Freelancer vs. Professional UX/UI Design Agency: What’s Best

So you’ve decided to hire a UX/UI designer for your project but now you don’t know what to choose: individual specialists or a user experience design firms. Both of these approaches have their pros and cons. In this post, you’ll find a profound analysis of both ways. Hopefully, it will help you to make a choice and be satisfied with the results. 

Pros and Cons of Working with Freelancers

Freelancers are a popular choice for outsourcing the UX/UI of a digital project. You can find plenty of portfolios on specialized online platforms, such as Behance, or you can ask your friends and business partners to recommend someone. 

Advantages of freelancers:

  • As a rule, working with a freelancer is cheaper than with an agency. So if your budget is relatively small, then this is the better option. 

  • Direct communication. In some cases, direct contact with the contractor improves the quality and efficiency of problem-solving. In an agency, you will communicate with the manager and will not have a direct connection with the designer.

  • Among freelancers, you can find high-level specialists who left their former agencies to build their own business. Working with them will yield results much better than working with a medium-sized agency. However, the price will be more or less the same.

  • With the help of freelancers, it is convenient to solve one-time tasks, as it is not cost-efficient to hire a full-time employee for that or work with an agency.

  • Freelancers are more flexible in terms of adjusting to the client’s needs. They will try to deliver what you asked for.

  • A freelancer can complete an order faster than an agency. However, if you’re not ready to compromise on quality as well, it may take time to find such a specialist.

Potential problems:

  • Higher risks of not meeting deadlines. For example, if the freelancer gets sick, then there will be no one to replace him.

  • There may be problems with payments if a freelancer works “under the table” and does not pay taxes;

  • It is hard to find a truly qualified specialist, especially if you do not understand the field where you order services. It will take a lot of time to find a freelancer.

  • Freelancers are specialists in UX/UI design but not very proficient managers. It may affect the communication and deadlines of the project.

Overall, it appears that hiring a freelancer is quite risky. Their services might cost less or as much of that of a professional agency, however, nobody can guarantee high results. However, if you need a one-time task done, addressing a freelancer is more time and cost-efficient.

Pluses of Working with UX/UI Firms

Professional UX/UI design agencies have in their teams all the specialists that can work for the success of your project: from business analysts and designers to developers and marketers. However, is it always a good idea to hire an agency for your project?

  • Business processes for companies are typically more organized. Therefore, the project is completed faster and the risk of failure to meet deadlines is smaller. 

  • It’s easier to make a choice because there are industry leaders, ratings, recommendations, and about the agency you can collect the necessary information faster and easier than with a single specialist.

  • There are no problems with the accounting paperwork.

However, there are also disadvantages:

  • As a rule, there is almost always a high cost for work. 
  • The agency can give your project to a newcomer who will learn on the go, complete with all the ensuing consequences. This risk is especially high if you have a modest budget.
  • You will not be able to communicate with the direct executor.
  • Agencies do not take small orders and clients with small budgets.
  • An agency is a less flexible system than a freelancer. If you need to do something non-standard, they won’t do it for you.

All in all, even a professional agency is not always the perfect choice. However, if you do research and study the lists of the market leaders, the risks are minimal.

Conclusion

If you are a large company and you can afford to work with a market leader, then you should contact the agencies. However, if you are looking for a very individual approach or you have a modest budget, it is better to look for a freelancer. In any case, if you just periodically need one-time services in a certain field, it’s easier and cheaper to find a talented and reliable freelancer with whom you can cooperate on a regular basis.