Homepage > Journal > How to choose a UX Design agency?

How to choose a UX Design agency?

How you like that:

You decided to employ a UX Design agency. I will avoid using the names of any companies because I don't want this article to be considered biased, but I will share what I know about UX companies from the inside. You can then decide what to do with this knowledge and how to use it.

You may be designing a completely new digital product, or your task is redesigning an existing application. It may turn out that someone who can professionally design the application's interface is needed.

We know that choosing a UX agency isn't easy. There are several hundred companies in Poland and several thousand in Europe that say they know about UX. How do you choose the right UX agency from all these choices?

Are you looking for an experienced UX agency?

First approach. You know the market of UX agencies and want to filter out those who are unable to adapt to your needs

Specify design requirements and restrictions. I would start by setting a budget and an ideal project completion schedule. This will effectively filter out UX agencies that:

  1. Cannot provide availability at the time you need the UX team.
  2. You can't work with the budget you have when you need them.

If you already know the market and have a good grasp of the rates being charged, then by setting the budget and schedule, you're not wasting valuable time collecting offers, presentations, and meetings with UX companies that will not be able to start the project with your budget and timeframe. This approach will benefit both you and your suppliers.

There remains the question of design requirements. Let this list of requirements serve as a checklist in your Excel table to guide you and ensure you choose a good UX agency. I will return to this checklist in a moment. For now, let's determine what to do if you do not know the UX market well and want to evaluate the work of the UX team for your IT project.

Second approach. You want to get to know the UX agency market and price your work

UX in Poland is a relatively new field. In the context of digital products, UX has yet to become a default requirement. The only university training UX designers is SWPS. Companies have problems defining the duties and place of the UX specialist in their organizational structure. It's one of the reasons why it isn't surprising that you may have a problem making your choice and determining the role and responsibilities of a UX designer.

What should you pay attention to when choosing a contractor using the first or second approach?

A checklist for choosing a UX Design agency

Do they know WCAG and SEO

The result of a good digital product is not just usability and design. A web application, website, or online store will succeed due to combining three competencies — usability, accessibility, and SEO.

I think it's unnecessary to explain why usability should be among the competencies of an agency. But what do accessibility and SEO have to do with it? It is directly linked.

The accessibility of a website in Poland, better known as the WCAG 2.1 standard, introduces rules into the interface and website design that make them readable for visually and hearing impaired people and those with mobility limitations. They constitute 10% of users. Is a website accessible to a person with a disability, readable, and understandable also for a person without it? Yes, of course. Will the website created without WCAG knowledge be readable to people with disabilities? There's a high chance that it won't.

WCAG (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines) contains not only recommendations to improve the usability of the site for people with disabilities but also affects how the structure of the site is built, which can directly affect the visibility of the website in search engines. So it's tempting to say that by using WCAG recommendations on your site, you also care about the SEO of your website (for example, using alternative texts for images).

However, SEO as a set of requirements posed by the Google search engine imposes the requirement for a readable site map, information structure, and architecture. As a result, a logical user path is created that leads users straight to the goal, i.e., conversion. We need such converting services.

In other words, UX is not only about the design and good design principles but about the WCAG and SEO standards.

Ask a company which projects have been designed by taking into account the requirements of one of these relevant areas and which of the agency's employees have certificates confirming knowledge of at least one of these issues.

Does the UX team have an in-house front-end developer?

The least you can expect from a UX agency is to have a UX Designer and UI Designer. You need to be wary of any project that comes from a UI Designer without a front-end developer's review. It's about an experienced programmer being responsible for checking the graphic design (UI) and coding of the user interface.

You can save up to 15% on your web development budget.

You may ask if a UI Designer can make mistakes. Even if they don't make them, they may propose solutions that are difficult for a programmer to code.

As a result, coding the design will take a ridiculously long time for the programmers, which will cost.

What increases the chances of creating a good UI from the programmer's point of view? In the absence of a front-end UX developer and the UI Designer's knowledge of HTML and CSS at an advanced level, or at least an intermediate one. A UI Designer does not need to know JavaScript, React, or Angular frameworks. And the agency's talk about UI Designers learning back-end development is mainly pointless and doesn't matter for the interface design process.

What factors increase the chance of keeping the costs of UI implementation by front-end developers down? It's about designing for a specific framework — Material Design (MD), Bootstrap, Bulma, etc.

So it's worth asking an agency if the front-end developer is working in-house or not; you can easily pay more for such a UX Design agency because you will save twice as much money and time during coding.

UX researcher in the IT project team

UX is, first and foremost, a study of the users' perspective and understanding of a business problem. Only later, it's about designing wireframes and UI mockups, i.e., interface design.

You need to ask two questions — does the agency team have a researcher? If not, what research portfolio does the UX Designer have? Above all, you need a qualitative researcher with experience in UX audits, usability testing, in-depth qualitative interviews, and routine user testing. While it is not as essential, they should also have experience in ethnographic research.

You will probably say you already know everything or have a list of software requirements. The vast majority of customers in Poland skip the user testing stage for budget and time reasons. That is how most MVPs of digital products manufactured in Poland are created.

However, once you've received a positive market response to your product, you return to research and optimize it because you get feedback from users and team members, or you see firsthand that your product is not perfect and it's worth improving.

piggy bank icon

7 out of 10 projects risk failing due to a lack of product testing on users.

It may surprise you, but in 2008 research companies Forrester Research and Neochange found that 70% of IT projects fail because of a lack of acceptance from users. Only 16% of users appreciate the functional aspect of the software. For most customers, functionality is not a distinguishing feature of your digital product. It’s something that is considered the norm. The distinctive features are the emotions and user experience.

The presence of a researcher or UX Designer with research experience in the team will be a valuable contribution to the design of your product. It's worth listening to this person. They will bring you considerable savings or protect you from failure.

UX writing

piggy bank icon

The clear interface reduces the number of requests for help from users, thanks to which you save on customer support costs.

A UX writer is not only a content writer or a person responsible for texts. They are a specialist that has experience supported by research about what texts and call-to-actions stimulate the user to act and with what effect. They are the designer of textual triggers, a poet of behavioral economics. They can formulate a message to help the user understand the interface, lower bounce rates, and reduce support costs.

UX writing can be a skill of a UX Designer or a UX Researcher, but it doesn't have to be. UX writing is a separate service because, unlike copywriting, it gives the customer confidence that the proposed texts will bring measurable benefits to the product. These proposals should be supported by research.

The question to ask is whether the agency has a UX writing service, and if so, how will it present the result of its work? As plain texts or as texts with benchmarks, including results and conclusions from research? If the latter, you will get a valuable service for which it's worth paying extra. If it's the first, you'll end up with copywriting.

UI/UX Design — a portfolio of an agency

Now you know what lies beyond the budget criteria for evaluating an agency. Now, you can assess its portfolio. While previously you were guided by a subjective assessment — known clients, presentation of the portfolio – now you are able to ask the agency these specific questions:

  • What was the duration of the project?
  • What requirements did the client have?
  • Which of the presented projects required the agency to be familiar with SEO principles?
  • Which project required the agency to be familiar with WCAG guidelines, i.e., the interface accessibility standard for people with disabilities?
  • Did the in-house front-end developer verify the submitted project?
  • If yes, what changes have been made to the project due to the front-end developer review?
  • What research has been carried out for UX and web design?
  • How many tests or interviews with users have been carried out for the purposes of the project?
  • Was the UX writing or copywriting service provided?
  • What part of the project had a special impact on the quality of the results?

magnifying glass icon

The analysis of key success factors is a method used to analyze the resources and skills of the analyzed enterprise. It's great for making decisions based on criteria of varying weight.

Assign a weight to each question on a scale of 1 to 3 or 1 to 5 according to the method of assessing key success factors and compare the agency's answers.

For larger UX Design projects

If your project is large, you need to evaluate the UX agency's ability to increase its resources.

Industry recruitment portals: pracuj.pl, bulldogjob.pl, and a dozen others.

Team design tools: Figma, Sketch.

Ask the recruiter about the recruitment possibilities and the HR infrastructure. Ask for profile addresses on recruitment portals and links to the Career subpages of the UX website.

Check if the UX agency has an operational infrastructure permitting project management as the team develops. It's about the ability to work remotely and about project management software and software for designing wireframes and UI mockups.


Finding a UX Design agency that suits you can be difficult. More often than not, you will be dealing with someone who just wants to "close" a new customer.

Of course, I work in UX Design myself, but who else is better to write about choosing an agency in this field? SEO specialist, SEM agency? My conclusions come from my own experience, conversations with clients, the UX project implementation process, and observation of the market I operate in.

I hope I helped you.

By the way, if you are here, check if our agency meets the criteria described above, and if it's a good fit, just get in touch to see if we can cooperate. Send an inquiry and find out for yourself.

How you like that:
Journal / JPG / Dymitr Romanowski - avatar
Author: Dymitr Romanowski
Product Designer, Head of Design