Full-time designer vs software design company: Why did we choose the 2nd and what’s better for the client

A year ago, we had our own designer, who participated in all projects (besides those in which the customer had a software product design already created). Since the end of last summer, our collaboration ended and a new stage began – a partnership with 69pixels software design company, what was announced in autumn 2018.

In this post, we’d like to talk about two models – hiring a full-time specialist and the interaction of two companies, each specializing in one specific area. We have tried both of them, so we’ll be happy to share our experience. One should note that we consider the situation from the position of a small web and mobile development company – for large international firms, things may be different.

So, we have two options:

  • A full-time software designer – is constantly in the office, sometimes can work remotely.
  • Cooperation with a professional software design studio – constantly in touch, the project manager instantly responds to all requests, many UI/UX designers are in-house. Though the guys have their own personal projects, they can distribute the load in a way that they can connect to the joint work on time.

After reviewing this article, you will receive answers to the following questions:

  • What are the main advantages and disadvantages of both models?
  • How did we define that the second way is better for us and why?
  • How does the chosen approach affect software solution development & How does the customer take advantage of it?

Full-time UI/UX designer: advantages and disadvantages

The main advantage of hiring a full-time specialist is that he/she is always at hand and can quickly close even “sudden” tasks. If there is a force majeure or urgent changes are needed, you can ask to help the team and work a bit longer. Therefore, it’s easier to plan time and meet deadlines.

Comparing cooperation with a full-time specialist with a professional software design company, note the difference in motivation to create a user-friendly UX/UX design according to the requirements. In the first case, there is a high responsibility level for the quality of work. He is the only designer but has plenty of tasks and projects on the web and mobile design. Awareness of this fact results in making an extra effort (of course, if the person is responsible).

A company that focuses only on custom software design has more opportunities to attract projects, where designers can “accelerate” and show their creative abilities in full swing. You might have noticed that now a simple informative design is having a moment in B2B area and custom things like 3D visualization don’t play a big role here. And often they even distract the user from the most important part – content.

Thus, it’s quite difficult for a small company to constantly offer truly interesting projects to a full-time designer, which threatens with gradual creative burnout and the search for a new job. In addition, the lack of complex tasks leads to a lack of specialist’s career progress and self-realization.

What’s more, to meet the customer needs to the maximum, the designer’s level must be very high, up to the art director’s. A specialist may not have an experienced outside point of view to evaluate the work. Even if he/she created a cool software product design, something can often be improved.

Programmers are not designers and sometimes may not see a more effective solution. You can keep a middle or junior designer but again – who will monitor his/her development and what do you do with not the best quality?

For us, quality has always been the main metric in web and mobile development. For this reason, we took first place on Clutch.co by review rating and were included in the list of Top Software Development Companies by DesignRush.

Advantages of hiring a full-time UI/UX designer

  • Easy to plan workload and development time
  • Urgent tasks and improvements are quickly closed
  • Loyalty to a software development company
  • In most cases, a full-time designer is cheaper than cooperation with a professional design studio
  • High level of responsibility as an additional motivation

Internal designer: Disadvantages

  • Risk of emotional burnout
  • Lack of interesting and challenging tasks – lack of self-realization and creative burnout
  • It is difficult to find a highly skilled specialist and to check the work of inexperienced designers you need an experienced outside point of view
  • Quality of work is usually lower

Collaboration with a software design company

As you already know, we used to have our own specialist. However, since we are not designers and have little work on the design of websites and applications, the experience wasn’t successful enough.

We realized that it’s better to focus on software development, and when we need web and mobile design, connect our colleagues. At that time, we had already worked with 69pixels and knew that the guys were real masters of their craft. They specialize in UI and UX design and assign the software part to professionals (that is, to us). So our cooperation began on an ongoing basis.



Advantages of cooperating with a software design company:

  • The high-quality design of sites and applications
  • Completely close questions related to their work
  • Respond promptly to our requests
  • Easily distribute workload and plan their projects
  • Have a team of professional UI and UX designers

Nuances of working with a custom software design studio:

  • Sometimes the resolution and coordination of some issues take a little longer. But with the right web and mobile design and development processes, everything is going like clockwork.
  • A higher price of a professional custom software design company. But for the customer, it pays off with a thoughtful approach, excellent quality, and amazing user experience. And our goal is to provide the best result.

In our case, we cannot call the above-mentioned points disadvantages, since it’s comfortable to work with 69pixels: there are no delays in projects, different issues are quickly resolved, both teams make great efforts to build cool modern products.

Closing thoughts

It seems that the client shouldn’t care who and how creates the design, if only it was done well and on time. But having tried options of working with a full-time designer and with a team of skilled UI and UX designers, we defined that in the second the product almost always turns out to be of better quality.

If you have questions about our internal processes or you’re thinking about implementing your project, contact us. We’ll be glad to answer them and estimate the scope of work and development time.


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