Many people know what to charge for a UI designer and how much UI designers make hourly. The question is: How much should UI designers be paid an hour?
This blog post will break down the factors determining UI designer hourly rates to help you decide on your reasonable rate. If you’re starting as a UI designer, this information can help you decide whether or not it’s worth investing in UX design courses or not.
The time it takes to complete the project
Time is money, and the time it takes to complete a project is an essential factor when deciding on your UI designer hourly rate.
If you’re designing for yourself or as part of a co-op student program, this isn’t too big of a deal. But if you are charging by the hour as a professional UI designer freelance rate, then understanding how much time each task will take is crucial information that helps determine your UI designer freelance rate per hour.
The average UI design freelancer spends about 20 hours planning before working on actual production code—and planning always makes development go more smoothly.
It means that designers who charge $50/hr would have at least one week’s worth of work to do before beginning the UI design project.
The complexity of the design
The UI designer freelance rate also depends on how complex the design is.
The complexity of UI designs will depend on many factors, like:
- Tools used
- Multiple platforms
- UI designers with experience vs. newbies to the field of UX/UI design
- Meeting client requirements
- How much time do you have to complete the project
- Understanding your target audience and what they would expect from the finished product
The experience level of the designer
Your UI design rates will be lower than an experienced UI designer freelancer if you are a designer newbie.
As for UX/UI designers with years of experience under their belt? Well, they can command higher rates simply because they’ve developed a portfolio that demonstrates the expertise and skill level needed to perform well on any project.
Senior UI designers should charge more per hour, just like lawyers and doctors, to take on fewer projects while still making a profit (because there is less time spent doing actual work).
So whether you’re starting or have been working as a UX/UI designer for years, knowing how UI design rates work and the factors that affect UI designer hourly rate is an excellent place to start understanding what you should pay your UX/UI designs.
Whether or not they are working in-house or freelance, and what their hourly rate is
UX designers and UI designer freelance rates can vary widely depending on location, years of experience, whether they’re working in-house or as a freelancer.
Here are some UI design rates for top cities:
- New York City $50/hr to $75/hr (mid-range)
- San Francisco Bay Area $60-$80 per hour (mid-range)
- Seattle $40-$70 an hour (average is about $55/hour).
UX design rates will be higher than UI design rates because their value proposition includes non-billable items like research and product strategy that UI designers do not usually have. As such, clients should expect this number to be higher.
What type of company they are designed for (i.e., small business vs. Fortune 500)
A UI designer freelancer’s UI design rates will also depend on what kind of company they’re designing for.
If you are UX/UI designer designing an app for a Fortune 500 business, your UI designs might be upwards of $100-200 per hour (or more). But if you were to work with a small start-up or non-profit organization, the UI designers’ hourly rate would likely fall somewhere between $30-$75 per hour. That said, there aren’t any hard and fast rules about how much UX designers should charge by project type—it all depends on who is hiring you and why.
Clients must understand their needs before determining whether hiring someone at UI designer hourly rates makes sense. Look at the factors we’ve discussed: how many UI designs you need, what quality level is required for each UX/UI design, and so on to determine whether it makes sense financially.
How much work is currently on their plate at any given moment (i.e., if there’s a lot, then they may be willing to take less money per hour)
If UI designers have a lot of work on their plate, they may be willing to take less money per hour because the UX/UI designer thinks it would not make sense for them to stop working and lose all those hours.
In this case, UI design rates might decrease from $70-$80 an hour down to perhaps $50-60/hour or even lower—it depends on how much time there is before you need your UX/UI designs completed. Just remember: if UI designers are too busy with other projects at any given moment, they’re going to pass along these savings in terms of lower UI design rates.
But what about when clients approach a UX expert with no current UX/UI design projects? In this case, UI designers’ UI design rates can be as high as $75-100 per hour and even more because the UX/UI designer is not “tied up” with other work.
In both cases, UI designers should present their proposed UI designs based on their financial situation, the estimated time to complete each project (including any research or strategy time), and whether they’re already working on something else. That way, clients know precisely where they stand before hiring a UX expert.
UI design is a complex and multifaceted process. It’s not uncommon for companies to have many different designers, each with its strengths and weaknesses. The cost will vary depending on the type of designer you need as well as the scope of work they’ll be working on.
If you’re looking for an experienced UX or web designer who can help your company grow through intuitive designs that solve customer frustrations, we’d love to chat more about how we can help! Contact us today, and our team would love to answer any questions you may have about hiring a UI designer at hourly rates or designing in general.