It’s easy to see that UX/UI design is an important part of every application or software system, and the majority of businesses choose to work with a professional UX/UI design agency to fulfill these needs. However, is this always the best way to go? In this post, we’re going to analyze the advantages and disadvantages of hiring a design firm as opposed to using other common approaches so you can find out what option is right for you.
Advantages and Disadvantages of UX/Ui Design Agencies, Freelancers, and In-House Teams
When you urgently need to solve a design issue or develop a user interface from scratch, who should you trust to do the work? As a matter of fact, there are several possible ways to solve this issue: do it yourself and hire an in-house, full-time team, contact a freelancer, or reach out to a specialized agency.
Unfortunately, the choice is not always obvious.
Working With Freelancers
A freelancer is an independent contractor who does a specific job remotely. They can work on several projects at the same time, while not being a full-time employee for any company. When cooperating with freelancers, there are both advantages and disadvantages.
- Usually, the cost of work is much lower than that of a specialized agency. Therefore, freelancers are most often approached by businesses with a limited budget.
- Another plus is that you communicate directly with its direct executor, as it will be easier for you to communicate your ideas directly.
- It is convenient to contact freelancers when you need to solve a “one-time” task.
- A freelancer easily adapts to the needs of the client. If they work only on your project, the chances are high that they can do the job much faster than an agency.
However, there are several cons that could prevent you from working with freelancers.
- There is no guarantee that work will be completed on time. There is no guarantee of quality work. Working with random people on the Internet is always risky.
- There is also a risk of stumbling onto an unprofessional person, so you need to carefully study their portfolio and read reviews about their work. The search for the perfect freelancer may take a lot of time, so you will need to be prepared for this.
- A freelancer will not be your subordinate, even if you instructed them to complete the task in a specific way. Working with a freelancer is a partnership; they cannot be ordered around and extra work is not done for free.
- Freelancers are most often specialized in a particular area. If you need to solve several problems at once, for example, not only create, but also promote a site, then not every freelancer will be able to cope with this. Therefore, most likely, for each stage of site development you will have to look for a different specialist.
Hiring a Specialized Agency
Collaborating with a freelancer is often viewed as the cheaper option. However, even if that’s the case, not everybody is ready to dive into the pool of problems that are created when you work with an individual professional instead of a team. Let us look at some undeniable benefits that professional UX/UI design agencies often have over freelancers.
- Agencies already have well-established workflows. All projects go according to a clear plan, so the risks of not meeting deadlines are minimal.
- It’s much easier to choose the agency that will fulfill your task. After all, there are ratings, industry leaders, customer reviews, and all other necessary information that is very easy to find on the Internet.
- There is a guarantee of quality work. You conclude an agreement with the agency where you prescribe all the necessary points, thereby making cooperation safe.
- The agency has a large number of different specialists, which allows us to make the project thoughtful from all sides.
- You can get all the necessary services in one place and be sure of their quality. And this significantly saves you time!
- The relatively high cost of services compared to a freelancer. If you have a very small budget, then most likely the services of an agency will not be affordable for you.
- In some agencies, there is no direct connection with the contractor since you communicate with the manager, who informs you about the progress.
The costs of hiring a professional team usually pay off given the guarantee of high-quality work. Nobody wants to sacrifice their reputation on the market. Moreover, an agency can provide a comprehensive approach to design and take care of other fields as well; for example, organizing a promotional campaign.
Usually, companies do not hire in-house teams when developing a digital product. However, if you are a large enterprise that is building a large share of their business on this product, for example, retail or e-commerce, you might want to hire a team. It will be much easier to maintain your product in the long run and work on its development. Also, when the employees are working just on one particular project, they know all the details of it and are more involved in the process. Regardless, this option is available only for large companies who can afford to keep a full-time team on a regular basis.
Making a Choice
There is probably no single right answer to this question. After all, it all depends on your goals and the desired result. However, UX/UI design agencies usually provide the best value for the money. They guarantee the completion of the project and the quality of a final result while providing a full range of services. If your budget and time allow for this, it is recommended to work with an outsourcing design firm.