Hiring Freelance UI/UX Designers VS. UX Agencies

UI/UX Designers

There are many companies out there that want to rebrand themselves, start a new marketing campaign, develop a new product, or make updates to existing products. Whether you are a young company, startup, or mid-sized business, you must have already thought about the ways you could get a task like this done. One of the most common questions many companies ask nowadays when it comes to design is whether they should hire a freelance UI/UX designer or a UX design company.

Why should you hire a UX agency, when you could set a freelance designer for the task and pay twice or thrice less while getting it done just as good? Let’s take a look at some of the pros and cons of both sides before you make your final decision on this matter. 


Pro: Agency

Hiring a UI/UX design agency usually means that you will have an extra professionalism level for your project. It helps to build trust between you and the agency. The thing is that most UX agencies always have real cases that you can review before hiring one. Examples can be both good and bad, so you’ll still know how well a company handles various projects and tasks before dealing with it directly. The Quality design makes best friends. Sometimes, such relationships can become long-lasting, if the client – you – need more UX design services in the future. 

Unlike freelance designers, reliable UX agencies have an established process that assures proper completion of clients’ projects. There are quite a few leading UX design agencies like Clay in San Francisco that may provide you with the required assistance and relevant results, and you have to know where to look for them. 

Con: Freelance 

When you hire a UI/UX freelance designer, you usually don’t know the person to whom you’re trusting your project. UX design is quite a complicated thing, so you can’t say for sure what exactly a freelancer can do for you and if you can trust them with anything complicated. 

And it goes the other way around, too, as freelancers are in a slightly similar position to yours, not being sure if they are going to get paid for their work. 

What if the freelance contractor will find another client who pays more than you, and doesn’t finish your project? What if you find a freelancer, who can do the same work at a smaller price? Moreover, the UI/UX freelancer might lack the required experience or not know the best design practices, thus not being able to provide you with adequate quality of service. Or, the contractor could have an outdated understanding of UX design, whereas you need modern design vision and solutions. 

You will have to take a chance and hope that everything plays out well. 

Deliverable Quality

Pro: Agency 

Once again, a UX design agency has a team determined to complete whatever project you have. It is the reason you can rest assured that your project is going to be completed according to the highest quality standards, justifying your costs. 

It refers to larger agencies since they usually take each project through an under review before providing the result to the client. Also, all professional UX agencies care about client reviews a lot, since they help them build credibility, thus drawing new clients. Poor reviews will affect their reputation, so reliable agencies work closely with the client to make sure they’re on the same page and makes certain everything meets client expectations before calling it a day. 

Con: Freelance 

When it comes to UI/UX freelance designers, this doesn’t involve teams, so the review is always mostly subjective. It affects quality because freelancers mostly don’t care about anything except getting another payment. 

If the freelancer you’ve hired doesn’t share your passion for quality work, you will either get a generic product (based on a generic template) or will get a half-made product, because the contractor decided it went over the agreed payment. You also should note the time a freelancer needs to complete a task. Since it’s one person instead of a team of professionals, they will have to deal with all the issues on their own, thus resulting in more significant turnaround time. 

While freelancers still care about their reputation, there’s not much you can do if you’re not working with one through a reputable freelance platform.


Pro: Freelance

You will most definitely spend less by hiring a UI/UX freelancer instead of a UX design agency. Hiring a freelancer will cost you at least half of what you’d pay an agency for the same assignment. Freelancers are the way to go when you’re looking for quality help at a reasonable price, especially if you have a project that needs some fresh skills to be taken to the next level.

Con: Agency 

When it comes to hiring a UI/UX design agency, you should know that you’ll spend considerably more. And there’s a reason for that. Reliable agencies have a detailed and thought through the process of work that includes research, planning, understanding of client needs, setting goals, prototype creation, etc. It’s a huge task that requires both a comprehensive and detailed view of things. It requires experience, knowledge, and understanding no one freelancer can have, but which is available in a team of UX professionals within an agency. 

The Bottom Line 

These are just several of the crucial matters related to hiring freelancers vs. UI/UX agencies when it comes to UX design. Although there are credible freelancers out there, who will make sure you get what you paid for, it’s much safer to hire a UX agency. You will get multiple levels of reviews and will have a team of professionals working on your project, which assures a broader perspective on your project. But, if your budget is tight, you should perhaps hire a freelancer and hope for the best.

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