How Much Does Product Design Cost? [Quick Estimate]

7211 Updated 08.15.2023
Vasyl Polych

Founder & CEO at Northell


Table of contents

Digital product design cost is a topic of concern for many business owners. It can be tricky to be sure about the product design price. In our new article, we will tell you what the price includes.

You will find out the product design price list and why it is more profitable to hire for product development. We will try to help you understand everything related to product design cost. After reading our article, you can easily calculate the price of your project. 

Short Overview

How much does it cost to design a product? Owners of large and small companies enter this question into the Google search bar every day, hoping to find an accurate and appropriate answer. Today we will try to answer it.

Product design cost is one of the most crucial factors influencing a company’s decision to create a new product. To avoid making mistakes in the product development process and not waste a lot of money, you need to study the market and compare different options.

To calculate how much does it cost to make a product, let’s first look at what the product design cost includes.

What does the price include?

Product design cost includes four important things. Let us analyze them in detail. 

Product Discovery

The Product Discovery business process can be divided into several closely related sub-processes. The goal of the stage is to find product/market fit and validate the business model with a working version of the product. 

The key way to achieve this is to consistently reduce risks by validating hypotheses of consumer behavior, value propositions, the product solution itself, business model and acquisition channels. Product Discovery is the key to creating a product that will find its place in the market.

During this process, you should get clear answers to some basic questions: 

  • IIs it worth solving this problem? 
  • How to make the product work? 
  • How to make people pay for this product? What functionality, design, features, etc., are needed?
  • How to monetize the product properly?
  • What is needed for the MVP and what is not?
  • How have ideas been implemented before you? and lots of other ones.   

Even if you are absolutely confident that your product meets a specific user need, product discovery will assist you in designing it correctly before you start building an MVP.

Product Discovery helps companies make the right and most informed decisions. Your product may indeed be a great idea, but product discovery will help you convince people that it is worth paying for.

UX Design

UX design is responsible for the user experience of working with the website or application interface. UX design is not only about a beautiful picture. It is primarily about an intuitive user journey. 

UX Design is happening all the time. Whether intentionally or not, someone makes the decisions and determines how the person will interact with the product. Good UX design happens when we make decisions that we understand and satisfy the needs of our users and our business.

At Northell, we use various methodologies in working with UX design from UX Lab and eye-tracking to Between Subjects Design.  

High-quality UX design is not cheap. It is a time-consuming and challenging process, but it is vital to the success of your product. It engages people, generates conversions, and can boast a considerable ROI.

UI Design

UI design is the user interface design, namely the design of buttons, input fields, application forms – all points of user interaction with the product. If UX is a process, then UI is a tool. However, they have a common goal to make the user experience with the product comfortable, enjoyable and memorable.

This process deserves an investment. According to MyTechlogy, 94% of users don’t trust poorly designed products. 

Usability Testing

Usability testing is a testing method aimed at establishing the degree of usability, learnability, comprehensibility, and attractiveness for users of the developed product in the context of given terms. 

Why is this stage so important, and why is it necessary to allocate enough money to carry it out?

Usability testing evaluates the level of usability of a product on the following points:

  • Efficiency. How much time and steps will it take for the user to complete the basic tasks of the product, for example, posting a newsletter, registering, purchasing, etc.? 
  • Accuracy. How many mistakes did the user make while working with the product? 
  • Recall. How much does the user remember about the work of the product after the suspension of work with it for a long period of time? 
  • Emotional response. How do users feel after completing a task? Are they happy or confused? Will users recommend the product to their friends?

How much does Product Design Cost?

How much does it cost to develop a new product? We have already discussed what stages of product design are included in pricing. Let’s now look at average prices by country and seniority. 

Since product design is an essential step in creating a product, you would think that every business would have a team of designers. Many large companies do engage product designers all year round. However, others prefer to hire a team of freelance design specialists or web design agencies to do the job.

That is partly due to cost savings. Companies don’t need product designers all the time. After a product is developed, it can take months for designers to be needed again. It makes no sense to pay a salary to designers all year round if they are not doing the work. 

Even if freelancers or agencies charge more money for services, the overall savings are still pretty significant. We will talk later about whether it is better to hire an agency or freelancers for your project. 

Let’s discuss product design cost by country and seniority.

Average prices by country

For the design to cost not lots of money, it is essential to choose a design team from the country where the price corresponds to the quality. According to some studies, by hiring outsourcing design teams, a business can reduce product design costs by up to 60% without losing quality.

Let us figure out how much does it cost to hire a product designer from different parts of the world. For your convenience, we have created small product design price lists.  

Product design cost in Eastern Europe

The IT outsourcing sector in Central and Eastern Europe is expanding at a rate that is 4-5 times higher than the world average: 20-25 percent per year vs. 5 percent per year.

The cost of product design outsourcing in Eastern Europe varies by country. Prices for recruiting designers in Ukraine, for example, will be cheaper than rates for hiring specialists in Poland or the Czech Republic.

A junior product designer’s hourly wage is approximately $25, while a senior product designer’s hourly cost is around $50. Let us analyze a product design price list in Eastern Europe:

Product discovery UX design UI design Usability testing
Price per hour  $35-65/hr  $35-60/hr $25-55/hr  $20-50/hr

Product design cost in Asia

How much does it cost to hire a product designer from Asia? Let’s see. Asian countries are among the top outsourcing destinations globally, and their designers are well-known for producing low-cost but low-quality products.

If you’re looking for a product design partner in Asia, product design hourly prices in the most prominent Asian tech centers will range from $10 to $15 for a junior designer and $20-30 for a senior designer.

As previously stated, price reductions and a rapid speed of designing are accomplished at the expense of lower-quality projects. Cultural differences, unpleasant working environments, and time zone differences all have a detrimental impact on the quality of communication between the dedicated staff and the client. Now, check a product design price list: 

Product discovery UX design UI design Usability testing
Price per hour        $15-25/hr $15-30/hr $10-25/hr <$20/hr

Product design cost in Latin America

Latin American countries have recently seen a rise in demand for product designers from clients in the United States due to their proximity and little time zone difference.

How much does it cost to hire a product designer from Latin America? Hiring a junior product designer from Latin American countries such as Brazil, Argentina, or Mexico will cost you approximately $30 per hour. In comparison, senior product designers will cost you around $50 per hour.

You may also discover lesser costs in this area, such as $7-$15 per hour, but keep in mind that the results are not always of excellent quality. Here is a product design price list:

Product discovery UX design UI design Usability testing
Price per hour $25-55/hr <$45/hr <35/hr <30/hr

Average prices based on seniority

Product design hourly rate also depends on the designers’ level of seniority. The more a person has worked in the industry, the higher the product design hourly rate will be.

Junior specialists are usually people who have just started working as designers and may not have enough knowledge and skills to work on large and complex projects. Usually, junior designers work on small projects with a small list of requirements and tasks. 

Middle and senior specialists have more experience, skills and knowledge. Typically, these designers have already completed hundreds of projects and are ready to show their portfolios. The product designer’s hourly rate, in this case, will be higher. Let us analyze how much does it cost to develop a product by hiring a specialist with different level of seniority: 

Product discovery UX design UI design Usability testing
Junior $15-25/hr $15-25/hr <$20/hr $10-15/hr
Middle $25-35/hr $30-45/hr $25-40/hr $20-35/hr
Senior $35-70/hr $50-100/hr $45-80/hr $30-60/hr

Product Design average timeline. Why It’s so important?

The design of a new product is a time-consuming process, particularly if you want to have a great design. The amount of time you’ll require is determined by several factors, including the size of your company, the complexity of your product,  the number of parts it contains, and the performance of the design team you choose.

Product design cost directly depends on the time you spend on product design. Therefore, it is essential to know the product design average timeline. Let’s look at the approximate amount of time various design stages take for companies of different sizes.  

Startups and small project

It is logical to assume that product design for startup projects and small companies will take a little time. However, it still depends on the complexity of your project, your requirements, and so on. We will talk about the factors that affect time and product design cost a little later. Let us look at how much time your startup or small business needs for different stages of the product design process: 

Product discovery UX design UI design Usability testing
30-60 hours 60-90 hours 50-100 hours 40 hours


Mid-sized companies usually already have a clearly formulated product idea and a list of basic design requirements. In this case, the experience of the team that the company hires influences the product design timeline. To get a quality product in a small amount of time, you need to hire professionals.

Northell team has a wealth of experience working on middle-sized projects.

We have already completed more than 150 projects and are not going to stop. So, if you need help with your project, get in touch with us.

Let us now see how much time your middle-sized business needs for different stages of the product design process: 

Product discovery UX design UI design Usability testing
60-120 hours. 120-200 hours 110-220 hours 40-80 hours

Enterprise size

Big companies mainly develop complex and large products with more requirements. Typically, these kinds of companies want a unique design that will help them stand out from the competitors and win the hearts of many users.  

Consequently, the design team working with an enterprise-level company project will take a lot of time to explore a niche, conduct business analysis, create wireframes,  conduct testing, etc. Here is a table that shows how much time enterprises need for different stages of the product design process: 

Product discovery UX design UI design Usability testing
120-240 hours 200-500 hours 400-600 hours 80 hours

How Much Does It Cost To Develop A New Product?

Earlier, we described the average prices for different stages of product design and the time required for each of these stages.

To calculate how much the design of your project will cost you, you need to calculate a simple formula: multiply the price by time. Based on prices in Eastern Europe, here are the approximate project costs for businesses of different sizes:

Startups Middle-size Enterprise size
$15,000-50,000 $35,000-70,000 $70,000-150,000

Key Factors That Affect The Final Price

Product design cost depends on many factors. We have already mentioned some of them earlier. Now let’s take a closer look at the most basic ones.

Project size

Project size plays a vital role in determining the product design price. That is usually the number of screens, pages, or modules available in the product. Typically, a small product has no more than 20 screens, a medium product has 21 to 40 screens, and a large product has more than 40 screens. 

 There is no doubt that optimization and testing a product with about 40 screens and many complex features is more time-consuming and labor-intensive than the processes of a small project. Thus, the more screens or modules you want your product to have, the higher the product design hourly rate.

The complexity of the project

Complexity is one of the main determinants of product design cost. That refers to the level of complexity of the product logic. Also, the complexity can lie in the design itself when a product needs to have custom fonts, icons, images, etc.

However, don’t miss out on design opportunities because UX / UI linearly affects the usability of your product.

In most cases, complex projects need experienced and talented designers. Such teams are not available in every company.

Northell focuses on providing clients with the best services for projects of any complexity. We create designs for products so that they look and work exactly how our customers want them.

Technical features

Product design cost, of course, depends on the number of features you want to add to your product. The more features and complex ones you would like to add, the more you will have to pay.

This factor is closely related to the complexity of the project. You will need a team of professionals with a wealth of experience in creating designs for different kinds of features.

Businesses that want to add advanced opportunities to their product should know that they will need extra money for this. Additional features are required to improve brand identity, client loyalty, and other aspects of the business. The product design cost will be cheaper if you desire a standard product with a minimal set of features.


The primary value of the product lies in its functionality. Functionality is all things that your product can do. For design to cost not a lot, the functionality should be straightforward. 

A product that works smoothly needs an experienced team well-versed in creating architecture, logic and navigation of products. It is obvious that professional and experienced designers are more expensive than young freelancers or start-up design firms.

As a result, if you want a high-quality, valued product with outstanding functionality, you’ll have to spend a bit more, and the product design cost will be higher.

Contractor’s country

Product design cost also depends on the country where your contractor is located. We have already discussed the most popular regions where you can find a contractor. As you could see, Eastern Europe is probably the best option because many experienced and skilled specialists there offer services for reasonable product design prices. 

Analyzed by countries in Eastern Europe, Ukraine is the most profitable option for hiring a design team. The Ukrainian government places great emphasis on education, which fuels a thriving technology industry.

According to statistical analysis from HackerRank, Ukrainian IT specialists have an average score of 88.7% on all tests.  

English is not widely spoken among the general population, but 80% of the IT community speaks English. Therefore communication barriers are minimal. Other advantages of outsourcing in Ukraine: a time zone that partially overlaps with the zones of the US and UK, a similar work culture in which competitive factors and competition are valued.

Contractor experience

The more contractors have worked in the industry, the more they are valued and the higher the product design cost. To find out how experienced your contractor is, ask to show a portfolio of recently completed projects and if they have worked with projects similar to yours before.

You can also explore their website and social media. Analyze feedback from previous customers. When you collect all the information you need, you can figure out if you should spend time and money on this contractor.

Model of cooperation

The last factor that influences product design cost is a model of cooperation.

There are two types of models you can choose from:

fixed price

time & material (T&M) model.

Let’s look at how they differ from each other.

The client pays the contractor for the outcome at a predetermined cost and terms of work under a fixed pricing model. The scope of work and deadlines are accurately estimated, and the top goal is to meet the deadlines and stick to the budget. Results and quality may suffer under this model to satisfy budget and timelines. 

The primary benefit of this strategy is that the price is known and fixed in advance. However, during the design process, you will not be able to make any substantial changes, entirely modify the product concept, or add features.

In addition, the product design hourly rate in this model is typically 15-20% more than the Time & Material rate. 

According to the specialists’ real working time, the client pays for the process under the Time & Material model. The scope of work and implementation time are estimated roughly, and the most critical factor is the outcome and quality. 

For more excellent outcomes or quality, time and product designer hourly rate may be increased. You will be allowed to modify the product design process using this approach, but you will have to pay more money. It is critical to prioritize and set a budget when picking one of these two models.

Freelancer Vs. Product Design Team. Do I need to Outsource that?

If you want to get a high-quality product design, you need to entrust this process to professionals. There are two options to choose from. You can hire a freelancer or contact an agency where they can provide you with a skilled product design team. Let’s compare these two options.

Both freelance designers and agencies have their advantages and disadvantages, and you need to clearly understand each option. 

The majority of freelancers charge cheaper rates than design agencies. Freelancers appear to be a cost-effective choice.

That may appeal to your company if you have a limited budget, are waiting for funding from investors, or need to build a single feature. Hiring a team of freelancers for various aspects of your project, on the other hand, may be prohibitively expensive.

The services of an agency are frequently more expensive. Higher rates may appear to be a significant disadvantage at first glance. However, the pricing is very dependent on the agency’s location. As previously said, Eastern European companies provide highly qualified designers at reasonable prices, ensuring that you do not overspend. 

Agencies provide an essential quality/price ratio for a company since they provide full end-to-end solutions. You will also save time and money by working with an agency because you will not have to manage and lead a group of freelancers.

Even while freelancers have many highly talented experts, some are simply concerned with getting the job done, receiving cash, and moving on to the next customer.

They may desire to complete tasks as fast as possible since more clients equals more profit. Quality may not be a concern for some freelancers. Therefore you must be extremely cautious when selecting a contractor for your company.

On the other hand, design agencies emphasize long-term relationships with clients and maintaining a professional reputation. They value quality above quantity, which is why they devote all of their time and resources to establishing trust.

Freelancers are easy to employ for a specific project or activity that necessitates their expertise. For sophisticated long-term tasks, employing a design agency is preferable. The more your project is complex, the more people in the design team you need.

Freelancers may appear to be less expensive than agencies at first sight, but they will take up more of your time to manage. As a result, hiring an agency may save you money in the long term.

Northell Experience in Product Design

Why choose Northell

Why choose Northell


Northell team has been providing product design services for several years. We have already successfully completed more than 150 projects for companies from 40 countries.

For us, design is not only a beautiful picture. Design is the embodiment of your ideas and displaying your brand. It is how you want your client to see you and your product. 

Recently we have finished working on the MeetAlfred project.

The client came to us with an existing working platform with 30,000 users. Since we have redesigned the platform, added new features, improved UX and updated UI, the conversion rate of the platform has increased several times. 

Here you will find the projects we have worked on. You will also find the results of the work of our designers.


How much does it cost to produce a product? Thanks to our article, we hope you can answer this question and determine the approximate product design cost for your project.

To more accurately understand how much money you need to create the design for your product, do not forget to consider various factors affecting product design cost, compare product design hourly rates in different countries and freelance industrial designer hourly rates, and design agencies.

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