Today, the quality of any software is measured mainly by the satisfaction of its users. That’s why companies spend large portions of their budget making sure their customers’ needs are met.
This is the main philosophy behind UX design. A good UX design agency is constantly on the lookout for new, more effective ways to communicate with users, whether that’s by creating more intuitive interfaces or visually breathtaking designs. If you feel your product needs a good makeover, check out our list of top UX agencies for inspiration.
Stages of UX Design
UX design is a complex process that consists of several stages. Here are the essential elements as explained by CareerFoundry:
The first and most important step of every good UX design process is the research. This is where your UX design agency analyzes the market, studies the competition, and interviews potential users of the product. The latter allows the designers to find out exactly what users want and identify some of the main problems they face. After that, they can move onto the next step.
The next step is creating fictional users - so-called personas that will represent your target audience. For example, an agency might create Dave, a 30-year-old small business owner from Denver, as one persona and 45-year-old Rita, a passionate kindergarten teacher, as another. These fully developed characters - perfect representations of their social groups - act as filters for any interface change.
Wireframes are essentially sketches of the interface - detailed schemes that UI design companies come up with. They start off as simple drafts that offer just a basic idea of what the interface would look like. With every change and improvement, these wireframes become more complex and elaborate. At the very end of the process, the wireframes are almost identical to the final product.
In a way, testing is the final part of the UX cycle. The finished product goes to real-life users, who assess the quality and point out important flaws. Testing the prototype is an important step because it lets the UX design firm polish any problems and catch bugs before they cause any frustration among paying customers. During this process, testers might also discover that the product doesn’t actually solve the problems it was designed to fix, in which case it needs some serious reworking.
Because UX is so in demand nowadays, there are many agencies to choose from. This is why it’s important to know exactly what to look for. Here’s the checklist we used to identify the best user interface design companies out there.
List of services
Most of the best design agencies in the world offer a wide range of services that go beyond simple UX design. As such, it’s important to find out what the agency you choose is capable of. Typically, it’s much better for your budget if you can find a single agency to do your research, design your product, develop it, and then provide maintenance.
If possible, you should familiarize yourself with the agency’s work process. How does the agency achieve what it claims it will? How involved are you as a client in that workflow? Top UX design firms are usually transparent about all of this because they have nothing to hide.
During your initial research, you’ll probably come across reviews from other clients who are sharing their experiences with the agency. While these are important and can give you a sense of the agency’s reputation, you should take them with a grain of salt, especially if they’re posted anonymously. We rely only on reliable reviews posted on Clutch.co.
Finally, there’s the question of price. The only way you can get an exact price for your project is to contact the agency and give them the basic information. In our reviews, we provide you with a ballpark estimate so you know what to expect.
5 Top UX Agencies
- Momentum Design Lab
- Fuzzy Math
- December Labs
UX Agency Reviews
- ⦿ Highly experienced
- ⦿ Solid research skills
- ⦿ Innovation planning
With nearly 20 years of experience in the field of digital product development, Praxent is one of the highest-rated user experience design companies in the world. Located in Austin, Texas, the agency works mainly with mid-market companies and enterprises with a minimum project size of $100,000. Praxent has worked on more than 300 different projects with various companies located both in Texas and outside the state. With an average review score of 4.8 on Clutch.co, Praxent is at the very top of the list of graphic design agencies in terms of customer satisfaction.
The company explains its services through three main elements, which are creatively named Discover, Envision, and Build.
Discover is mainly based on the agency’s exceptional research skills. Praxent’s experts not only analyze the market and the competition but also scrutinize your own company to identify any problems and find the potential for improvement. Like numerous other top UI design companies, Praxent also puts a lot of effort into user surveys to hear the audience out. After that, the agency makes an innovation roadmap - a detailed plan of the proposed changes that will be followed to the letter.
Speed is one of Praxent’s greatest virtues, a fact that is reflected in the agency’s rapid prototyping. You don’t have to wait months to see if your product or new design will appeal to the masses. The Envision phase also focuses on your branding efforts as the best way of reaching out to your audience.
Build, the third phase logically refers to the UI UX design company’s development of software. The agency can create a custom app for any type of device and design custom software based on your specifications. Praxent can also help you out if you need some work done on an existing product. You can rest assured that this agency will cover all the bases.
Depending on the project and role, the price of Praxent’s services can range anywhere between $150 and $200 per hour, which puts it somewhere in the mid-price range. However, the company is very budget-conscious, so you know your resources won’t be wasted.
- ⦿ Overwhelmingly positive reviews
- ⦿ Innovation sprints
- ⦿ Customer journey mapping
Momentum Design Lab is another exceptional entry on our list of top UX agencies. Located in San Mateo, just 20 miles south of San Francisco, this company of top-notch professionals has been helping clients improve their UX designs for more than 17 years. The agency currently holds an impressive score of 4.8 on Clutch.co based on 50 impartial reviews.
Depending on your company’s needs, Momentum Design Lab can offer several services. If you’re looking for quick, straight-to-the-point solutions, you’ll appreciate Momentum’s innovation sprints. This approach favors functionality over thoroughness and yields fast results without spending time on detailed research. You get deliverables in the form of wireframes, visual designs, clickable prototypes, and style guides.
Of course, considering Momentum is a full UI UX design agency, you can be as detailed as you like with your products. Among other services, Momentum also provides you with ethnographic studies, competitive analysis, and customer journey mapping. If you already have a finished product that needs to be redone, you can ask for expert evaluation and usability testing beforehand. The agency’s experts will locate all your product’s weak spots and propose the best strategy for dealing with them.
Working closely with clients is Momentum’s greatest virtue. If you need the agency’s help on a couple of projects for an extended period of time, you’ll be assigned a special Innovation Lab team that will work with you for up to a year. The best UX agency team consists of researchers, strategists, business analysts, designers, and developers. It’s basically a task force custom-created for your specific business needs.
Momentum Design Lab offers services to all types of businesses, but the agency’s minimum project size is $25,000. With an hourly rate ranging from $150 to $199, it might be on the more expensive side, although this varies from project to project. Contact Momentum to get a quote for your company.
- ⦿ Co-designing with clients
- ⦿ Technology-independent designers
- ⦿ Training services
Fuzzy Math is a Chicago-based UX design agency founded in 2009. For over a decade, the agency has been helping companies, large and small, find the perfect UX model for their businesses. A nearly perfect score of 4.9 on Clutch.co is just one reason why this agency belongs on our list.
For Fuzzy Math, research plays a key role in creating winning UX designs. This agency provides the whole package, starting with user interviews then moving on to testing, market analysis, user journey mapping, and creating personas. It’s also worth noting that Fuzzy Math’s designers are technology-independent, meaning they don’t limit themselves to a single medium or device. Like the majority of top UX companies, Fuzzy Math fully embraces its creativity.
In addition, the agency invests a lot of time in establishing solid connections with clients. Fuzzy Math makes sure clients are kept in the loop at all times, delivers conceptual designs, and allows projects to be co-designed. This is above and beyond what you’d expect even from the top web design companies in the world.
Another thing that separates Fuzzy Math from the competition is its training service. Educating clients and team members on all aspects of their own project is to be expected, but Fuzzy Math goes much further. This is one of the rare UX consulting firms that can actually teach your own design team how to be more user-oriented and focus on a single idea at the time.
You’ll pay between $150 and $199 per hour to work with Fuzzy Math, which is at the more expensive end of the spectrum. The minimum project size, according to the agency’s Clutch profile, is a fairly standard $25,000. What’s more, Fuzzy Math has also worked with numerous Fortune 500 companies. If your budget can handle this hourly rate, you should certainly give the agency a call.
- ⦿ UX/UI audit
- ⦿ Front-end and back-end programming
- ⦿ Copywriting
Another company founded in 2009, Clay holds a steady 4.8-star rating on Clutch.co based on many impartial reviews. This UX design agency from San Francisco offers a wide range of services that go well beyond the call of duty.
Clay divides its services into several categories, two of which are solely focused on UX.
The first part is strategy. Clay starts its work by researching the market and the competition and analyzing the company in question. The UX/UI audit helps the agency determine the effectiveness of existing user-engagement elements. This process ends with a full product strategy created in collaboration with the client and stakeholders.
The design category is much more concrete than the previous one. This is where the user interface design firm actually deals with the visuals of the product. Clay doesn’t only include UX/UI design but also works on the entire formation of the brand identity to create something users will be able to connect to easily. After coming up with its design, Clay creates a prototype and tests its effectiveness thoroughly.
In addition to the graphic part of the work, Clay also does programming, both back-end and front-end. This is extremely useful if you need an all-in-one solution, especially considering the agency also offers copywriting, animation, and iconography services.
This UX design company doesn’t offer any details about average hourly rates and minimum project size requirements. To get more information about rates, you’ll need to contact their agents and provide them with your company details and the type of service you require.
- ⦿ Full-stack development
- ⦿ AR/VR technologies
- ⦿ Machine learning
December Labs was founded in 2014 in Houston, TX. This means that compared to some other user interface design companies on our list, it’s fairly new. However, with a score of 5 on Clutch.co and 20 positive unbiased reviews, it has already earned its stripes.
The agency’s website gives you a pretty good representation of its overall work process, along with estimates of how long each step will take. That way, you immediately know what you’re getting yourself into.
The first part of the process focuses on research and analysis. The agency examines both your business goals and the needs of your users to figure out the best approach. An experienced strategist helps you create an efficient and effective plan based on carefully crafted milestones. Once that is done, the UI design agency comes up with a low-fidelity wireframe as the basis for any future work. This part of the process can take up to two weeks, depending on the project.
The aforementioned low-fidelity wireframe evolves into a high-fidelity version in the second phase, which can take anywhere from three to six months. At the end of this important stage, the team has a clear vision of the project, and every step is carefully planned out.
The third part is the actual development of the product, which takes from two to four months, once again depending on the complexity of the project. What’s great about this UI design company is the fact that the entire development process relies on individual milestones. You can always keep track of your progress and make sure everything is going as planned. This is also great if you want to prioritize certain features so you can streamline everything.
The final stage can last up to three weeks. It’s all about adding the final touches and working with the client’s team to ensure the best possible transition. Rushed launches can cause more problems in the long run, and December Labs isn’t the type of UX company that will let that happen. Once you hire this agency, you know you’re in safe hands.
According to Clutch.co, December Labs offers services ranging from $50 to $99 per hour. This is the most affordable option on our list; it’s almost as cheap as hiring an individual designer. Similarly, the minimum project size is $10,000+, which is very reasonable for this industry.
The main goal of a UX agency is to provide a great experience for the user. This is done through extensive research, innovative design, and continuous testing to make sure both the client and the end-user are satisfied. The agency usually employs an array of professionals, including researchers, designers, strategists, analysts, and developers. They all work together to create the optimal customer experience.
This depends mainly on the experience of the designer and the type of service you’re after. According to one of the biggest freelance platforms right now, Upwork, general UX design can cost anywhere between $25 and $75 an hour. That estimate is based on US freelancers who work at an intermediate level. User experience design firms can charge more, but that’s because they often include a team of professionals and not just a single UI UX designer. In any case, keep in mind that the best UI design doesn’t come cheap, and there’s a good reason for that.
This oft-used acronym is actually an abbreviation of the term user experience. UX design is basically a branch of graphic design that focuses solely on the user’s interaction with the product or service. UX agencies use it to improve the entire user experience by adding various visually pleasing and functional elements to the product. A good example is microinteractions, those little animations that are triggered when a user clicks on or hovers over an element. Not only is this visually appealing, but it also serves a purpose - it tells users they have (un)successfully interacted with the element.
The main difference between best user interface design (UI) and user experience (UX) is the focus. UI refers to basically any part of the software, service, or website that the user interacts with. A UI design firm comes up with screens, pages, and all of the elements on those pages. However, once the interaction happens, that’s where UX comes in. The focus of UX design is the feeling the user gets from using a product. The design tries to manipulate the experience through usability, accessibility, and desirability. Good UX design follows every step of the user’s interaction and streamlines the experience.
In most cases, the best companies for UX designers don’t require any coding knowledge. However, this might be an advantage in some cases. Considering UX design is a competitive field, you need to find a way to stand out from the crowd. A top UX designer who knows a little bit of coding can be useful in a number of ways. They can deal with the odd front-end or back-end problem if it comes up, therefore offering a more complete service as a freelancer. That said, the technology has evolved so much that there’s no other explicit reason why you should use code in any case.
The first thing you need to do is make sure you actually want to become a UX designer. Go online, do some research, and find out what user interface design firms actually do. You need to learn as much as possible and become an expert on the subject. Once you’re confident you want to go down that path, it’s time to find a suitable course on the web. There are countless courses out there, but you have to understand straight away that there are no shortcuts. Acquiring the necessary skills will take some time and effort. In fact, one might say that it’s an ongoing process that never really ends.
Once you feel you’ve acquired enough skills, it’s time to put them to the test. Do some real-world designing for user experience consulting firms to get a feel for the job and learn new things along the way. Create your own project or accept a few low-cash offers just to get some experience. Don’t feel discouraged if it doesn’t work at first. Every beginning is hard. It will get easier with time.
Because UX design includes a number of different elements, it makes sense that you’ll need various programs to make it work. When it comes to interface design, some of the most popular software solutions include Sketch, UXPin, and Adobe XD. Flinto and Principle are great choices for motion design, while Justinmind and Axure might be your best option for wireframing. In addition to that, every good UX design agency uses Hotjar for testing purposes.