Hire a Product Design Agency: Top 12 Compelling Benefits and Reasons

Are design agencies a thing of the past? We asked some product managers, design leads, and research heads to find out why they prefer working with agency designers and researchers rather than hiring them full-time. This article sums up what we found, mixing it with over 15 years of our own experience at a product design agency.

At Frenco, we’re experts in Shopify web design and development, and we’ve worked with over 250 clients in the last fifteen years. Our projects have included everything from big tech companies to brand-new startups, each bringing its own set of challenges and lessons. We want to share when it’s a good idea to get in touch with your trusted agency partner.

When Is It Time to Work with an Agency?

Over the years, our product design agency in London has worked with all kinds of organizations, from big international companies to small non-profits and startups, in different industries and locations. We’ve been part of both long-term and short-term projects.

Whenever we meet a new client, we ask many questions to really understand what they need and why they decided to contact us. In this article, we’ve put together common reasons clients come to us, using insights from our user research and conversations from product design-related Slack groups. This experience helps us as a UI UX designer agency to better meet the needs of our clients.

Here, we break down the top 12 reasons why hiring a product design agency can be a great choice, explaining how they can help make your project a success.

Niche Expertise Needed for the Product

There are times when you need experts for specific tasks or projects, and it might not make sense to hire someone full-time.

For example, if your designers are overwhelmed and can’t keep up with maintaining a consistent design system, bringing in a product designer in the UK who specializes in design systems could really help. This expert could review your product, create a design system, work with developers on how to use it, and teach your designers how to apply it.

This idea also works when setting up a research operation. Even if you have researchers, working with a freelance Shopify developer can make the research process more efficient and ensure the quality of your data is top-notch.

Here are some other times when getting help from an expert can be really useful:

  • If product teams often can’t find their research data, a consultant who knows a lot about research repositories can set up a system to keep the data safe and easy to access.
  • If you’re not sure whether your product meets accessibility standards, an expert designer can check it out, give advice, and teach you about accessibility standards.
  • When it’s hard to talk and make decisions with stakeholders, a UX consultant can help guide the decision-making process and show how those decisions can shape the product strategy.

The Team Needs More Help

The benefits of long-term relationships with agencies are huge. They let companies easily adjust how many people they have working for them and keep a smaller number of staff on their own payroll. In places where it’s expensive to hire locally, companies often work with agencies from countries where the cost of skilled labor is more affordable.

Trust is also key in these partnerships. At first, our big clients needed help with their heavy workloads and projects, so they turned to our agency. As they worked with us and saw our commitment, their trust in us grew, leading them to renew our contract year after year.

They now see our designers and researchers as essential parts of their product design teams. Even though the faces in our agency have changed, the strong bond with our clients has stayed the same.

Workload Keeps Changing

There might be times when a product team has too much on its plate because of tight deadlines for projects. During these busy periods, it can be really hard—or even impossible—to get everything done while also focusing on big-picture strategy items. 

The best solution in these cases is to bring in an agency. Agencies are good at quickly understanding what you need, collecting information, getting up to speed on your area of work, and delivering on time. This lets you concentrate on strategic goals while keeping an eye on the project.

You Need New Ideas

Inviting someone from outside to work on a project can be really helpful. Not only do they solve the main problem and finish the task, but they also bring a fresh view that might help you find new ways to work better and more confidently.

Working with a product design agency, including their designers and researchers, can offer extra benefits too. For example, your team can learn new ideas from someone else’s way of doing things.

Meeting new people in the project can also make your team more creative and improve their skills. This is similar to hiring web designer services in UK, where bringing in outside expertise can give a new boost to your projects.

Giving Great Value to Investors

We’ve worked with many startups from the start of their journey. This is a crucial time when they’re working hard to create a new product and grow into a successful digital product company, while also managing investor relationships and securing funding.

Startups, often run by just a few people, might not have the resources or knowledge to hire top product design experts. At this stage, it’s important for a startup to team up with the best agency they can afford.

They should look for an agency with a solid track record and a proven process. The right agency can adjust to the startup’s needs and come up with creative designs that attract both early users of the product and investors.

Hiring for Short-Term Jobs

In everyone’s life, there are happy times, like the arrival of a new baby, and tough times, like dealing with a long illness. Companies should give their employees enough time to handle these personal matters before coming back to work. However, it can be hard to cover an employee’s tasks for an unknown amount of time during such periods.

In these situations, companies can hire an agency on a temporary or flexible basis to fill the employee’s role and handle their duties until they come back.

The Hiring Process Takes a While

We’ve noticed that companies prefer to hire internal staff for important, long-term roles. The effort spent on recruiting and onboarding is worthwhile to have a team member who fully understands the product and fits well within the company. Business opportunities, goals, and available budget also influence the hiring process.

However, finding, hiring, and onboarding the right people can take a long time, often stretching over many weeks. This lengthy process can leave some tasks unfinished and require a lot of energy from hiring managers. During this period, external experts can step in and help. They can handle important tasks and prepare the groundwork for the new staff member, making their onboarding faster and smoother.

There are several reasons to hire a UX agency, such as when your team lacks manpower or needs specialized skills for a specific role. The big advantage of hiring an agency is its flexibility. The benefits we’ve mentioned can overlap, making them a valuable addition to your team.

Why Should You Hire a Design Agency?

Choosing and hiring an agency might feel more complex than hiring a freelance contractor, but working with an agency brings many advantages. Earlier in this article, I mentioned situations where an agency could be helpful. Now, let’s look at why you might prefer to design a product with an agency instead of working with freelancers.

A Team of Experts

Designers and researchers at agencies come with a wide range of experience. They’ve worked with many clients and have learned a lot about different fields. While freelancers might also have varied experiences, one of the major benefits of choosing a product design agency is that you gain the collective knowledge and skills of the whole team.

At our agency, we focus a lot on sharing what we know and helping each other grow in our jobs. What this means in everyday terms is that we talk about our work, seek advice, and provide feedback to one another.

As our client, even if you’re working directly with one of our colleagues, you’re actually benefiting from the expertise and insights of our entire team. Freelance contractors often don’t have the opportunity or time to build these kinds of strong professional connections.

You Can Expect Top-quality

Let’s talk about what sets us apart in terms of professional standards. At our product design agency, we’re meticulous in choosing our team. We thoroughly evaluate potential designers and researchers, checking their professional abilities and how well they can work with others. Once on board, they undergo extensive training to ensure they’re ready to meet our clients’ needs. Freelancers might not have access to this kind of structured training and support.

Here at Frenco, we take great care in our hiring process to only bring in the best. Every new team member receives detailed training on how we approach our design and research projects. They also learn about project management and how to communicate effectively with clients.

But the learning doesn’t stop there; we continuously offer workshops on working with agile methods, designing with systems, or using AI tools in product design. This ongoing education ensures that our team not only meets but exceeds industry standards.

They Provide Flexible Options

Agencies like ours have experts from various backgrounds, which lets us adjust easily to your specific needs and deadlines. We talk with our clients about what they need and when they need it, and together we decide if a project requires just one person or a team of specialists.

This method also lets us change the size of the team based on what the project demands. You can increase or decrease the team size as needed, depending on your project’s flow. If needed, you even have the flexibility to pause and then restart our work together.

They Make Things Simple

Even if you’re working with several people from an agency on different projects, you’re only dealing with one company for all your business and administrative needs.

On the other hand, if you were working with individual contractors, you’d need to handle hiring, contracts, communication, and billing separately for each one.

They Are Deeply Committed

When you work with designers or researchers from a product design agency, they have extra motivation to do a great job. They want to support you and complete their projects successfully. Plus, they also want to prove themselves within the agency and keep you as a satisfied client.

This means you can expect high-quality work and dedication. The team will go the extra mile to ensure you are happy with the results, as their success is tied to your satisfaction. This double commitment helps build a strong, reliable partnership.

Adeel Zaighum
Adeel Zaighum