencies in project execution.

So, how to outsource UX research successfully? Involve outsourcing partners in user testing sessions, interviews, surveys, and other activities directly engaging with customers. This hands-on approach allows outsourcing partners to interact directly with the target audience, gain firsthand insights, and develop empathy for their needs and preferences.

Delayed feedback

UX research often operates within tight deadlines, and any delay in receiving feedback can disrupt the research process and unnecessarily extend project durations. It can result in missed opportunities to iterate on research findings, incorporate new insights, or address emerging issues promptly.

Companies should proactively communicate the importance of timely feedback to stakeholders and emphasize its impact on project success. By highlighting the consequences of delays, such as extended timelines, increased costs, or compromised research quality, you can stimulate stakeholders to prioritize feedback and engage more actively in the research process.

How to Outsource UX Research Effectively? Best Practices

Companies must adopt effective strategies and best practices to ensure successful collaboration with external partners to maximize the benefits of outsourcing UX research. Read below what you can do.

how to outsource ux research
how to outsource ux research?

Clear project briefs & expectations

Detailed project briefs provide clarity and focus by clearly defining the objectives, scope, and deliverables of the UX research project. It helps outsourcing partners understand the organization's goals and priorities, enabling them to tailor their approach and methodologies accordingly.

Setting realistic expectations is essential to avoid disappointment and ensure project success. You can manage stakeholders' expectations effectively and foster a collaborative and constructive environment by being transparent about the limitations, uncertainties, and potential risks associated with UX research.

Regular communication & updates

Establishing a communication schedule creates consistency and predictability, ensuring that all stakeholders know when and how communication will occur. It helps set expectations and promotes accountability, making it easier to track progress and address any issues or concerns on time.

Providing regular updates allows organizations to proactively identify and address risks or issues that may arise during the research process. By keeping stakeholders informed about potential challenges or delays, organizations can mitigate risks and take corrective actions to keep the project on track.

Legal & security considerations

Before collecting any user data, outsourcing partners must obtain explicit consent from participants and ensure that personally identifiable information (PII) is anonymized or pseudonymized to protect individuals' privacy rights. When sharing data with outsourcing partners in different jurisdictions, organizations should establish data transfer agreements to govern the lawful transfer, processing, and protection of personal data following applicable regulations.

Your outsourcing partners should implement robust security measures to safeguard data against unauthorized access, loss, or theft. It includes encryption, access controls, and secure transmission protocols to protect data in transit and at rest.

You may be interested: How to Conduct UX Research And Get the Most Out Of It.

How Much Would It Cost to Hire a Dedicated UX Research Team?

The cost of hiring a dedicated UX research team can vary significantly depending on several factors, including the team's size, experience level, location, and the specific services required. Here are the typical cost considerations:

  • salaries and benefits;
  • number of UX research team members;
  • location;
  • experience level;
  • tools and software;
  • overhead and administrative costs.

Providing an approximate price for a UX research project is challenging as it depends on many factors. For a small to medium-sized UX research project, which may include user interviews, usability testing, competitor analysis, and personal development, the cost could range from $10,000 to $50,000. This estimate would cover the fees for hiring a dedicated UX research team, including salaries, benefits, tools, and overhead expenses.

Gapsy's Experience

Gapsy Studio is a team of professionals who conduct thorough UX research when working on a project. Introducing RKDE—a gaming platform that caters to a broad spectrum of players.

rkde gapsy's project
rkde gapsy's project

As designers at Gapsy Studio, our task wasn't merely to conceptualize this ambitious project but to bring it to life—to develop a platform where each pixel resonated with RKDE's fundamental principles and addressed the varied requirements of the European gaming community.

The RKDE project, via the KOP platform, significantly boosted player retention by offering tangible rewards and a richer gaming experience. Players now have avenues to monetize their skills and expertise, while KOP's social features have fostered a vibrant community, emphasizing collaboration and competition. Overall, KOP transformed gaming from a mere pastime to a rewarding, community-driven experience.

Read the whole RKDE case study in our blog.


Outsourcing UX research offers numerous advantages for companies seeking to enhance their product development processes and user experiences. By leveraging the expertise of specialized agencies or freelance professionals, businesses can access a wealth of knowledge, methodologies, and resources that may not be readily available in-house. Additionally, outsourcing allows organizations to streamline the workflows, reduce costs, and expedite project timelines.

Gapsy Studio is ready to elevate your online presence using the most effective UX research methodologies. Check our portfolio and contact us now to discuss how we can collaborate on creating unforgettable user experiences that drive success for your business.

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