The last 5 years have seen the outsourcing and distribution of software user experience and usability centers towards emerging economies such as China and India. Outsourced teams provide design support for parent teams in the US or Europe. However, recent research indicates that cost and productivity gains from outsourcing are shrinking. While software companies have successfully outsourced well-defined design work, they have struggled with developing remote UX teams into Centers of Innovation which can independently incubate new products. The very processes and approaches that enable outsourcing make innovation difficult.
The first part of this workshop will highlight key socio-economic trends in software design outsourcing within emerging economies. Using case studies, it will create a framework to explain why significant software UX innovation has not arisen within outsourced environments – and why this is imperative for the evolution of captive UX teams.
The second part will then describe best practices for transforming captive remote UX practices into independent centers of design innovation. Involving workshop participants, it will cover practices on hiring and managing scarce design talent, structuring UX teams for harnessing innovation in a culture of creativity and constructive dialogue, and sustaining distributed virtual environments that enable experimentation, collaboration and persistence.