San Francisco skyline​
San Francisco is home to 4,760 graphic designers

How Do Product Design Agencies In San Francisco Differ From Other U.S.-Based Competitors?

While these agencies offer standard product design services, several reasons distinguish them from all other competitors:

Reason #1: San Francisco Is One Of The Most World’s Most Talent Competitive Cities

Based on INSEAD Knowledge’s Global Talent Competitiveness Index, San Francisco ranked 12th in the world for talent competitiveness.

According to the organization:

“Talent competitiveness refers to the set of policies and practices that enable a country (or a city) to develop, attract and empower the human capital that contributes to productivity and prosperity. As global mobility tends to increase, talented individuals focus less on which country they want to go to and more on which city they want to live in. And cities are increasingly defining their own methods and strategies to attract, retain and develop talent.”

Some of the methodologies that INSEAD Knowledge used to rank the cities are:

  • GDP per capita
  • Quality of life
  • Environmental quality
  • Presence of major universities

And it seems that San Francisco has it all to attract, retain and develop its talent.

The city holds the 10th spot on U.S. News rankings on best places to live in the country because:

  • It is one of the most desirable places to live.
  • It has a stable and growing job market.
  • The residents enjoy a high quality of life.

Being home to some of the most internationally recognized schools like the University of San Francisco, California College of Arts and the Academy of Art University, the city produces top-grade professionals that contribute with their fresh perspective.

Additionally, San Francisco’s unemployment rate amounts to 5.4%, which is lower than the national average of 6%. In 2020, it saw a job market increase of 1.3%.

Another aspect that makes this Californian city one of the most attractive places for highly skilled talent is the high salaries its residents get. With an average annual salary of $72,400, San Francisco is the #1 highest-paying city in the nation. (U.S. News)

However, San Francisco is also known for its cost of living index that is 80% higher than the national average, making it one of the most expensive places to live in the U.S.

With skyrocketing living expenses, we can assume that only the best product designers can make it here.

Reason #2: San Francisco Is An Innovative Hub

With a score of 55, Innovation Cities ranked San Francisco as the ninth most innovative city in the world. The score was based on these three factors:

  • Cultural assets (including designers, art galleries and museums)
  • Human infrastructure (including universities, business and venture capital)
  • Networked markets (location, tech and economies of related entities)

The San Francisco Bay Area is also the sixth biggest hub of graphic designers in the U.S., with 4,760 currently in practice.

On the other hand, the city boasts impressive cultural attractions. From world-renowned art galleries and museums to showcasing collections of street art and operas, the city’s arts and culture scene is incredibly diverse.

This is where local product design agencies in San Francisco possibly get their inspiration from.

Additionally, the innovative landscape and high salaries make the city the best place for startups in 2021.

So, it comes as no surprise that its metropolitan area has the highest number of startups per capita.

This environment attracts many huge brands, including:

  • Salesforce
  • Visa
  • Amazon
  • Siemens
  • Deloitte
  • Microsoft
  • Google

Being exposed to notable brands like these, product design firms in San Francisco are bound to:

  • Stay on top of design trends
  • Use cutting edge tools
  • Offer high-quality services

Reason #3: San Francisco Has The #1 Market For Tech Talent In The Country

Being home to Silicon Valley, the world-leading center for high technology and innovation, the San Francisco Bay Area is the leading place for tech talent in the country, with a labor pool size of 379,670.

These professionals have access to reputable research centers and cutting-edge tools and technologies, allowing them to offer high-end services to clients worldwide.

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What Services Can You Outsource To Product Design Firms In San Francisco?

Product design agencies in San Francisco specialize in improving the user-product interaction by designing products that are:

  • User-friendly
  • Aesthetically pleasing
  • Innovative
  • Cost-effective

These specialized companies can assist you with:

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

In addition to this, product design agencies in San Francisco can provide you with other services, including:

What sets San Francisco-based product designers apart from their U.S.-based counterparts is their experience in the locally dominant industries such as:

  • Tourism
  • Technology
  • Financial services

How Much Does Product Design In San Francisco Cost?

Several factors influence the cost of product design companies in San Francisco, including:

  • Design module availability
  • The extent of customization
  • Design complexity

In general, hourly rates start as low as $15 and can go as high as $200. The huge price difference is a result of the company’s reputation and team size.

When it comes to project-based costing, most would fall between $2,000 to hundreds of thousands of dollars, based on the type of product you are creating as well as its complexity.

Why Should You Hire A Product Design Agency In San Francisco?

These are the key reasons why you should partner with a product design agency in San Francisco:

#1. Unparalleled talent pool

Thanks to its strong job market, high average salaries and great quality of life, San Francisco attracts some of the finest product designers in the nation.

Considering that it is home to Silicon Valley, a place where local companies and professionals can benefit a lot from the innovative mindset and professional networks, this is where the most talented experts go to develop their careers.

This means that product design agencies in San Francisco employ some of the finest designers in the country who develop outstanding products.

#2. Forward-thinking approach

Due to their proximity to the world-leading center for high technology and innovation as well as the city’s diverse cultural and art scene, local product designers are notorious for their creativity and innovation capacities.

Product designers operating in the area gain a lot from the growth mindset the city cultivates. They also have access to cutting-edge tools and technologies, allowing them to deliver better products.

#3. Local market know-how

Unlike their U.S.-based counterparts, product design agencies in San Francisco are uniquely positioned to deliver successful projects for local clients and businesses. This comes as a result of the extensive experience they have gained in the locally dominant sectors.

They understand the ins and outs of the local markets, the needs of the local audience and the competitors’ strengths and weaknesses. They can offer unique insights into your industry that will give you a competitive advantage.

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How To Choose The Best Product Design Agency In San Francisco

A few best practices to follow before you start your search for the best product design agency in San Francisco are:

  • Make a list of clearly set project requirements.
  • Understand how much money you can allocate.

These are little factors that will help you select an agency that can fit your needs and budget.

Then, you may follow these key steps:

Step #1: Look Into Their Portfolios And Case Studies

Go through the portfolios and case studies of each prospective product design agency in San Francisco to see if they have a track record in designing and launching a product with their clients.

Additionally, check their past work to determine if they have experience in similar sectors to yours.

The companies with relevant industry experience will be more suited to create products that match your brand and personality.

Step #2: Ask About Their Strategic Process

Product design is a creative process, but it also relies on research and evidence-based methodologies.

Therefore, your partner should be strategic and start the process with thorough market research. The aim is to collect valuable info on your brand, audience and competition.

This is a vital step that will help your agency illuminate the key features of your product and deliver a project that drives success.

Step #3: Learn About Their UX Approach

During their projects, product designers take on different responsibilities because, at the end of the day, they are not just developing a new product, but creating a brand.

Having said that, the partner you hire should be able to create a consistent brand experience that will:

  • Be in line with your personality
  • Remind your customers of who you are
  • Increase trust and loyalty

So, be sure to ask how they approach UX and how they can ensure the delivery of a consistent and clean product.

10 Questions To Ask Product Design Companies In San Francisco Before Hiring One

Once you narrow down the list of potential companies, be sure to address the following questions:

  1. Have you worked on similar projects before? Can you show me some examples?
  2. How familiar are you with my industry? Do you understand our product category well?
  3. What does your strategic process look like? Can you explain the major stages briefly?
  4. What methods do you follow and do you have the resources to handle the project from start to finish?
  5. What are the current trends in product design and will you implement any in my design?
  6. How will you make sure this new product represents my brand well?
  7. What is your approach to user experience? How can you ensure my audience will be satisfied with the product?
  8. What level of involvement can I expect from you during the project?
  9. Which designers will work on it and what is their level of experience?
  10. What is the estimated cost?

Takeaways On Product Design Agencies In San Francisco

Product design agencies in San Francisco stand out from other U.S.-based competitors for their:

  • Unparalleled talent pool
  • Forward-thinking approach
  • Local market know-how

Services may cost you between $15 and $200 per hour, depending on various factors like design complexity.

To choose the best fit for your business needs, make sure you set clear project requirements and budget.

A few more steps that you should take to narrow down the list of potential candidates are:

  • Look into their portfolios and case studies
  • Ask about their strategic processes
  • Learn about their approach to UX

Best of luck!


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