10 Most Popular Product Design Companies Compared

Agency LocationHourly RateSize
Kanda SoftwareBoston, MA$50500 - 999
EmergePortland, OR$200Under 49
ExaudHouston, TX$5050 - 99
HumbleteamPrague, CZ$85Under 49
SmartSitesParamus, NJ$100100 - 249
FiveDotTwelveLodz, PLInquireUnder 49
PKG Brand DesignChicago, IL$150Under 49
Boldare Gliwice, PL$70100 - 249
A3logicsCarlsbad, CA$35250 - 499
SimformOrlando, FL$30Over 1000

 

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What Is A Product Designer?

A product designer is an expert who uses various design tools to create products that provide a relevant and positive experience to the end user.

Building a great product starts with design.

The goal of creating any type of product is to deliver a good user experience. That’s why designing a product entails a deep understanding of the customers' needs and wants.

Product design stands at the core of the customer’s journey.

Product designers strive to design products that deliver a solution to people’s problems. Before starting the design process of a product, they identify the target audience and conduct research into the user's behavior.

Although product design used to be related to physical products such as light installations, furniture or jewelry, nowadays it also applies to virtual products like apps, websites, software or any other digital platforms.

Well versed in design and technology, product designers create new products or improve existing products. They can design physical and digital products, packaging and more.

A product designer attempts to enhance user-product interaction by making products:

  • User-friendly
  • Innovative
  • Cost-effective
  • Aesthetically pleasing
  • And more
Top product design companies: Office desk with laptop, 3D printing gear and design materials
Only 50% of companies conduct behavior research before prompting their first design ideas and specs

How Does A Product Design Company Plan And Execute Their Design Process?

The design process starts with design thinking.

Design thinking is a creative process that reflects on the product development as a whole. It aims to determine how people’s needs, technology and businesses’ unique requirements can be integrated to designing an innovative product.

This helps designers to fully grasp the complete user experience of a product, not only the look and feel of the design. The design thinking process pushes product designers to:

  • Empathize
  • Define
  • Ideate
  • Prototype
  • Test

Product designers use different types of tools to bring their ideas to life, from drawing or sketching to industrial design software, graphic design apps or 3D.

Moreover, in order to test and see if the product is on the right track, product designers create prototypes. These can be digital mockups or drafted on paper.

What Do Product Design Companies Do?

Product design companies have teams of product designers, packaging experts, strategists and engineers who can design different product categories aligned with your business objectives.

These companies help you through every stage of the product development process, from strategy and market research to prototyping, design and manufacturing.

These are the services they typically specialize in:

  • Market research
  • Product strategy
  • Product design
  • Product UI/UX design
  • Product packaging
  • Industrial design
  • Digital design
  • Graphic design
  • Art direction
  • Product innovation
  • 3D product visualization
  • Mechanical engineering
  • Prototyping
  • Sourcing & manufacturing support
  • And more

Some product design firms help their clients with patenting and marketing of the products. In addition to the above services, they can offer services such as branding, consulting, digital marketing, eCommerce marketing and more.

How Much Do Product Design Firms Charge?

There are a number of costs that go into product design and product development, from brainstorming and materials to testing, 3D modeling or management.

Pricing for product design can range from a couple of thousand dollars to hundreds of thousands of dollars, depending on the product you are creating.

Ultimately, expect to pay at least $100 to $175 per hour for product design companies in the US and approximately $35 to $75 per hour for product design in outsourced firms.

Why Hire A Product Design Agency?

As user experience has become an essential part of the consumer’s journey, top product design companies use their technical and design expertise to deliver an integrated customer experience.

They understand the mechanics of products from beginning to end, thinking outside the box on the different scenarios for using the products, testing and validating them in order to provide innovative solutions.

Only 50% of businesses conduct consumer research before prompting their initial design ideas or specs.

By conducting behavioral research, analysis and prototyping, a product design company can help you save money and resources on launching a product that otherwise could not have performed well on the market.

An increasing number of companies have recognized the value of design and are integrating design thinking in their business strategy.

More than 70% of companies use design to reshape products, services or entire portfolios.

Through user-centered design approaches, these companies can help you make your brand memorable, improve customer satisfaction or even increase productivity.

In an age of abundance where we are flooded with all sorts of products that can make our life easier, product experience is what makes the difference: how customers perceive your product and what their experience is with the product.

Product design companies can help you craft products that consumers find useful and valuable, making your brand stand out in an oversaturated market.

A well-designed product attracts customers even without having to persuade them of its value, the design will speak for itself.

Let’s have a look at some examples of great product design:

Designed by Swiss designer Yves Behar, Forme Life is a fitness mirror with a resistance system built in that allows you to work out from the comfort of your home. In addition, the smart device comes with ankle straps and monitors your heart rate.

In the context of the coronavirus crisis, this is a great example of a product design that answers people’s needs.

Gita is a self-rolling robot that follows people on the go, storing their belongings. Shopping bags, backpacks or other stuff that people may carry, the mobile robot is a convenient solution to going outside for errands instead of riding a car.

Another problem-solving product is this app called Take my flight. Without much fuss, travelers can now sell their unwanted flight tickets or buy new ones directly from their mobile devices.

The Origami Bottle is a reusable bottle with a remarkable folding design that can collapse 80% in volume. Powered by collapsible design technology, this origami-inspired bottle can fit in your pocket, being extremely handy for outdoor activities and traveling.

All these products fall under the umbrella of good design because they primarily solve customers' pain points.

In other words, this is how product design can help your business and why you should hire a product design agency:

  • Give you a competitive edge
  • Make your brand stand out in a crowded marketplace
  • Increase your brand awareness and visibility
  • Develop a unique brand identity
  • Attract and engage new customers
  • Raise revenue
  • And more
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How To Choose The Best Product Design Firm?

With so many product design firms offering top-of-the-line services, choosing one may be a difficult task.

Consider these following aspects when choosing a product design firm:

  • Their services: Select a company that offers corresponding design and branding services. This includes branded content, package designs, ads, website design, user experience interfaces, mobile apps and more. They ensure all collateral creates the same experiences and fosters the same engagement.
  • Their process: Top product design companies in the USA take a results-driven approach to their design and development process. They set deadlines and ensure fluid communication throughout the process. They keep your business in the loop at all stages to help you meet your KPIs.
  • Their portfolio: Look at a company’s case studies, portfolio and track record to determine if they have the experience that matches your product and brand. Choose a firm that can develop a product design that resonates with your audience and drives consumers to buy.
  • Their talent: Product design companies have teams of design experts, competent engineers and data analysts with extensive skill sets to take your product to the next level. That means no juniors or entry-level employees will be working on your design which will ensure a successful outcome.
  • Their reviews: Look through a company’s reviews as they will provide you with insights about their resources and experience with prior clients, as well as their transparency and reliability.

10 Questions To Ask Product Design Companies

If you take the time to understand each product design company's potential, service offerings, average hourly rates, and more, you'll be sure to discover the firm that will help your brand grow.

However, make sure to gather as much information as you can about their approach, quality of work or their company culture.

Ask them these questions:

  1. Are you experienced in designing similar products as our own?
  2. Do you understand our niche and this specific product category?
  3. What does your design process look like?
  4. How will you create a product design and development strategy?
  5. Do you have the resources to handle end-to-end product development, from concept to production?
  6. How do you conduct market research and analyze data?
  7. How will you ensure that the product represents our brand well?
  8. What is the typical turnaround for this specific category product?
  9. Do you keep up with the latest trends in design?
  10. What do you prioritize in your design, visual appeal or user experience?
We’ve ranked the top graphic design companies.
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Takeaways On Top Product Design Companies

Product design firms keep up with industry trends and have access to the latest tools and resources to create consumer-focused products that stand out and grab your audience’s attention.

Top product design companies in the United States provide a wide range of services, including:

  • Consumer research
  • Product design
  • Product UI/UX design
  • Product packaging
  • Product innovation
  • Industrial design
  • And more

The average hourly rate for product designers ranges from $100 to $175.

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