Saying UX firms don't understand complicated security problems is not entirely a myth. There are some UX firms who really don’t understand the security space, but others do. 

The better question is, “Which UX firm should you choose to design your security product?”

There are two key factors to consider before hiring.

  1. How quickly are you wanting to move?
  2. How risky are you willing to be?

How quickly are you wanting to move?

The security space is… complicated. There are a million acronyms and technical jargon that outsiders are foreign to. Unlike other industries like banking and transportation, the average designer doesn’t interact with security platforms as often. A talented UX firm can learn all these complexities, but it takes time to adjust. Some startups don’t have that kind of time.

When working with a UX firm, past experience in the security space is important for moving quickly. If the firm has worked on several successful security products, they will likely know most of the jargon and understand the business objectives of what they are building. A firm grip on the space will allow your team to focus on critical features for your product.

How risky are you willing to be?

Product risk is created by unknowns in your project. One unknown for many security startups is the UX firm they hire. When comparing experienced and inexperienced security design shops, risk is at the top of the comparison. While both firms have the capability of designing a product that will make your organization win, the security-experienced firm is more likely to deliver.

Why is this? They understand security users better. After building several products for CISOs, DevOps, or AppSecs, designers can use intuition to deliver a good first release. Great intuition coupled with user testing creates fantastic user experiences.

It all comes down to this

The timeline and flexibility of your organization will determine how much security specific expertise you need. Choosing a UX firm that understands the security space can be critical for ambitious, fast-growing startups.

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