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Hire the Best Product Designer
to Become Choice #1 for
Your Users

Hire the Best
Product Designer
to Become Choice #1 for Your Users
Hire the Best
Product Designer
to Become Choice
#1 for Your Users

Do you remember the iconic Pringles can? We bet you do. Its creator, Fredric John Baur, liked its design so much that he asked to be buried in one of those famous tubes. So, try to guess where his children saved his ashes when he passed away in 2008. That’s right — in an original Pringles can.

Pringles cans product DesignPringles cans product Design

Now, that’s the spirit you’re looking for in a product designer, right? But to find such a specialist, you’d have to go through more than Indiana Jones did in search of the Lost Ark. Don’t worry, every adventurer has a sidekick. And today, Awesomic will be your helpful assistant.


We’ve prepared this article, where you’ll find the answers on who a product designer is and how he can help your business. Besides, you’ll get some pro tips on how to find and hire a perfect fit for your company. Ready? Let’s go.

Do I need a product designer or a UX designer?

The position of a digital product designer has been around for about two decades. But employers and designers themselves still confuse this profession with others. For instance, a designer applies for a product designer position, but it turns out what a company really needs is a UX designer.  

So what’s the difference between these two if both of them create visuals that improve users’ interactions with your product?


Firstly, let’s clarify that “product designer” is a broader term than “UX designer.” A product designer uses a more holistic approach to design. They analyze complex data, define your and your users’ goals, and integrate your business ambitions into product design. Meanwhile, the main responsibility of a UX designer is to make a product usable and enjoyable.


Henry Wu, a product design manager at Hubspot, put these senses in such a statement: “A Product Designer, at its core, is a problem solver.


Simply put, if both specialists are present in a team, most often a product designer is the decision-maker, while the UX designer prepares design pitches and does technical work. So let’s see what makes them alike and what differentiates them.

Similarities

  • Both specialists focus on creating a better overall product for the end-user.
  • UX and product designers use critical thinking to analyze complex data and do market research.
  • They often use similar wireframing tools like Balsamiq and Sketch, as well as user mapping software like LucidChart and Overflow.
  • UX designers, as well as product designers, base their processes on the needs and requests of a user.

Differences

  • Product designers focus on the bigger picture. For instance, their goal is to create an experience that aligns with mid- to long-term business goals while a UX designer cares for solving usability problems.
  • UX designer is a strong advocate for the user whereas the product designer is also an advocate for the company and the organization.
  • Product designers control how the different parts of the product interact with each other. 
  • A UX designer identifies the problems, and a product designer proposes solutions.

Doubting whether you need UX designers instead?
Click here 👈 to find out more details about them.

What does a product designer do?

A product designer isn’t a “universal soldier” as many business owners mistakenly believe. Neither are they simply UX designers with additional responsibilities. They’re specialists whose role is to create not only client-oriented designs but to make them suitable for your business goals.

However, the reality is that usually their responsibilities vary depending on a company and its digital product. In general, a product designer helps you with the following tasks:


Product Designer SkillsProduct Designer Skills

A day in the life of a product designer

Do you still want to figure out more details of product designers’ day-to-day responsibilities? What about finding out all the answers by spending a day of their life?  


Definitely, no two days are alike, and yes, a work routine depends on a concrete specialist. Still, there are some processes that product designers face every day.

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9:30 am

Grab your cup of coffee, tea, or maybe matcha and let’s start the working day. First of all, you have to be prepared and organized, so look through your calendar and pay attention to the meetings.

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10:00 am

It’s high time for some deep work. So, let’s start with market research. Yep, this process takes a lot of time as a product designer has to study users’ behavior to fully understand their needs and pain points.

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11:30 am

Now, you can embody all your ideas and insights into sketches of user flows and wireframes. Of course, you also do some designing, for example on Figma. In the end, your final stage of this task is creating product roadmaps.

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1 pm

It’s time for lunch! No great ideas come to your mind on an empty stomach. 

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2 pm

Let’s get back to work. Meetings are already waiting for you. Yes, most of the days of a product designer consists of neverending meetings. You need to constantly interact with different teams to have a holistic picture of a product.

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4 pm

Get some snacks and start designing some prototypes for user testing. You might also present your designs to other team members. After that, one of the most important parts — testing. They prove whether designs are effective enough.

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5:30 pm

At the end of the day, it’s nice to join a meeting with a design team to discuss your success and challenges throughout the day. After that, don’t forget to make a to-do list for tomorrow and prepare your calendar as well. 

How to find a perfect match?

Now that you clearly know who a product designer is and why you need them, a new question arises. How do I find such a professional? The chances of coming across a product designer with great expertise are as good as finding a four-leafed clover. It is possible but takes lots of searching. 


Awesomic has actually done some research for you. In fact, we’ve browsed product designer job applications on LinkedIn and found such results worldwide as of November 2021:

  • U.S. ― 68,000
  • Germany ― 5,700
  • UK ― 7,100 
  • Canada ― 4,000 
  • India ― 9,300 

That’s a lot of screening to do, right? And these are the results of only one social network. To avoid spending days on simply browsing, take our advice: narrow your request down to a specific set of criteria. So what are the options?

Freelancer VS. Full-time designer

Firstly, define what kind of designer you prefer to hire. Should you choose a full-time or a freelance product designer? Here’s a list of things for you to pay attention to when choosing either of them.

Cost

  • Freelancer: Between these two, a freelancer seems like a cheaper option. However, cheap doesn’t mean cost effective. You might hire a junior designer that charges relatively lower than their colleagues. But their lack of experience and skills might make you spend more time on revisions, clarifying, remaking. In most cases, this means it results in nothing of good value.

  • Full-time: At the same time, full-time product designers charge more as they agree to spend more time at work. Besides that, if they decide to resign, you’ll have to spend additional money on recruiting. In fact, such expenses can reach up to 33% of an employee's annual salary.

Dedication

  • Full-time: A lot of employers prefer hiring full-time designers to freelancers. They believe that only by being in close proximity to the resources can they obtain the necessary information. And later, this knowledge will help them create the exact product that corresponds to your company’s mission.


  • Freelancer: However, it’s fairly possible for a freelance product designer to know your product perfectly. If they possess enough skills and experience, they can obtain the information necessary for their work and implement it in a top-notch product. As you can see, distance isn’t a key requirement for productive work. 

Time resources

  • Freelancer: Hiring a freelancer would be beneficial to those employers that are ready to delegate the majority of the processes to a worker. You need to develop a system of feedback on each stage of the creative process. It seems like an easy solution but actually requires a good amount of organization. 


  • Full-time: Those employers that prefer monitoring all the processes of their workers can choose full-time designers. However, the more stages you’re involved in, the more time you spend on solely monitoring. Additionally, the possibility of seeing the designing process doesn’t guarantee good results.

Where to look for a designer?

The platforms on which you can look for a product designer are numerous. Depending on your request, you might choose a freelance or portfolio website, social networks, or design subscription platforms. Let’s see what the pros and cons of each are.

Freelance websites

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There are many offers at prices lower than on other platforms for designer hiring.
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You can choose the designer from a large talent pool.
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The designers aren’t preselected by their level of expertise.
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Requires lots of monitoring from your side.

Portfolio sites

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You can see the skills and professionalism of a designer right away based on real cases in their portfolios.
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Instead of searching for a designer, you can request a position and have professionals pitch their work to you.
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Shortlisting candidates is time-consuming.
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On websites like Behance, the applicants for your job posting can’t attach their resumes.

Social networks

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Large number of candidates to choose from.
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You can post a job offering and candidates will reach out to you.
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You find out the prices only after contacting the candidate. 
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It takes a lot of time to interview the candidate and negotiate the details.

Design subscription platforms

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Relieve you of searching and interviewing stress.
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Offer designers that already possess expertise.
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You pay a fixed price each month and receive a package with multiple services.
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Aren’t suitable for those who are looking for in-house designers as they offer only remote workers.
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How much should you pay for a good product designer?

If you’ve decided to hire a product designer full-time, it means you’re ready for a big commitment. And in the case of product designers, this big commitment means big money. 


Awesomic’s research on Glassdoor has shown that full-time product designers worldwide earn from $62,000 to $140,000 per year. To be more specific, here are the average salaries of product designers in different countries:

New York
Los Angeles
Canada
UK
Germany
$125,939/yr
$80,833/yr
$74,841/yr
£44,028/yr
€43,841/yr

Freelance websites

On the other hand, the situation with prices for hiring freelance product designers isn't as clear as it is with full-time ones. What's the complication? It turns out that finding the cost of a designer for a digital product becomes a quest when you're browsing websites. 


Firstly, such websites as Fiverr and Upwork offer you a variety of designers that specialize in physical products. To find those that would be helpful for startups isn't a walk in the park. In fact, our research has found only several designers charging $50/hr on average.

freelance product designer on Upworkfreelance product designer on Upwork

Portfolio sites

If you turn to portfolio sites, we’ve got bad news: they aren’t better than freelance websites. The problem remains the same ― designers of digital products are hard to find. And to make matters worse, you can’t see the price or the package until you’ve contacted the designer personally.

freelance product designer on Dribblefreelance product designer on Dribble

Social networks

The next on your list of places to hire a product designer is social networks. Let’s take LinkedIn as an example. Here, you won’t see how much each designer charges for their work. Neither will you find out what exactly they include in their services or their previous works. What you can do, though, is either visit their websites or contact them directly to clarify the information.

freelance product designer on Linkedinfreelance product designer on Linkedin

At this point, it seems like there is no way of finding out how much hiring a freelance product designer will cost you. Not actually. Let us remind you of one more option ― design subscription platforms like Awesomic. 


With a fixed price, the subscription will get you a digital products professional selected for your request. The designers can create a mobile app, website, or landing page designs. You’ll also get your tasks updates everyday and will be able to communicate with the designer through chats or calls. 


Additionally, you can double your team to two designers by selecting the All-in-One tier. And if your designers managed to carry out the project before the month’s end? Then, you can use it for requesting other design services for your company.

Want to see what Awesomic can do for you? Swipe and check out.

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5 signs you’ve found a perfect match

As the saying goes, measure twice but cut once. In other words, before you hire your product designer, make sure they fit your company 101%. To simplify this process for you, we’ve prepared a list of signs of an ideal product designer.

Understanding of your brand

As the person who transforms the knowledge about your company into visual elements, a product designer should have a clear idea of the company they are working for. It includes thorough knowledge of who you are, what you offer, and what your customers need.

• Effective projects

When you go through the designer’s portfolio, don’t make quick judgements based on just nice visuals. What you need to find out is whether any of those nice designs have shown effective results such as increased popularity or profits of the companies.

• Soft skills

One of the most crucial abilities of a designer is to effectively collaborate with other researchers, engineers, and product managers. But what is as much important is the skill of understanding your users, their needs, and requests. For this, they need to possess the ability to effectively solve such problems.

• Good at management

The job of a product designer requires the ability to run numerous processes like producing wireframes, creating test plans, running tests, and launching simultaneously. For this, they need to assemble and manage teams that carry out these tasks. So their must-have are the skills of time management, coordination, and collaboration.

• Keeping up with the latest design trends

Your designer should have a clear understanding of what innovation and changes happen in the industry. This includes analyzing the user's changing needs and implementing them in the design. Also, a designer should be aware of how your product can be improved to keep up with the competitors.

Wrapping up

As you can see, being a product designer is a job that goes beyond design. To find a great specialist, you’ll need to define your needs and choose a platform that can offer you what you’re looking for. 


After this, you’ll carefully select the candidate that has the qualifications for your company, and hopefully, after several stages of interviewing, you’ll have a designer on board. 


However, you can choose an easier option and choose to save your time and money. How? Choose design subscription services like Awesomic that offer you preselected experts for your particular request.

FAQ

What does a product designer do?

A product designer takes part in the entire process of creating a digital product, starting from defining the user’s problem and thinking of its solution to creating a long-term design strategy that will help achieve main business goals.

Product designers handle the end to end design of a product. So, they not only drive the project but influence all design-related product decisions, big or small.

What are the responsibilities of
a product designer?

A product designer is responsible for the entire process of creating digital products, starting from attractive appearance to thinking about achieving long-term business goals and improving the company’s profit. In particular, their main responsibilities are:

• Do market research
• Study user behavior
• Build interaction patterns with a user
• Create product roadmaps
• Use the UX to improve communication
• Create catchy visuals
• Run A/B tests of a digital product 
• Build a long-term design strategy
• Propose necessary changes

How much does it cost to hire a product designer?

The price varies significantly depending on type of employment, skillfulness, and requirements. Full-time designers inherently cost more as they spend more time working for you. Freelancers charge less as the price depends solely on the project itself. The average salary of a product designer worldwide is from $62,000 to $140,000 per year.

Freelancers charge less as the price depends solely on the project itself. The prices start from $50/hr at freelance websites and increase on other platforms.

How to find a product designer?

There are four main types of platforms where you can hire a product designer:

• freelance websites
• portfolio sites
• social networks
• design subscription services

The choice of a platform depends on your needs and budget. With freelance, portfolio, and social media websites you’ll need to invest your time for screening and interviewing processes. However, with design subscription platforms you pay the price that already includes these stages completed.

How to hire a product designer?

During the selection process, you should pay attention to not only the price and services included. Rather, you should additionally look for such signs of an expert product designer:

• Vast and clear knowledge of your company’s identity, products, and customers.
• A portfolio with real cases that are not only visually appealing but also have effective results.
• The ability to manage designing, researching, and testing processes among other professionals.
• Having skills of effective communication and problem-solving.
• Possessing up-to-date information about your industry and turning it into an effective solution for users.

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