2019's Best UX Design Agencies

Considering hiring a reputable UX design agency?

If you are, you probably already know that fixing a problem in the development stage costs ten times as much as fixing it in design. And it costs 100 times as much to fix a product that’s already been launched.

That’s why you’ll save you and your team some trouble by hiring a firm that specializes in UX design. Here, you’ll find 20 of the top candidates along with a detailed guide that will help you shortlist and discover your perfect match.

The Best UX Design Firms in the USA

Rank Company Hourly Rate Office Website
1 $150–$199 Austin, TX Learn More
The team at Slide customizes every project according to the client’s unique goals, helping them design a useful and optimized user experience. Honest and objective, they provide a collaborative approach with a focus on detail.
2 $150–$199 San Mateo, CA Learn More
Momentum is an award-winning agency that drives human-centric experiences through digital product innovation and game-changing business processes. Its services include research, product strategy, design, and development.
3 $100–$149 San Francisco, CA Learn More
Neuron is one of the best UI/UX design companies in the USA. It partners up with forward-thinking technology companies to create engaging and intuitive digital products that deliver results.
4 $100–$149 Austin, TX Learn More
Praxent excels in digital product design and development. Every decision is research-backed and developed with the customer in mind. Over the past two decades, the agency has launched over 300 projects, creating game-changing value for its clients.
5 $150–$199 San Francisco, CA Learn More
Clay is a San Francisco-based UX design and development agency. They apply behavioral science to the customer experience and design engaging digital products. In their impressive portfolio, you can find names like Facebook, Slack, and Google.
6 $200–$300 Washington, DC Learn More
Brave is one of the best full-service UX providers based in Washington, DC. It excels in designing and building complex app interfaces that users love. Plus, its team provides great customer service every step of the way.
7 $50–$99 Los Angeles, CA Learn More
Since 2010, Cruxlab has completed more than 100 projects for enterprises, businesses, and end users. Its design solutions are not only appealing but also user-friendly. Plus, its team applies cost-saving technologies, thereby increasing your ROI.
8 $150–$199 Chicago, IL Learn More
Fuzzy Math is one of the leading UX design firms in the USA. Based in Chicago, the agency serves clients on a global scale. The small team of professionals is collaborative and communicative, always keeping their clients in the loop.
9 $100–$149 Burlingame, CA Learn More
This agency is an expert in UI/UX design, product design, and development and branding. It leverages forefront technologies and its industry expertise to take user experiences to a whole new level.
10 $100–$149 Chicago, IL Learn More
Codal boasts a team of creators and innovators who have a knack for bringing out the best in every brand. The company’s philosophy has remained the same even after nine years in the industry: they make digital products as user-friendly as possible.
11 $200–$300 Chicago, IL Learn More
MSTQ utilizes a proprietary outcome-centered design approach—which combines storytelling, appealing visuals, interaction design, and psychology—to deliver desirable, usable products.
12 $100–$149 Irvine, CA Learn More
CreateApe is among the best UX design agencies. It offers creative, comprehensive, and personalized solutions that elevate the users’ experience and translate into measurable results.
13 $150–$199 Portland, OR Learn More
Experience Dynamics is the best UX design firm in Portland with a proven track record of success. Its unique user-centric methodology and consulting services are customized for each client’s specific product and industry.
14 Undisclosed San Francisco, CA Learn More
Awesomed is a data-driven agency whose products solve problems and improve retention. With a clear focus on the end-user, the team always chooses data over opinion in the decision-making and measuring processes.
15 $100–$149 San Francisco, CA Learn More
PLATFORM is a reputable UX design agency from San Francisco whose portfolio includes companies like Spotify, Avon, Samsung, and BMW. The team of designers and developers sets up an efficient workflow to help clients convert visitors and grow their business.
16 $150–$199 Brooklyn, NY Learn More
Humanist is an innovative UX design agency from NYC that builds products users love. Their holistic view unites technology, experience, and branding to ensure success. On top of that, the cross-functional teams are highly collaborative and transparent.
17 $100–$149 Raleigh, NC Learn More
Dreamten is a UX design studio that helps brands craft delightful products that are loved by users and bring measurable results. The team analyzes, organizes, and visualizes in ways that transform design problems into intuitive interfaces.
18 $100–$149 Los Angeles, CA Learn More
WANDR is a design firm based in LA whose agile team designs for a great user experience. Their approach derives from a deep understanding of the business combined with an ability to identify the perfect creative strategy.
19 $100–$149 Chicago, IL Learn More
UX 4Sight is a Chicago-based agency that solves business problems by merging user-centric design with evidence-based user research to craft digital products that are easy to use. Their actionable deliverables improve the customer experience and the client’s bottom line.
20 $200–$300 Salem, MA Learn More
Founded in 2014, Altr grew to become one of the leading UX design agencies in the USA. This team of strategists and creatives designs and develops digital products that deliver real value to each client’s business.

Choosing the Best UX Design Companies in the USA

A Step-by-Step Evaluation Methodology

Our goal is to present you with objective rankings that can help you find the right agency for your UX design needs. To accomplish our mission, we’ve devised an all-inclusive evaluation methodology that considers multiple aspects, including the agency’s proficiency, project management methods, processes, customer satisfaction, and more. The following is a walkthrough of what we did to make sure you end up with a website that satisfies all 6 core UX qualities.

The Agency’s Proficiency

We begin our evaluation of each UX design company with its website. Once we land there, we consider how UX-friendly the design is because we firmly believe in the saying, “practice what you preach.”

The next step is going through the agency’s portfolio to determine their experience and expertise. Beyond the attractive screens, we consider the variety and quality of work done and try to answer the following questions:

  • Do they work with a variety of industries or specialize in a particular niche?
  • Are they able to reach the client’s goals?
  • Did the product solve the client’s problems?
  • Do they have experience working with businesses of different sizes?

Finally, we gauge the testimonials that the UX design agency provides. It’s worth noting that we don’t put too much weight on this factor mainly because companies can easily alter the testimonials. That’s why we go a step further and assess client satisfaction through the reviews and ratings shared by clients on review sites, social media, and Google. These give a clearer picture of the agencies’ strengths and weaknesses. Of course, unless the number of negative reviews is overwhelming, we won’t necessarily disregard the agency.

The Vetting Process

Once we have our potential candidates, we continue evaluating more specific aspects to shortlist the companies. Examining the processes they use provides us with important information regarding the agencies’ experience and credibility, as well as the quality of their work.

When assessing whether the UX design companies have a reliable process that combines visual design and usability, we look for the following:

Deep User Research

First of all, we assess the agency’s research methods. Research gives insight into the target users—their needs, goals, behavior, and motivation. There are different types of user research, but we consider these to be most important:

Card Sorting

Card sorting is a research method in which individuals of the target audience organize topics into groups according to what makes sense to them. Card sorting helps in creating an information architecture that meets the audience’s expectations.

Focus Groups

Effective UX design firms will use focus groups to learn the needs, ideas, attitudes, and desires of users and how your product addresses them. They’re best used to test the product’s usability or to collect direct feedback on proposed features.

Heuristic Evaluation and Expert Reviews

A heuristic evaluation is used to discover usability issues in the design. Expert reviewers can assess the interface and compare it against set usability principles.

Personas

The goal of creating personas is to have reliable representations of the most important audience segments so you can identify the different types of users that might use your site, brand, service, or product. A top UX designer would base personas on qualitative and quantitative research, as well as web analytics.

Surveys

Surveys are quantitative methodologies that help you learn more about the people visiting your site: who they are, what they want to accomplish, what information they’re looking for, and more.

Use Cases

Use cases outline the possible interaction sequences between users and systems in a specific environment regarding a specific goal. In simpler terms, it’s a collection of possible scenarios related to achieving a certain goal.

Usability Evaluation

A usability evaluation explores the quality of the users’ experience with a particular product. To collect this information the agency needs to be agile in the following practices:

Wireframing

User experience design firms should be able to create an illustration of the website or app page that presents how the space on the page will be allocated, how the content and images will be distributed, and what functions are available. This guides how a visitor will use the website. The focus here is on the site navigation and structure rather than the visual layer.

Prototyping

The UI/UX design company should then move on to prototyping. This is the first version of the site, which should be a close representation of the user interface and how everything will look. This enables the designer to experiment with ideas and check the usability and functionality before coding. By building a prototype, the agency will save you a lot of time and money.

Testing

Testing is an essential step for the UX design agency because it allows you to polish the design. It gives a great opportunity to resolve any errors or usability problems before the site is finished.

User Interface Design

The UI design is all about predicting the users’ needs in order to make sure that the interface has all the necessary elements. UI brings together several important concepts:

Information Architecture and Visual Hierarchy

Information architecture shows a website’s navigation structure and thus, the organizational hierarchy. Working through this format gives the UX/UI designer an opportunity to learn whether the individual pieces of the site fit together and to see how they relate within the structure.

Interaction Design

Interaction design involves creating captivating interfaces based on a deep understanding of how users interact with the product. This enables the designer to anticipate the user’s interaction, fix any issues, and guide the user into fulfilling the desired outcome.

Aesthetic Design

Aesthetic design is centered around the site’s visuals. It involves a strategic placement of colors, fonts, images, and other elements like shapes, lines, and textures. The best UI/UX design companies can effectively create a visual design that gives users a smooth transition throughout the page. This helps them stay focused on the content and reinforces trust in the brand.

Additional Services

We also look beyond UX design and consider whether the agencies offer other important services. While not a decisive factor for rankings, offering a broader scope of services certainly adds favorable points to the companies we evaluate. Here are a few extra services we assess:

Content vs. Lorem Ipsum Design

While hiring a content marketing company works well, it also doesn’t hurt to have the experts crafting your design strategize your content too. The design is a tool that presents your content with the user’s intent in mind. Preparing a content strategy as part of the design process ensures that the content will be well structured, useful, and engaging.

Accessibility

Although not all of you will need this, we made sure to list verified UX design agencies that know the best practices for accessibility. This way, you’ll have options in case you need a design that’s navigable for people with disabilities.

Web Analytics

This refers to collecting, reporting, and analyzing data. If you want to modify an existing design or see what worked and what didn’t, know that the agencies we listed will deliver actionable insights that rely on multiple tools and KPIs.

Web Development

On our list, you’ll find UX design companies that also handle web development. The only companies we feature from the latter group are the ones that tick all the boxes on our evaluation methodology for web development companies too.

Project Management

Even if you have an in-house team to handle the hands-on work, you need someone who has a deep understanding of how to oversee your site. We filtered the companies that are skilled in providing consultant UX design services. A UX design consultancy embodies different subdomains. This can help the designer complete a UI/UX audit, fulfill business model validation, prioritize ideas, adopt new technology, implement user research techniques, and more.

Competitive Analysis Report

A user experience agency needs to determine whether there’s a good market fit for your site before starting the design process. Also, a full-fledged competitive analysis should outline your top competitors and what they’re doing right. It should also list their weak points and show how a better UX can make a difference. From this, they can plan and create a product with a competitive advantage that provides a superior user experience.

Tools and Workflow

What tools the agency uses and how its workflow looks are two important factors that should rule your final decision. We don’t trust companies that aren’t familiar with the tools used by the best UX designers, such as Sketch, MockFlow, Axure, and Adobe XD.

Furthermore, learning how the agency handles its workflow shows us whether they work in teams and what the focus and skills of each staff member are. Some of them might be UX-oriented only, while others can also provide UI skills or additional tasks like documentation.

Specifications for Developers

Top UX designers know the importance of putting together a style guide and specifications. These resources ease the next steps for the development team, ensuring that the designs will be implemented in a consistent manner.

Transparency, Communication & Collaboration

The top UX design firms have a skilled team that knows how important transparency and good communication is. They should know how to deliver information so that you as a client can understand them. To assess this ability, we go through customer reviews to find specific references to the company’s communication style. Sometimes, we even reach out directly to the agencies and present ourselves as potential clients.

Pricing

Most UX design pricing depends on the scope of the project. We consider the companies that charge both by the hour and by project. However, it’s important they’re clear about the type of pricing model they use. Additionally, we assessed whether the agency’s rate complies with industry standards. And if it doesn’t, we verified whether there was a solid reason for the discrepancy.

Before You Hire the Agency

Our list encompasses the leading UX designers out there. However, to shortlist the candidates and find the best UX design agency for your needs, you need to follow several important steps.

Define Your Goals

Understanding your objectives is paramount. You need to have a clear vision of how you want the site to benefit your business so that you can properly convey it to the design team. Also, consider what deliverables the designer should create and what your main requirements and expectations are.

Check the Agency’s Industry Experience

Each industry is different, so you need to ensure the agency you choose has experience in yours. This way, they’ll be able to come up with unique ideas and deliver a better output.

Establish a Budget

Another important factor to consider when shortlisting your UX design firms is your budget. If you’re on a tight one, consider the agencies that offer more affordable services. However, always make sure you know exactly what’s included in the price and whether you’ll be billed for certain additional services.  

Review the Agency’s Culture

UX design takes time, so your partnership should be a healthy one. Assess the agency’s culture and the personalities of the team members. You should go for mutual respect, good understanding, and a smooth rapport.

Do You Have a Fixed Deadline?

Setting and meeting deadlines are two major aspects of time management. If you have a fixed deadline for launching the site or app, you should be clear about it so that both you and the agency’s team are on the same page.

FAQs

How much does a UX designer cost?

The cost of hiring a UX designer will depend on the scope of your project. In fact, the biggest factor for determining the price is your project’s level of complexity. The designer’s job includes learning how users can best interact with each feature on the website or app, which is far more complicated for larger projects. On average, you should expect to pay $25–$75 per hour for a general UX design project.

Why is UX good for a business?

UX design is all about delivering customer satisfaction by improving a site or app’s usability. Designing with the customer in mind is vital because it helps you leave a great first impression. In a nutshell, UX design helps you with several factors:

 

  1. It increases brand loyalty
  2. It boosts conversions
  3. It reduces costs in the long run
  4. It delivers healthy SEO rankings

What is a UX consultant?

A user experience consultant is concerned with the part of a site or app that the end user sees and interacts with. This involves the layout, the interface, and any interactive elements. The job of a UX consultant is to make the site or app easy to use, ensuring that it works how users expect it to.

How much does a UX consultant charge?

The average cost you should expect a good UX consultant to charge is between $15 and $75 per hour. The price varies according to the project scope and what’s expected from the consultant. However, be sure to check whether your chosen UX agency provides this service, since the best usually do.

What does a UX strategist do?

A user experience strategist is responsible for shaping and communicating UX strategies and design. The role requires a high level of organization since they envision, plan, and drive the UX project with the other team members.

What are the most popular UX prototyping tools?

There are many tools that UI/UX design firms use for prototyping, but some of the most popular ones are Sketch, MockFlow, Flinto, Marvel, FIGMA, and InVision.

Is the agency’s location important?

While it shouldn’t be a deciding factor, you might want to keep the agency’s location in mind. You need to consider when and how the team will be available to communicate with you. If you prefer face-to-face meetings, you should go with a locally based UX design agency. However, if you don’t mind having Skype sessions, you can consider candidates from all over the country.

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