Need to outsource product design and development?

April 29, 2024
10 minute read
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Today, we're exploring a critical decision that can potentially shape your business's future: outsourced product design. You might wonder whether to keep all your creative processes in-house or explore the outsourcing world when you have a new product idea.

The digital product industry was born into a world familiar with outsourcing. You can now access talent regardless of location and find specialized and highly specific service providers.

But should you outsource everything or keep it all in-house?

As a UI/UX design agency, we've walked this path countless times by engaging with business owners like you contemplating outsourcing. But here's the deal: we don't want to convince you to outsource blindly. Many new products don't require an external design and development team, and forcing that partnership won't yield favorable results.

Outsourcing is more than just a cost-cutting strategy. It's a solution to hiring challenges and a gateway to fresh opportunities for your team and the product designer. You must carefully weigh the pros and cons to make the right call.

Imagine you run a thriving e-commerce business, and you're planning to launch a new website. You're tempted to outsource the design work to a talented agency.

But hold on, is it necessary?

Your existing in-house team has been doing great work so far. Is choosing an outsourcing model the right move?

Our comprehensive guide will explore the decision process and examine the advantages and disadvantages of in-house development and design.

Are you ready to find the perfect balance between in-house design, product development teams, and outsourcing wisdom? By the end of this article, you'll understand how outsourcing software product development and design can aid you in developing a new product, so keep reading.

What is involved with outsourcing product development services?

Now, let's get into the heart of the matter, understanding outsourced design and its specific components.

At its core, outsourced design delegates certain elements of your design process to external experts or agencies.

When outsourcing, you're getting specialized expertise. Usually, businesses hire:

  • A software development company
  • A product design team

These two types of teams can bring the best product possible to market for your business. As a result, the quality of your product will be superior by working with an outsourced team.

Whether you decide on an outsourcing service for web development or to develop your product and then provide app development services, our blog provides context - but only within design.

Here's an overview of what typically falls under the umbrella of outsourced design. But remember that we are not outlining the roles of a product developer in any capacity besides design.

Now let's get into it.

User interface design

UI entails the visual aspect of your product and how it appears and operates for users. UI designers are responsible for creating an aesthetically pleasing, user-friendly interface that aligns with your brand.

Businesses outsource this because they don't have access to a team of designers. But in some cases, they do so because it is more cost-effective for their business.

User Experience Design

While UI design deals with appearance, UX design explores functionality and user interaction. UX designers aim to create a seamless and intuitive user journey within your product.

Businesses hire UX experts via outsourcing to better understand their products and services. As a business owner, it can be difficult to see your product or service objectively. If you cannot, you will not be able to address the issues your users are experiencing.


Before finalizing your product, prototypes are developed to test and refine concepts. Outsourced designers often play an important role in transforming ideas into tangible prototypes for evaluation.

Outsourcing prototypes is common for businesses that do not have a design team. Or for businesses who want to free up their most valuable resource - time.

Graphic Design

Graphic design includes many visuals, from logos and branding materials to marketing assets. Outsourced graphic designers make your visual identity creative.

Businesses outsource this to benefit from design subscription services or when they need access to designers. Sometimes, businesses outsource this because design companies can help with asset centralization and design processes.

Product Redesign

If you already have an existing product, outsourced designers can assist in overhauling and optimizing it for improved performance and user satisfaction.

A business would outsource this because there are multiple steps in the process. A business could outsource one aspect of the job or the entire project.

Creative Consultation

Sometimes, you may simply need an expert's insights and a fresh perspective. Outsourced designers offer valuable advice and recommendations.

Let's see these in action.

Understanding outsourcing for software product development and design

Imagine you own a busy chain of coffee shops. You've launched a new mobile app to improve customer loyalty and streamline ordering.

While your in-house team efficiently manages the daily café operations, you recognize that creating an engaging, user-friendly app demands specialized expertise.

Now, outsourced design comes into play.

You entrust your app's UI/UX design to a respected design agency. They assume responsibility for crafting the app's appearance, functionality, and alignment with your brand's warm and inviting ambiance.

The decision allows you to tap into the expertise of designers who specialize in creating exceptional digital experiences, allowing you to concentrate on brewing the perfect cup of coffee.

In outsourced design, you gain access to a reservoir of talent and expertise that complements your business needs. It ensures your product's design sparkles as brightly as your love of your business.

What are the benefits of outsourcing product development and design?

With the example of the coffee shop above and an understanding of what outsourced design is - you may be curious to learn the specific benefits it affords your business.

Let's outline these one by one so you see the benefits.

Enhanced Expertise and Specialization

When you opt for outsourcing your product development and design, you're tapping into a vast pool of specialized expertise. Design agencies and professionals have honed their skills in:

  • crafting user-friendly interfaces
  • optimizing user experiences
  • learning the latest design trends

They bring a depth of knowledge that might be challenging to replicate with an in-house team.

The specialization ensures your product benefits from cutting-edge design techniques, elevating appeal and functionality.

Cost Efficiency and Scalability

One of the most compelling reasons to embrace outsourcing is the potential for cost savings. Instead of bearing the overhead costs of hiring and maintaining an in-house design team, outsourcing allows you to pay for the specific services you require.

As your project evolves or your business grows, you can easily adjust the scope of outsourced design services.

Faster Time to Market

In today's fast-paced business landscape, speed is often a competitive advantage. Outsourced design teams are well-versed in efficient design processes, allowing them to accelerate the development of your product.

They can swiftly create prototypes, iterate on designs, and make necessary adjustments. Their agility translates to a faster time to market so that you can outperform your competitors.

Access to a Global Talent Pool

Outsourcing goes beyond geographical boundaries, giving you access to a global talent pool.

You can collaborate with designers from diverse backgrounds and cultures, bringing fresh perspectives to your project.

Global reach also enables you to work with experts well-versed in your target markets.

It can help you create a product that resonates with many users.

Focus on Core Competencies

Outsourcing frees up valuable time and resources to concentrate on your core competencies.

Your in-house team can devote their energy to what they do best, whether it's:

  • product development
  • marketing
  • customer service

Outsourced design takes the design burden off your shoulders, allowing you to focus strategically on growing your business.

Mitigated Risk

With outsourcing, risk management is very important. Reputable design agencies often have established processes for quality assurance and risk mitigation.

They can navigate potential design challenges and ensure your project stays on track.

Their expertise reduces the risk of costly design errors or delays, providing peace of mind throughout the project's lifecycle.

These advantages show the clear benefits of outsourcing.

Whether you're a startup aiming to conserve resources, a mid-sized company seeking to accelerate growth, or an established business looking for fresh design perspectives, outsourcing offers a pathway to improved expertise, efficiency, and success.

Not all aspects of outsourced design are positive. So, let's get into the cons.

What are the cons when you choose outsourced product development and design?

The most apparent drawback of the outsourced design is the lack of direct, face-to-face communication with your designers.

However, learning to manage a design team can turn the lack of in-person communication into a positive.

So, what are the real cons of outsourcing your design?

Communication hurdles during the development process

Outsourcing can sometimes lead to communication challenges due to geographical and cultural differences.

We at Tenscope mitigate this by assigning dedicated project managers who facilitate clear and timely communication between your team and ours.

We use collaborative tools and maintain open channels to ensure that information flows smoothly.

By addressing any communication hurdles effectively, we ensure a smooth experience. You can also do this in your business by following our process.

Feeling a loss of control when you outsource software development

When you outsource, you might feel like you lose direct control over the design process.

We, and other design teams, understand the importance of aligning with your vision.

So, we maintain regular check-ins, provide detailed progress reports, and offer design previews.

Your input and feedback are seamlessly integrated into our design process. We involve you in shaping the final product and actively address concerns about control.

Quality assurance concerns after the product development process

Maintaining consistent quality across outsourced design projects can be a concern.

You can address this by implementing rigorous quality assurance processes.

These QA processes include comprehensive design reviews and thorough testing. It guarantees that your final product consistently meets and often exceeds your quality expectations.

Confidentiality and Security Risks

Sharing sensitive design-related information with external parties can pose security risks.

Most agencies emphasize security by implementing robust data security measures and comprehensive confidentiality agreements.

These measures safeguard your intellectual property and protect sensitive information throughout your engagement.

Dependency on External Partners

Dependency on external partners can be a potential challenge.

We encourage a collaborative approach that positions us as an extension of your team rather than a separate entity.

Our approach allows you to retain control over essential aspects of your project and adapt swiftly to changing requirements.

Therefore, we mitigate concerns about over-reliance on external partners.

Hidden Costs

Hidden costs can be a concern in outsourcing arrangements. Agencies usually provide detailed project estimates upfront, including potential additional costs.

Our clear and straightforward pricing structure ensures that you have full visibility into the financial aspects of the project.

It helps you avoid unexpected financial surprises.

Cultural and Brand Alignment

Ensuring outsourced designers understand and embody your brand's values and cultural context can be a nuanced challenge.

We immerse ourselves in your brand's ethos to create designs that align with your identity and your audience's enjoyment.

In addressing these challenges, we aim to provide comprehensive solutions that allow you to reap the benefits of outsourcing.

When would you not benefit from outsourced design?

Even if you are comfortable with solutions outsourced design teams offer for your concerns, outsourcing may not be right for your business 100% of the time.  

Product development companies offering design reduce uncertainty

Uncertainty is common with product development. This is where the expertise of product development companies offering design becomes valuable.

Design companies bring their experience perfected through numerous projects and collaborations across various industries.

Perhaps you're thinking outsourced design is an excellent choice for your business. But there's still more to consider.

So, when should you not consider outsourcing design?

You have unclear objectives that would hinder product development outsourcing to designers.

If your project objectives are not crystal clear, outsourcing can pose challenges. Designers thrive when they have a well-defined vision to work with.

The outsourcing process might lead to confusion and misalignment without a clear roadmap.

Your development company choices are inconsistent.

Maintaining consistency throughout your project is crucial, especially when it involves multiple design iterations.

Outsourcing to different designers or agencies for various phases can introduce inconsistencies in the final product.

So, if you decide to outsource, ensure everyone involved is briefed and on the same page first.

Outsourcing is a powerful tool, but it's not a one-size-fits-all solution. There are situations where alternative approaches might better serve your goals.

Need outsourced product development focusing on design?

If you're ready to explore the benefits of outsourced design and how it can transform your business, click the "Get Started" button at the top right of your screen.

Our team at Tenscope is here to help you effectively use the power of outsourced design.


We've discussed how outsourced design encompasses various components, from UI/UX design to graphic design and creative consultation.

Real-world examples have illustrated the practical applications of outsourced design.

On the positive side, outsourcing offers:

  • enhanced expertise
  • cost efficiency
  • scalability
  • faster time to market
  • access to a global talent pool
  • the ability to focus on core competencies

It also helps mitigate risks associated with design projects.

However, there are challenges. We explored how remote teams overcome them - but it doesn't guarantee your business is ready for outsourced design.

So, we've identified situations when outsourcing may not be the best choice.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is design outsourcing?

Design outsourcing is a service where expert product designers become part of the client's team and work together to build the product from research to design. It eliminates the need for hiring processes and allows the designer to remain with the client for as long as necessary.

What is outsourcing in design?

Outsourcing design is the practice of enlisting the services of external professionals or agencies to handle design tasks and projects, either to reduce costs or to access specific resources that may be unavailable in-house.

What are the main benefits of outsourcing design?

There are many advantages of outsourcing, such as cost efficiency, access to specialized expertise, accelerated time-to-market, and increased flexibility in scaling teams. If your development requires any of the above, you may heavily benefit from product design outsourcing.

How can businesses ensure quality control in outsourced design?

Regular communication and progress updates should be maintained, as well as establishing a clear understanding of expectations to ensure quality control in outsourced product design. Every detail of the product and its components should be clear.

What factors should be considered when selecting an outsourcing partner for design?

When selecting a partner, experience, communication, and pricing should be considered to ensure the best quality of service. Attention to these aspects will guide you in delegating design development to a specialized company.

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