Product designers play a crucial role in turning a simple idea into a product ready for the market. How well the product does, and how unique it is compared to competitors, depends a lot on how it’s designed. That’s why having a skilled product designer on a startup’s development team isn’t just a suggestion – it’s a must.

Have you ever wished someone could take an idea you have and actually make it real?

That’s exactly what a product designer does for a business. They’re good at coming up with solutions to solve customer problems and then turning those solutions into products that customers really like.

The outcome will be a product that people love and want to keep using. Ideally, products are planned and tried out by users before any coding begins. This is because, in a lot of cases, the designer can assist in outlining what a feature should include.

According to the report, the product design and development services market size was valued at USD 9.4 Bn in 2022 and grow at a rate of 12.5% CAGR from 2023 to 2030.

With this market growth, 80% of individuals employed as industrial designers work full-time hours across all their jobs.

However hiring a product designer for startups or any business is not easy as it seems, especially when it comes to creating standout products that resonate with the customers. In this blog, we are going to discuss steps on how to hire a product designer, cost, and platforms.

So without further ado, let’s get started.

Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.” — Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple, Inc.

Understanding what they do before you hire a product designer

What product designer does

When considering the prospect of hiring freelance product designers, or full-time product designers it’s crucial to grasp their fundamental responsibilities. These professionals play a crucial role in shaping a company’s product aesthetics and user experience, be it a tangible item like a hammock or a digital creation such as a software application.

Think about well-designed physical products like Fitbit, iPhones, or even something as simple as a hula hoop. On the digital front, consider the impeccable design of software like Spotify, and Airbnb.

What ties these diverse products together?

They are all adored by users for their simplicity, functionality, and user-friendliness – catering to both tech-savvy individuals and those less acquainted with technology.


But what exactly is their role?

product designer role

Product designers guide a product from its conceptual stage to its market adoption, employing a blend of technical prowess and creative ingenuity.

Now the question is with whom do product designers collaborate with?

Alongside engaging with CEOs, particularly in startup settings, they work closely with product managers, developers, QA personnel, and marketing teams. Their diverse range of responsibilities includes tasks such as:

  • Conducting comprehensive user research.
  • Precisely defining the core problem that needs solving.
  • Brainstorming innovative solutions.
  • Crafting prototypes to visualize concepts.
  • Conducting rigorous user testing.

Even if a product manager initiates user research and defines problem statements, a product designer’s involvement at every step is vital. While product managers identify problems to tackle, it’s the product designer who crafts the most user-friendly and captivating solutions.

Before embarking on the process of hiring product designers, it’s prudent to outline the key characteristics you seek. Effective product designers possess profound analytical skills. The finest designers exhibit a robust grasp of the product, akin to a product manager or engineer, while also wielding the perceptive eye of a marketer. In the initial phases of a startup’s product development, a single designer may suffice.

However, if the workload intensifies, considering collaboration with a design agency for specific periods can prove beneficial.

Hiring freelance product designers involves recognizing their multifaceted role and impact on the success of your product. By understanding the depth of their contributions, you can strategically align your hiring process to secure the most suitable talent for your team.


How to Choose the Right Product Designer for Your Project

Choose the right product designer for your project

With the latest UI design trends in 2023, product design is essential for businesses to thrive in the competitive landscape. Instead of relying on just one individual, a team usually comprises these different roles, each with its unique focus. Understanding UI Vs UX differences & importance is crucial for creating user-centered products.


Product Designer

A product designer is like the captain of the ship. They oversee various aspects, including design creation, product goals, strategy, and the roadmap. They’re involved from the initial idea to the final design stage.

UX Designer

The user experience (UX) designer is hands-on across all design phases. They dive into user research to truly grasp user needs, ensuring the end product excitement. By having a UX designer on board from start to finish is ideal.

UX Roles

Within the realm of UX, there are various specialized roles. These include UX design, visual design, and UX research. Each plays a vital role in enhancing the user experience.

UI Designer

The user interface (UI) designer focuses on the product’s appearance and organization. They create the visual face of the product, aiming to attract users. This phase usually follows the Empathize and Define stages.

Visual Designer

A visual designer excels at crafting pixel-perfect prototypes and developing visual style guides, along with icon libraries. They shine during the Prototype phase.

Graphic Designer

Graphic design also has its place in the product design team. These creative minds are responsible for crafting digital marketing visuals like logos, blog graphics, and social media designs. During a new product launch, they collaborate closely with product designers to create compelling visuals.

The Unicorn

Sometimes, you’ll find someone who excels in product design while also possessing another core skill like front-end development. This rare individual, often referred to as a “unicorn,” is engaged throughout the design process, capable of transforming design concepts into functional code.

Overall when you explore app design research, keep in mind these essential roles within a product design team.


How to Know When You Need a Product Designer (and How to Find One)?

How to know when you need a product designer

Figuring out when to hire product designers for your team can be tricky, especially if you’re a founder deeply involved in your unique ideas.

Here are some factors to help you decide:

  • Firstly, consider the size of your company. As your team grows, the need for product designers might become clearer.
  • Secondly, think about where your product is in development. If you’re moving beyond the initial idea phase, getting product designers involved can make a big difference.
  • Next, think about how much investment you’re seeking. If you’re looking for funding or creating a prototype, having a product designer can make things smoother and more successful.

Also, consider how the roles of the founding team are changing. As your startup evolves, bringing in a product designer lets founders focus on big-picture decisions rather than tiny design details.

If you’re planning to revamp an existing product, a product designer can help give it a fresh look and feel. Remember, hiring a product designer isn’t the right choice if you’re expecting your development team to handle all the important design decisions.


Which Designer Do You Need: Product or UX?

which designer do you need product or ux

Everything is designed. Few things are designed well.” — Brian Reed, front-end developer, and musician

Don’t worry if you’re uncertain about whether your business needs to hire a product designer or a UX designer you are not alone. Although both roles follow the same design thinking process and contribute to product creation, there are some differences between them.

Product designers are engaged in every step of the design process. On the other hand, UX designers mainly come into play during the design phase, where they work on enhancing the user experience.

Another notable difference is that UX designers typically concentrate on crafting products before they are launched. Meanwhile, product designers shift their attention to improving products after they have been launched. And consider learning about the top UI/UX design agency that is revolutionizing the user experience.


How to Decide Between a Freelancer and a Full-Time Product Designer

decide between freelancer and full time product designer

Deciding between hiring a freelancer or a full-time product designer depends on your needs and preferences. Here’s a breakdown of both options:

Hiring Freelance Product Designers

Freelancers are great if you need swift project initiation and want the flexibility to choose the right expertise for your business. They work well for standalone products or revamping existing ones.


Quick start to the project

Choice of specific skills

Potentially lower cost, as they’re not involved throughout the entire design process


May not be as aligned with your brand and goals compared to a full-time

New freelancers might require more guidance and changes

Less control over the work


Average hourly rate: $30

Average annual salary: $60,926


Hiring a Full-Time Designer

A full-time designer is suitable for ongoing projects or launching new products where you desire greater control and commitment.


Strong alignment with your business

Higher dedication to project success

Smoother teamwork with the rest of your team


Slightly higher cost compared to freelancers

Might lack specialized skills or knowledge


Average annual salary: $91,923


Considering a Design Agency

If you have the budget but lack internal expertise or time, a design agency might be the solution. This suits long-term projects but comes at a higher cost.


Excellent quality

Specialized skills and experience

Faster delivery and professionalism


Highest cost option

Lesser control over the process


Around $75 per hour and beyond

Ultimately, your decision should align with your project’s scope, goals, and available resources. Transitioning from a freelancer to a full-time or even involving a design agency can provide the level of dedication and expertise your project demands.


Hire a Product Designer Before Reading This: 5 Key Considerations

5 considerations before hiring a product designer

Are you gearing up to hire a product designer for your mobile app development or web development project?

Before you take that leap, make sure you’re equipped with the right knowledge to ensure a successful collaboration here you go.

Define Your Vision and Goals

Before searching for a product designer, take the time to clearly define your app’s vision and goals. Understand the purpose of your app, your target audience, and the problems it aims to solve. This foundational step will help you communicate your expectations effectively to potential designers, ensuring they align with your project’s objectives.

Portfolio Assessment

A designer’s portfolio is a window into their skills and style. By going through their previous work to evaluate their design sensibilities, creativity, and ability to adapt to diverse design requirements. Look for projects that resonate with your app’s theme and functionalities.

User-Centered Design Approach

Effective app design hinges on user-centered principles. When you find a skilled product designer he/she should be adept at conducting user research, analyzing user behaviors, knowing UX storyboarding, and creating intuitive user experiences (UX).

In your search, prioritize designers who showcase a strong understanding of user needs and incorporate this knowledge into their design process.

Expertise in Color Psychology

Color psychology is a game changer in app design. Different colors evoke distinct emotions and can influence user perception and behavior.

However, a proficient designer should have a solid grasp of color schemes and use color psychology to choose a color scheme that aligns with your app’s brand, objectives, and desired user reactions. Whether you’re aiming for a calm, trustworthy vibe or an energetic and attention-grabbing feel, color selection is key.

Effective Communication and Collaboration

Collaboration between your team and the product designer is essential for a successful outcome. Look for a designer who communicates clearly, actively listens to your ideas, & provides constructive feedback. A designer’s ability to understand and implement your feedback can significantly impact the project’s progress and final result.

Platforms where you can find product designers for hire

platforms to find product designers

So, you’re on the hunt for top-notch designers?

There are various platforms where these skilled magicians hang out, covering job boards, design platforms, social media, and more.

First off, there are job boards.

Given the specialized nature of these skills, places like UIUXjobboard and general options like Upwork can be gold mines for finding the right talent.

Now, consider design platforms. To truly see their design prowess, explore communities such as Dribbble, Behance, Portfoliobox, and Adobe Portfolio.

And don’t overlook employee referrals. Chances are your current creative minds in the company have connections to other brilliant creators. Lean on them for recommendations, and if their referral gets hired, a little reward might be in order!

Tips for hiring a product designer

Looking to hire product designers who’ll capture your audience’s attention with their creativity and the perfect product fit?

These tips will guide you:


Be Clear in Job Description

Craft a clear job description with essential keywords and details like title, summary, responsibilities, and benefits.

Choose Wisely

Freelancer, Full-Time, or Agency Evaluate your needs and budget to decide between freelance, full-time, or agency designers.

Advertise in the Right Places

Promote the job on social sites, job boards, share with employees, or use paid ads. Explore portfolio sites for hidden design talents.

Respect Freelancers

Time Freelancers’ time is valuable; avoid expecting free work even for minor changes. Respect leads to their best work.

Streamline CV and Portfolio

Review Use user-friendly software to manage CVs and portfolios efficiently during the screening process. Portfolio Isn’t Everything Don’t judge solely based on visuals. Ask how their designs solve user problems.

Also, assess Skills Swiftly Use skills assessments like design challenges and soft skill evaluations to filter top candidates.

Efficient Onboarding

Once you’ve found your fit, offer swiftly and avoid prolonged waiting or communication gaps during the hiring stages.

Overall, we assure you that these straightforward tips will help you find the right product designers for your team.


Final Words

Feeling overwhelmed about finding the perfect designer for your company? Don’t worry. With the right tools, your next design hire can be faster and simpler.

You’ll find the right person who will come up with creative solutions, turning customer challenges into irresistible products.

Speed up your hiring process for product designers with WeAppIt, hire automate your screening, making your team happier!

Indeed, we can help your team save loads of time and bring you closer to the ideal hire using our comprehensive automated skills assessment platform.



Craft a clear job description, choose between freelance/full-time/design agencies, advertise on relevant platforms, screen CVs and portfolios, assess skills effectively, and prioritize smooth onboarding.

Freelancers offer quick starts and flexibility; full-timers provide alignment and dedication. Decide based on project scope and budget.

Agencies offer quality and expertise but come at a higher cost. Suitable for long-term projects with a larger budget.

We AppIt automates screening, assessment, and hiring, saving time and ensuring a seamless process for finding the right product designer.

Craft a detailed description with keywords, job title, summary, responsibilities, and benefits. It attracts the right candidates.

Freelancers offer quick starts and specific expertise; full-timers align with your business. Assess your project’s needs and budget.

Agencies provide specialized skills and professionalism but involve higher costs. Ideal for well-funded, long-term projects.