Methods to Enhance Output and Innovation by Hiring Freelance Designers

Think about a situation through which your organization should quickly redesign its cellular app to include AI options like picture recognition, customer support chatbots, and residential screens tailor-made to person preferences. Nevertheless, your funds is tight, and your in-house designer hasn’t labored with AI options. Coaching might be costly and time-consuming, and can distract your designer from their core duties.

Given your timeline and restricted funds, you determine to rent a contract designer who focuses on AI and has intensive expertise implementing the options you want. When the freelancer joins your workforce, they apply learnings from earlier tasks and shortly ship a research-informed prototype. After a short strategy of testing and iteration, the brand new options go dwell, and the venture concludes on schedule and underneath funds. This isn’t a dream—I’ve seen situations like this play out for 15 years as a contract UI/UX designer, throughout which I’ve partnered with numerous shoppers similar to Royal Financial institution of Canada, Xello, and Rocket Houses Actual Property. I’ve additionally been a part of a number of time-sensitive, cash-strapped tasks requiring specialised abilities and insights. It’s all the time inspiring and gratifying when my work positively influences my shoppers’ merchandise and their in-house designers.

As extra extremely expert workers turn to freelancing, enterprise leaders are seeing that productivity and creativity enhance after they work with impartial expertise. Let’s study three of the largest advantages that freelance designers can carry to your organization.

McKinsey & Company reported that 36% of US workers identify as freelancers.
Because the variety of impartial staff continues to rise, firms must discover ways to leverage their expertise and numerous expertise.

1. Entry to Rising and Specialised Abilities

Freelance designers are inclined to work on quite a few tasks and infrequently purchase new abilities to deal with their shoppers’ extremely particular design issues. Stewart Pressney, Toptal’s Design Matching Group Lead, says that entry to specialised abilities is without doubt one of the important advantages of hiring freelance designers. Based on Pressney, impartial consultants are particularly efficient when firms carry them on for various levels of the design course of. “You may have somebody who’s nice at ideating and arising with ideas move their concepts off to somebody who’s good at implementing and creating pixel-perfect designs,” he says.

Freelancers are additionally a superb selection for exploring cutting-edge tendencies and know-how. For example, you would possibly rent a contract illustrator who focuses on 3D modeling and rendering to create photos that make your digital content material extra compelling and simpler to grasp. Or you could possibly have interaction a contract UX designer so as to add AR/VR options to your e-commerce app.

Think about generative AI brokers like OpenAI’s ChatGPT: These applied sciences have immense potential to rework digital services and products for the higher, however when you’re at a startup or small firm, chances are you’ll battle to draw design expertise with AI abilities. In such instances, impartial expertise could be a terrific approach to fill the abilities hole and reap the velocity, effectivity, and customization AI affords.

Harvard Business School reported an increase in innovation quality when companies hired freelance talent.
Direct sourcing freelancers might be time consuming and tough. An arguably higher approach to entry impartial designers is thru a expertise platform that totally vets its members, like Toptal.

2. Elevated Innovation and Creativity

For firms of any dimension, numerous views are important in finding effective solutions. As Toptal product designer Eric Müller Moreno says, outsiders have “extra freedom and openness to speak about harsh truths,” including that impartial specialists can uncover organizational inefficiencies that will have hindered earlier design efforts. Having consulted on product improvement and design technique for Common Music Group, Deloitte, and the United Nations, he has the uncommon perspective of an trade veteran who has partnered with organizations of all sizes.

For example, Moreno was employed by a subsidiary of a distinguished media model to refine the dwell beta of its robo-investment app for buying shares and ETFs. The app expenses customers based mostly on the funding kits they select. When Moreno got here to the venture, there was an MVP and a small person group, however the display group was clumsy, and the app supplied restricted decisions for investing. Most of all, it didn’t mirror the maturity and distinction of the mother or father model.

In some methods, the answer was hidden in plain view. “What I made a decision to do was, actually, simply comply with the [parent company’s] model information,” Moreno says. “There was good work accomplished. It was fairly concise … we simply wanted to raise it.”

To try this, the workforce developed subscription-based investment kits. Customers might decide from a number of funding methods, unfold their investments throughout sectors and fund sorts, and determine what share of their portfolio they wished allotted to every. The app’s algorithms then monitored and managed the portfolio, leveraging an AI agent to make sure diversification and safety in opposition to draw back dangers.

The venture started as a beauty intervention, however Moreno’s perception into the subscription fashions of SaaS merchandise outdoors the fintech sector elevated it to a brand new stage. His wide-ranging design experiences knowledgeable new options, together with thematic buying and selling choices, an funding dashboard, monetary objective setting, and an improved onboarding circulate. And, the choice to carry higher transparency to the fee mannequin contributed to a 144% enhance in income per person, a 275% enhance in belongings underneath administration development, and a 40% enhance in total product development.

3. Value Financial savings

One motive firms would possibly hesitate to rent freelance designers is perceived price. At face worth, an impartial expertise’s hourly fee seems larger than an worker’s. However firms hiring freelancers don’t should pay for 401(okay) plans, well being and incapacity insurance coverage, parental and medical depart, inventory choices, or efficiency bonuses. Moreover, most freelance designers work remotely on a per-project foundation, that means firms can theoretically additionally get monetary savings through the use of smaller offices and never paying underutilized full-time staff throughout lulls within the product improvement course of.

Companies can even rent impartial specialists to fill short-term roles which can be sometimes carried out by high-earning staff. For instance, Jake Kahana, a Toptal model designer, lately partnered with an actual property company on an app design venture that wanted to be accomplished shortly. The company lacked the funds for a full-time artistic director, however Kahana gave the corporate the strategic management perspective it wanted at a fee that labored for its funds. Overseeing a workforce of junior designers, he directed a fast-tracked effort to get the app up and working whereas constructing belief among the many company’s shoppers that the design imaginative and prescient was grounded in enterprise targets. Kahana entered the position with vetted experience and effectively delivered an answer the company wouldn’t have been capable of afford in any other case.

Select the Proper Freelance Designer for Your Subsequent Venture

Whether or not you want a graphic designer, UX researcher, or AI specialist, the advantages of hiring freelance designers are clear: Companies that achieve this are capable of leverage the nuanced abilities of design professionals who carry contemporary views to tasks—whereas conserving prices in test. The designers, in the meantime, get to be extra intentional in forging their profession paths, having access to numerous and significant alternatives that may speed up their skilled development. It’s a win-win scenario.

“As an impartial designer, you get alternatives to see totally different firms, totally different organizations, and alternative ways of doing issues. You’re capable of be reactive in a manner an in-house particular person won’t be. Professionally, I’ve had entry to tasks I by no means imagined I’d have had,” Moreno says, pointing to his latest work on an AI-powered database for the United Nations. “Once you do one thing like that, it actually offers you a way of goal.”