Why is great visual design so crucial? Users form the first impression of your business in only 50 milliseconds. This number comes from Google’s research on the role of visual complexity and prototypicality regarding first impressions of websites. Based on this, choosing a reliable UI/UX design agency is one of the most significant steps toward your project’s success. But how can you choose the right agency in a competitive market? In this article, we share some tips on how to choose a reliable UI/UX agency that will meet your business needs and deliver outstanding results.
UI/UX agency or in-house design team?
To design a website or app, you may need to choose between a UI/UX agency and an in-house design team. There are advantages to both choices.
Advantages of an in-house design teamFull commitment to your business and products
Hiring an in-house team allows designers to take into account details like your company culture and customers’ needs and wants while developing your product. An in-house design team will be familiar with your company’s work, increasing the chances of developing a high-quality application or website.Long-term collaboration
An in-house design team can spend more time and effort on developing your website or application, giving them the opportunity to get to know your product inside and out. Also, in-house designers can regularly analyze products, diagnose usability issues, and modify products if necessary.Integrated workflow
As a rule, working with a design agency involves clearly defined conditions and a clearly defined scope of work. However, evaluating the whole scope of work may be difficult for business owners, especially for those who are looking for a UI/UX design agency for the first time and don’t know how to choose. Alternatively, you can integrate an in-house team into your company’s existing workflow. This will give you more flexibility. But remember that such an approach requires lots of investment.
Advantages of a UI/UX agencyReady-to-work team
When hiring an in-house team, you may face a problem with sourcing specialists. Hiring is a long journey, which is especially problematic if you need to develop a product as soon as possible. UI/UX firms have streamlined workflows and established management frameworks. By cooperating with an agency, your design team can get to work immediately.Costs control
A UI/UX agency can offer a package of services based on your budget and sign an agreement to provide those services for a fixed price. This way, you won’t owe more than you expected and won’t pay for services not specified in the contract. As a result, it will be much easier for you to control costs.Reduced obligations
An in-house team is a big responsibility for a business. When working with a UI/UX design agency, some obligations are passed on to the agency’s team. Of course, you can discuss all the conditions before signing an agreement. Passing obligations help you to place great focus on other fields of work.
At first glance, it might seem that an in-house team is the best solution for your business. But if you look deeper, it’s not so simple. Hiring an in-house team is a complicated and time-consuming process. Moreover, it’s more expensive than hiring a UI/UX agency. By working with an agency, you can access experienced UX designers who can provide results fast. But how can you choose a UI/UX agency that will bring results?
The importance of a good UI/UX design agency
Design is crucial to business success. Potential customers will first get acquainted with your brand from your design. It determines your company’s appearance and reputation. But what does design mean for a business owner, and why is it so important to choose the right UI/UX agency?
Modern users are selective, and they know there’s usually an alternative to your website or app. When choosing between services, users tend to favor those that have clear navigation and a visually pleasing layout. Hiring the right UI/UX design agency helps you know your audience and meet their needs.
Improved business awareness
Your uniqueness directly affects your reputation and your company’s revenue. By emphasizing features, UI and UX specialists can develop a standout design for your website or application that increases brand recognition and keeps users coming back.
Today, changes happen in the snap of a finger in every business sphere. If you stay in the loop and keep your products up to date, your business will remain one step ahead. Keeping up with industry trends helps you stay competitive and establish long-term relationships with customers.
Now that you know all the aspects of hiring and understand the role of design, you can choose a UI/UX agency to develop your website or app.
How to choose a reliable UI/UX agency
There are plenty of design agencies, but how can you choose the right? Here are some tips for making the decision.
Look for design agencies on resources such as Clutch, Awwwards, and GoodFirms. These sites have gained reputations for providing verified information that will help you in choosing a service provider. Browse the top lists, read reviews of independent experts who have worked with agencies, and select several UI/UX agencies that are most promising for you.Clutch
Clutch is a research organization that analyzes agency’s reviews and compiles lists of top companies. Clutch is the best resource for those looking for a UI/UX agency for the first time. You can find client testimonials and see an agency’s work experience.Awwwards
Awwwards holds competitions for professional web and UI/UX designers. On this site, you can have a look at the best designers, see their work, and perhaps find inspiration for your future project.GoodFirms
This is a platform for researching and reviewing the best software companies. On GoodFirms, you can examine UI/UX agencies, read reviews, and find an agency to design your product.
Study portfolios and client reviews
A portfolio is the best way to see an agency’s skills and experience. Dribbble and Behance are great resources that contain many portfolios. But the best option is to visit an agency’s website directly. There you should be able to find case studies with descriptions of work done. Also, look at the variety of projects a company has worked with. This will help you understand the methods and approaches the agency applies. And of course, look for projects that are similar to yours. This is a good indicator of how the UI/UX agency will cope with your tasks.
Look at the company’s website
A website demonstrates a company’s values, approach to work, and tools. And of course, when exploring the site, pay attention to the user experience. Remember that everything you see can be applied to your product. Consider this as the first glance at your project.
Check the company’s social media pages
Social media is the best way to see the informal side of a UI/UX agency. Agencies understand the importance of social platforms and present themselves in the best possible light. By studying a company’s social media presence, you can notice many details like visual appearance, activity, and feedback. When checking out Facebook pages, pay attention to how an agency communicates with people and what events it hosts. Also, don’t forget to visit the agency’s LinkedIn page. There you can see a list of employees and company news. Instagram is another excellent social network for viewing projects and seeing how people respond to them.
Check the workflow and processes
It’s important to be familiar with the sequence of and logic behind a company’s work processes, as it shows how the company works and how it conducts business. Based on this, you can know what to expect from the company and what will be the result of your collaboration. When you come to a UI/UX firm with a problem and the design team immediately goes to the solution stage, for instance, this reveals that the agency is not experienced or provides low-quality services.
The right UI/UX design process is laborious and complex. It consists of stages such as the following:
Before deciding who to work with, get acquainted with an agency’s workflow and be aware of what the agency will do for you and when.
Go with a team that has varied skills
If you’ve already started looking for a design agency, you may have noticed that many offer only UX design services. But UI design is no less important. A company that provides both UI and UX design services would be a better choice. Some agencies provide an even wider range of services, helping with branding and growth strategies, business development, and content creation. Pay attention to this.
Compare pricing models
Agencies typically offer two pricing models: a fixed price for the project or pricing based on time and materials. Each model has its advantages. Examine them and decide what’s better for you.Fixed-price model
With a fixed-price model, you can accurately plan your budget. This model best fits those who have a fixed amount of work and requirements that will not change. For fixed-price projects, you can discuss details with your service provider in advance and set the deadline and technical requirements. After signing a fixed-price contract, all responsibilities go to the service provider. A fixed price is better for trial projects.Time and materials model
This model is more flexible and allows you to supervise the whole process and change your project specifications. You pay for the time the vendor spends on your project and for materials used to implement it. With this pricing model, there’s no specific time frame for completing your project, but you have a better chance of receiving the best version of your website or app. Your choice of payment model will depend on your abilities. Make sure you clearly understand the terms of the contract and make a decision.
Give a test task
There’s no better way to get a clear picture of the work a team does than to give a test task. A test task is like a trial version of cooperation, letting you know whether a UI/UX agency is suitable for you. You can make your final choice based on the result of the task.
Your checklist for choosing a trustworthy UI/UX agency
Here is a cheat sheet that will help you to choose the right design agency. Go through each item on the list and check the box if the agency you’re considering meets the criteria. Good luck!
Searching for a design agency is a crucial step for any business. Read reviews, conduct thorough research, and analyze portfolios. All these steps will help you choose the right design partner. It’s very important to find a UI/UX agency with the necessary experience and similar interests. Your success depends on it. Are you considering hiring a UI/UX agency? Contact us and ask any questions. We will be happy to help.