User Experience Agency

Create delightful customer journeys
Utilise lean & effective UX consulting
Collaborate to design amazing products
Elevate your brand and gain an edge

We design unforgettable digital user experiences

Collaborating with teams and design on-demand

Based in the beating heart of Manchester's Northern Quarter, we aim to consistently provide exceptional UX design services to our clients in a friendly, collaborative and accessible way.

We can provide on-demand UX consulting to help with prototyping ideas, customer journey mapping, user testing workshops, remote design sprints or lean, effective design solutions.

We can project lead from conception to completion, or fit seamlessly into your current design and development team; providing highly effective, flexible and bespoke UX consulting services at a sensible price, wherever and whenever needed.

What's our process?

We recognise that every company is different, and have 20 years experience. Our UX approach is innovative, unique and always tailored to your business priorities and users’ needs. We deliver on our promises and have a successful track record; combining a clear process, flexible approach and deep understanding of UX.

The best UX connects people to your site, app, product or service, effortlessly and intuitively.

User research

Once you have gained knowledge and understanding of what the customer really wants to achieve you will have gained insight into how to capture their attention, gain their confidence and influence their decision making. This is where researching user personas really pays off.

  • What do your customers want to do?
  • What’s important to them?
  • Why do they need what you’re offering?
  • How do you reach them?
Project discovery

Discoveries are crucial to setting design projects off in the right direction by focusing on the right problems and, consequently, developing and delivering the right solution. Generally, the more time you spend on a discovery, the more details you’ll find about a problem to solve, the better solution you will find. There are two types of discovery:

  • Function discovery - the goal here is to collect all requirements for a product, research the current state of a market to find the competitors, and establish which technologies can be used most successfully.
  • Design discovery - researching what design decisions are applicable to a particular product. Only when designers are free to create can they come up with genuinely innovative, original and unique design decisions.
User journey mapping

Higher Ground utilises journey mapping to enable effortless and user-focused digital experiences that will delight the customer and deliver tangible results for your business.

When you take care of your customers, they take care of you.

We can work collaboratively to:

  • Define the experiences that will engage and satisfy the user
  • Identify key user personas to inform the customer experience
  • Align user personas to key moments in the customer journey
  • Utilise data, processes and analytics to optimise experiences
Information architecture

An information architect focuses on the organisation of information within digital products. When UX designers create apps and websites, they map out individual screens so that the user can easily find the information they need. They also create a flow that allows users to navigate between screens effortlessly.

When finding information becomes too complicated or too slow, there’s a risk that users will simply leave and search elsewhere. When people abandon an app or a website, it’s more difficult to bring them back. This is where information architecture design plays a key role.

Wireframing

Wireframes are lean, low-fi, cost-effective visualisations of pages, apps and websites that provide opportunities to:

  • Present information that will be displayed on a page
  • Create an outline of the structure and layout of a page
  • Convey the overall direction & description of an app or site

The benefits of wireframes for your business product or service are to:

  • Simplify the communication of ideas and design concepts
  • Quickly act on essential feedback from clients and users
  • Effectively make changes at an early stage and low cost
Prototyping

Prototypes are a relatively simple working model of a page, app or website. Interactive prototypes benefit the overall design process in a number of ways, and typically:

  • Bring the product or service design to life
  • Generate feedback from a realistic context
  • Reduce overall development time
  • Act as a reference tool for developers
  • Validate assumptions and test hypotheses
Interface design

User interface design focuses on the visual experience a user will have across all screens and visual touch points of a website or application. UI interface design is vital to any UX project by seamlessly blending a brand’s ethos and style into the platform; convincing people to interact with key elements, and taking specific action to achieve a desired outcome.

Amazing UI Design will ensure:

  • The overall design aids the user experience
  • The primary function of a page is clear to see
  • The absence of any confusion or incoherence
  • The clarity and consistency of all site or app areas
  • The brand´s experience is reinforced and enhanced
  • The user experience is memorable and delightful


User Experience Agency

Talk to our UX team about getting the most out of your digital product

UX Design FAQs

What is UX design?

User Experience (UX) Design focuses on the interaction between customers or users and products or services.

UX is an umbrella term that encompasses UX Research: figuring out how people perceive and interact with a product, system, or service; and UX Design: where improvements are made to how useful, easy, and fulfilling a customer’s journey is when experiencing a digital product or service on a website, mobile, tablet or app.

What does a UX agency do?

A User Experience (UX) Agency brings together a multidisciplinary team of specialists to work collaboratively in combining aspects of psychology, business, research, language, design and cutting edge technology to provide seamless, effective, meaningful, interactive and satisfying digital customer experiences.

A good UX Agency identifies and engages customers through in-depth, analytical research and targeted marketing; supporting the business growth of clients through innovative and responsive website development which increases revenue by successfully persuading visitors to buy particular products or services.

How is UX design useful?

UX can be valuable both for the business owner and for the product or service user.

For the business owner, having good UX design can help users see the value in a particular brand, be loyal to it, and make it stand out. In the long-term, it can lower expenses, improve ROI and increase online visibility, gaining competitive advantage.

For the user, good UX design allows useful and usable interaction with particular products and services in an effortless, enjoyable and successful way. Users need to achieve certain goals to make their online experience both positive and rewarding.

What’s involved in the UX design process?

The UX design process can be divided into five key phases: user research, design, testing, implementation and optimisation. While the UX design process does typically take place in that order, it’s important to note that UX is an iterative process. Throughout the UX design process, new insights will be discovered that may lead to amended design decisions. Certain steps in the UX design process will be revisited and repeated to continuously optimise and improve a product, service, app or site.

What's the point of UX Design?

A satisfied user will return; a frustrated one will not. If the goal of the user is met, then they have had a positive experience of that product or service. They find what they are looking for quickly and easily. When a user has a positive experience, they are more likely to buy a product or service as well as recommend it to their friends. When a user buys the product or service, returns to the site, or recommends it to their friends, the traffic to that site and conversion rate for that site are increased.

What is the difference between UX and UI?

An amazing designer once said to me “It’s the icing on the cake”. UX design refers to the term “user experience design”, while UI stands for “user interface design”. Each element compliments the other and both are crucial to the UX Design process.

Essentially, UX refers to the interaction between the user and a product or service. UX design considers the different elements that shape this interaction. A UX designer thinks about how the experience makes the user feel, and how easy it is for the user to accomplish their desired tasks: the optimisation of an application for its most effective and enjoyable use. UI complements UX by focusing on the look and feel - the presentation and interactivity of a product or service in digital form.

UI refers to the point of interaction between the user and a digital device or application. UI design considers the look, feel, and interactivity of the product. It’s all about making sure that the user interface of a product is as intuitive as possible, and that means carefully considering each and every visual, interactive element the user might encounter. A UI designer will think about icons and buttons, typography and color schemes, spacing, imagery, and responsive design.

How much does UX design cost?

Take a minute to think about how essential and indispensable some of the most important features of your business are: from your website functionality, to the effectiveness of your human resource processes, financial tracking, logistical oversight or customer relationship management systems. Now think about how digital transformation can help improve those processes, make efficiency savings and have a direct effect on your profitability. UX methodologies can be applied to all those key areas. The end result is that better UX Design leads to better business and better profit. 

So, the pithy answer is that cost is relative to value: it all depends on how much you consider the improvements to key parts of your business are worth. A UX agency will help you to improve each metric to deliver high value returns. Therefore the true cost to the business should be relatively low compared to the beneficial impact it has.

What is the value of UX Design?

UX Design adds value and is important because it aims to fulfil users’ needs by providing positive experiences that keep users and customers loyal to a product, service or brand. Meaningful UX Design enables digital customer journeys most conducive to business success. 

Better Interaction
+
Better Performance
=
Better Business

"Not only did Higher Ground provide a new way of website planning and strategy, but delivered it in a lean fashion. Excellent communicators and able to explain to the traditional (non-digital) parts of the business why certain changes and design features were required to maximise efficiency."
Darren Kerry
Former Head of Digital, West 7 Media
"We approached Higher Ground in need of a new website and web app for our client. We wanted both to be engaging as well as useful, so investing in an experienced UX designer was our number 1 priority. Our client was unsure of the exact specification they needed and so Higher Ground delivered workshops to establish the best route of action. The team at Higher Ground supported us through this process at all times allowing us to fine-tune the specification needed and deliver the final design."
Paul Kutschmarski
CTO, Web Presence
"Higher Ground helped us increase our leads tenfold. They created us a website to help us sell software training and get more visitors through SEO. We have number one ranking keywords in Google and a great source of new business enquiries. They are a great team to work with, really helpful, transparent and approachable. Highly recommended."
Emma Rush
CEO - Think & Do

Optional UX Packs

We’ve condensed our experience into a unique suite of UX support packs. Work with us and we will provide a collaborative and successfully proven path to improve your digital strategy.

UX Light Touch

Understanding your customers’ UX perspectives and identify issues.

  • Reviews of your current products and services
  • Creation of user personas to identify their core objectives
  • Creation of top level user stories to establish Top Tasks and their priority
  • Performing user journeys to identify issues
  • Advising how you can improve interaction and experience
  • Providing a clear direction to go forward

UX In-depth Approach

Custom UX design for everything it takes to make your strategy succeed.

  • All of UX light touch
  • Wireframes and new designs for your websites and applications
  • Collaboration sessions to ensure all areas have been covered
  • Priority task lists and smart timelines for continuous improvement
  • Clear key performance indicators to measure ongoing success

What kind of Website design do we offer?

Website design for low Bounce Rates

If your site doesn’t give your users the information that they want, they’ll leave. If lots of them do this, it’s known as having a high bounce rate or exit rate.

Sites with a high bounce rate are pushed down the Google search rankings as they’re seen to give a bad user experience. We'll ensure your website visitors not only use your website, but convert into a goal!

Learn more about analysing your website.

Website design for high Conversion Rates

Your website should meet the goals of your user.

If you are planning, or currently have an online marketing campaign, you may have heard about conversion rates - our team have been optimising website conversion rates for over 15 years. We’re as experienced as it gets.

Learn more about conversion rate optimisation.

Website design for Pay Per Click

How much business was acquired by your website? We have over 15 years experience designing websites and landing pages for Pay Per Click marketing campaigns. Every decision we make is to ensure your website works as an effective business tool and drives more revenue from online.

Learn more about our Pay Per Click services.

Low-cost website UX

The world of web design has evolved to allow more businesses to get online for less cost. A major influencer of this evolution are pay monthly websites which are pushing the cost of websites down. But the role of a UX designer isn’t to deliver low cost websites. It’s to ensure all websites are successful business tools.

Talk to our team today to see how we can help.

What kind of User Testing do we offer?

First click test

With first click test we can show a group of users a section of your design - such as your app dashboard. Asking questions such as “What would you do to perform X task?” and measure how many clicks it takes to perform such a task.

5 second test

Show your users a screen for 5 seconds, take it away and ask them what they recall. Did they spot the big important button? Could they update the data? Did they read the block you've carefully written?

Interviewing participants

Get reactions and feedback from as little or as many users you want to test, without the need for cables, expensive testing booths or cameras.

We find this the most useful of all user testing. It can be really low cost and take around 15 minutes per participant. You will always get valuable feedback to help you improve your website by testing user this way.Ask our Manchester user testing team about user interviews at a cost your business can afford.

Interviewing actual customers

Get immediate feedback and understand of what actual customers think about your website or app and your business.

Design teams can often miss the target when it comes to thinking about how real customers think.

Asking actual customers what they want can be a really cost-effective way of solving not only design, but a business problem.

Our Manchester based user testers have run many customer interviews with an array of people over the years. From freight shippers with Couriers & Freight, banking customers with Think Money, Frequent and infrequent Lottery users with My Lotto. In every occasion we found nothing quite beats chatting to real customers.

User Experience Agency
Would you like help making your digital product a delight to use?
hello@ground.co.uk