Outsourced or In-House Design: Which Is Better for Your Business?

Oct 06, 2022

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In the digital world, modern design is obviously not only about the product’s appearance, but also about its functionality and user experience. This process is critical in the development of any application. Accordingly, companies are looking for professionals who can provide this.

Outsourcing and in-house are the most popular among other forms of cooperation with designers. In this article, we will talk about the advantages and disadvantages of both options, and their pitfalls.

New Digital Experience by Leobit

Leobit is a full-cycle development company with more than seven years of outsourcing experience. We’ve been working with projects of various complexity and direction, and design is one of our essential services.

Our team of UI/UX specialists has transformed into a full-fledged Leobit Design Studio, which not so long ago topped the rating of best UI/UX design agencies, according to SuperbCompanies.

The design development process for our clients includes all key stages. We become part of your company, starting with product research and ending with ongoing support and consulting. Our UX solutions help bring products to a new level of digital success.

We work with projects of different scales. It can be an interactive walking app with web, iOS and Android versions or a streaming application. You can check our portfolio here.

Design Outsourcing: Pros and Cons

Design services outsourcing is partially or fully delegating the work to someone outside the company. Usually, this is cooperation with teams or design studios from other countries, where the cost of qualified design services is much more affordable.

Like any other cooperation form, outsourcing has its own benefits and disadvantages.

Pros of Outsourced Design

  • Easy hiring. Outsourcing provides access to the services of skilled designers without spending time on hiring.
  • Time efficiency. By outsourcing design tasks, company management gets more time to solve other, more urgent issues. Thus, all business processes are structured and run simultaneously.
  • Profitability. In many aspects, outsourced design services are more economically beneficial because the customer receives the result without spending on personnel training, insurance, licensed software, equipment, etc.
  • Large choice. Customers can choose any outsourcing company according to individual parameters (time zone, mentality, prices, expertise in a specific field, etc.).
  • Scalability and flexibility. You can always scale the design team, add new specialists or change all the designers. The outsourcing team will adapt to your requirements.
  • New vision and fresh ideas for the team. Product design is not just about the best practices. It involves finding new ways and unique solutions. Outsourcing often allows the team to look at the product from a different angle and find non-obvious opportunities.

We have extensive experience designing products of various complexity and will be happy to answer your questions.

Cons of Outsourcing Design

  • Remote location. You cannot meet with the designers to discuss the project in person at any time you need. That’s why it is important to choose proper remote communication tools. In the event that a personal meeting is necessary, your vendor must arrange a trip in advance.
  • Control challenge. The outsourcing format assumes that the customer transfers control over design development to the contractor which requires tremendous trust. Therefore, before starting cooperation, it’s useful to conduct a little research to validate designers’ skills, expertise, and experience. You also can talk with the team before signing the contract to make sure that you have similar points of view and the same work ethics.

Sometimes what the customer sees in the sales presentation doesn’t match reality. Therefore, when choosing an outsourcing partner, it is incredibly important to be careful and check the actual skills of the team.

When to Outsource Design

Outsourcing is perfect for both short-term and long-term projects. In the first case, the customer receives particular design skills to solve specific problems. In the second, customers get full project support from the research stage to maintenance. The variety of outsourcing models allows you to cover the business needs in both cases.

Outsourced design can be useful when you have a design team, but it needs to be reinforced in the shortest terms with new specialists or lacks fresh ideas. In addition, if your project doesn’t require a permanent design department, outsourcing design tasks is cheaper and more efficient.

Hiring Full-Time In-House Designer

Let’s talk about an alternative option now. Hiring an in-house designer means getting one or more specialists at your disposal, and they become part of your company. This format of cooperation has its advantages and disadvantages.

Pros of Hiring In-House Designer

  • More control and engagement. The customer can choose the level of control of the internal team or particular designer. In addition, in-house designers can be more involved in the company’s internal processes, which, in some cases, gives them a greater understanding of the product.
  • Better communication. Communication with in-house designers can be easier because there is no need to negotiate through intermediaries.
  • High productivity. In-house designers are often attached to a specific project and can work without being distracted by other tasks.

Sometimes the cost of in-house designer services can be lower regarding results/hours spent ratio. Everything depends on the specific features of the product.

Cons of Hiring In-House Designer

  • Hiring difficulties. Hiring in-house designers require time, effort, and money if recruiting agencies are involved. And this still doesn’t guarantee a positive result.
  • Limited experience. Outsourcing companies usually have experience working with different projects and different crises. In-house designers don’t have such extensive experience.
  • Staff turnover. Designers may lose interest in the project, receive more favorable offers from other companies, etc. In the case of outsourcing, staff turnover is the provider’s problem, not the customer’s.
  • Limited skills. Outsourcing studios have the opportunity to form teams for a project with designers from different areas, as well as to attract new ones for a while. This is impossible with in-house designers, so their skills limit the work.

In the long run, the services of in-house designers are more expensive than outsourcing the design project.

Summary

In summary, outsourcing can be more profitable and convenient in many aspects. It is especially relevant when it comes to large projects requiring various specialists’ expertise.

An in-house format can also be helpful, but modern outsourcing allows you to choose the optimal form of cooperation, hire an entire team or one specific specialist. Therefore, the choice depends on very specific business requirements and project needs.

We at Leobit have extensive experience designing products of various complexity and will be happy to answer your questions. Just contact us in any convenient way.

Tetiana Paratsii
Tetiana Paratsii
Marketing Analyst at Leobit
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