How to Find and Hire a Perfect Web Designer
Having great design has already become an expectation for modern websites and web applications, and a web designer is an important part of any software development team. Let’s find out the best and most cost-effective way to hire a web designer for your project.
New websites appear every second, and the milestone of 1 billion websites worldwide was reached back in 2014. In January 2022, there have already been almost 1.2 billion websites, with almost 200,000,00 of them being active.
It’s hard to imagine a business without a website or a web application, and the competition is huge. The demands of users all over the world are rising, and good web design isn’t something extravagant — on the contrary, it’s quite expected.
A web designer is a professional who can help you meet and exceed those expectations, by making your website beautiful and pleasant to use. What does it mean for your business? Higher conversion rates, more user satisfaction, and consequently — more revenue.
In this article, you’ll learn how to find a website designer for a reasonable budget, what hiring strategies there are, and how to make sure your candidate has sufficient technical skills for your project.
Types of web designers
Before you learn how to hire a website designer, you need to decide what kind of specialist you need.
Web design has become more complex over the years, and now it’s more than about creating a beautiful interface. So much so, that there are now three types of web designers that focus on specific tasks that are required to deliver a great experience for web software users. What are they?
User experience (UX) designer
A user experience designer is a specialist who creates the user interaction logic for the web product. What happens if a user presses this button? What is the shortest way for a user to achieve their goal while using the web product? Answering all these questions is the responsibility of a UX web designer.
A UX designer creates a skeleton of a website, showing the transitions between screens and all interactive elements, following the content hierarchy best practices. To create a successful UX design that will lead users to their goals, a UX designer conducts user persona research A/B testing for the interface elements.
User interface (UI) designer
A user interface or visual designer creates an overall aesthetic and visual language of your website. This specialist works on style guides for a web product, that include variations of a brand logo, typography, information hierarchy, shapes, and a color palette based on your brand identity.
They use wireframes from a UX designer, that show where the basic elements should go on different screens and brings them to life. A UI designer also keeps the responsive web design in mind when developing each element of the interface.
An interaction designer works on interactive elements of the interface such as buttons, clickable blocks, and animated elements. An interaction designer prepares three versions of each interactive element: static state, hover state, and click state, showing how an element will be highlighted and animated when the user interacts with it.
How to hire a web designer in just 3 steps
Step 1. Specify your project requirements
The first thing you need to do is define the scope of work and understand your needs. You need to decide on the following things:
- Your project scope. Is your project a simple website or a large web application, like a social media platform? This will define the size of your team and the requirements for your web designers. Write out all the requirements you can think of, including your project’s goals and desired structure. It’s also a good idea to gather references of the websites or web apps you like, that are similar to your future product.
- A type of designer you need. Your design team will depend on the complexity of your project. Also, note that most designers possess skills from multiple disciplines I mentioned above. For example, there are lots of UI/UX designers out there, who are able to create both the structure and a visual representation of a web product.
My recommendation is to hire specialists with narrow specialization if your web project is large and complex so that your specialists’ expertise is deep enough to pull it off.
- Your CMS. Many web designers specialize in a specific content management system like WordPress, for example.
- Deadline and timeframe of your project. How fast do you need your web design to be ready? Will you have ongoing tasks for your web designer, or is it a one-time project? This will define your hiring strategy.
Step 2. Define your budget and payment structure
You can either pay an hourly rate for your designer or get a fixed price for the whole project. Both these approaches have their pros and cons, so you need to decide which one is more suitable for you.
A fixed price may seem more attractive, because you know exactly what you’ll pay, and this guarantees that you don’t go over budget. On the other hand, its scope is fixed as well, so it’s impossible to make changes on the go.
If you have a large and dynamic product, this can be an issue. Moreover, a fixed-priced project can be more expensive, as your designer will include all risks in the final estimate.
Paying an hourly rate can be more unpredictable, but it allows for more flexibility.
Step 3. Find a web designer
Now that you decided what exactly you need to design and what specialists you need to look for, it’s time to find a web designer. So, where to find website designers?
This depends on your hiring strategy — there are three of them, and each offers its pros and cons. The question here is which is more beneficial and convenient for you. Let’s find that out!
Top ways to hire a perfect web designer for your project
Generally, there are three hiring strategies:
- Hire an in-house specialist
- Find a freelance web designer
- Partner with a web design agency
Let’s discuss each of these strategies in detail.
Hiring an in-house specialist
Hiring an in-house designer is a great way to get a web designer who will always be at your disposal and will be integrated deeply into your business, company culture, and team.
It’s also rather costly: you need to take care of the salary, bonuses, perks, taxes, and the hiring process which can take time and also costs money. If you’d like to invite your web designer to work in an office, you’ll also need to pay for their workspace, equipment, and software subscriptions.
Hiring a freelance web designer
There are lots of freelance platforms where you can find a specialist of any skill set, level, and cost from all over the world. With a freelance web designer, you won’t need to worry about taxes, salaries, and HR expenses, as well as any office-related costs.
However, most freelance platforms charge a hefty fee that usually lies somewhere between 20% and 50% of the whole project cost. You can hire a freelancer outside such platforms, but then you’ll need to trust them enough to finish and deliver your project according to your deal.
Partnering with a web design agency
This option has the best of both worlds. It’s usually cheaper to hire a professional website designer from an agency than to hire them in-house because all the supporting expenses are covered by the agency: you only pay for the specialist’s time or the whole project.
The cost of hiring an agency can be as much as 4 times lower than hiring in-house from your local market, just due to the location
In comparison to hiring a freelancer, a web design agency offers more security due to the contract that suggests penalties in case its conditions haven’t been met, and you also don’t need to pay any extra fees to any platform that acts like an intermediary.
Often web design agencies are really web development agencies, so you can get other services in one place, such as:
- Web development
- Web app or website maintenance and support
- Web design
- Business analysis
- Quality assurance
- IT consultations
Often, such vendors are rather flexible, so you can hire a web designer for any period of time and according to any payment structure.
Which option is best for you?
There’s no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to hiring specialists for digital products. Let me just give you an overall idea of what option you could lean towards based on your circumstances.
In-house web designer
Choose an in-house web designer if you’re planning to develop a large web product, for example, a SaaS platform. You’ll have an ongoing list of tasks, as your product will be in constant development, and each new feature will require UX and UI design, and regular maintenance. Every few years you’ll likely redesign some parts of your product, and here’s where an in-house web designer will also come in handy.
Choosing an in-house designer is also great if you need someone to be deeply integrated into your business so that each design decision reflects what your brand is about, and gives you an opportunity to constantly experiment and improve your user journey.
Freelance web designer
Choose a freelance web designer if you’d like to expand your budget options and find cheaper specialists without sacrificing quality. Freelance designers are great if you have a small or mid-sized project, and need your design fast. Alt
Though it’s possible to create long-term connections with freelance specialists, they’re often working on multiple projects at once, so they’re great if your scope of work isn’t too high.
A freelance web designer is also a great option if you already have recommendations, although you can choose a specialist based on their reviews on a freelance platform as well as on their portfolio on Dribble or Behance.
Web design agency
Choose a web design agency if you want maximal flexibility and access to specialists that were already pre-vetted for you by an agency. Partnering with another company is great for projects of any size and complexity because an agency has the resources to meet your needs: for example, provide you with a single web designer, or expand your team with more designers or other web development specialists.
A web development agency is a great option for businesses that don’t have previous experience with web development or design. Because their vendor has worked on hundreds of different projects, they know all the ins and outs of building a website and keep the web design best practices in mind.
An agency will always help you plan and execute the right strategy for your business, and also share their expertise, so you can later build your own team if it’s your goal.
How to find a good website designer in this ocean of freelance platforms and agencies, and how do you assess the designer’s skills? Portfolios and reviews are usually the best places to get an idea about the level of a designer’s professionalism.
How much does it cost to hire a web designer?
The cost of hiring a web designer depends on many factors:
- Scope of work and design complexity
- Your hiring strategy
- Designer’s level of skill and experience
- Designer’s hourly rate
The hiring strategy and hourly rate are the two most influential factors. If you decide to hire an in-house designer, the cost will be comprised of HR expenses, regular salary and bonuses, and other costs I mentioned above like taxes and workspace costs. The salary of your in-house designer will be determined by the local market.
Hiring an agency is more cost-effective than hiring in-house, especially for a short-term or semi-long projects, and it’s definitely more manageable and predictable than hiring a freelancer
Hiring freelance designers or partnering with an agency provides more variability in pricing: for example, on Upwork, you can find designers that charge from $15 to $100 per hour. The factors that influence freelancers’ hourly rates are:
- Their experience
- Number of reviews and popularity
The location is a significant factor, as the cost of living in different locations can vary drastically. This factor can help you save money when partnering with a web design agency as well: in the US, an agency on average charges $75 per hour for web design. The same level of skill will cost you only $15-25 per hour in Ukraine.
How can Mobindustry help you hire a web designer?
Mobindustry is a software development company that covers all aspects of web development, including design, software development, project management, quality assurance, business analysis, search engine optimization, digital marketing, and more.
Our team has multiple years of experience in the design of web products of any complexity, from small business websites to large enterprise web platforms, SaaS platforms, and other web solutions.
If you are looking for a vendor that provides top-notch web design for a reasonable price, and saves you both time and money, be sure to contact us.