UI Designers on Upwork cost $20–$40/hr.

Learn about common cost factors to budget your hiring on the world's work marketplace.
UI Designers average prices bell curve

$20 $40

Median hourly rates (USD)*

How much does it cost to hire a UI designer?

Depending on the complexity of your UI, doing this well may require the overlapping expertise of a few disciplines: developer, analyst, designer, researcher, and marketer. With these insights and understanding, a UI designer can help to create a product that responds to your user’s actions with clarity, efficiency, and purpose.

Deciding which qualities are most important in a UI designer can be a challenge, but it’s an important hurdle that will help you more accurately estimate your budget. Here are three main factors that contribute to a UI design project’s cost.

1. The Scope of the Design Project

An experienced UI designer will quote a price that’s based on the amount of work to be completed throughout the project. This may include factors such as end-product functionality, the complexity of the design elements, and the amount of testing required before rollout.

Some UI design responsibilities that can increase project scope include:

  • Design research: How established is your brand guideline? Do you need to go through any design thinking or brainstorming to identify problems the design should solve?
  • Customer analysis:Have you established personas and done research into your customers’ goals and preferences?
  • Creating storyboards, wireframes, and prototypes:What is needed for each phase of design? Will you need storyboards and UX wireframes? Will you need a complete set of interactive, clickable prototypes? How will the UI designer collaborate with other designers and developers on the project?
  • Interactive elements:What gestures, animations, or other elements will the design require? How complex will your site’s architecture, navigation, CTAs (calls to action), notifications, and prompts be?

Providing a thorough outline of the work expected is essential for any freelance professional to provide an accurate bid. Leaving too many of the variables undefined can lead to “scope creep”, which can cause a budget to spiral out of control.

2. The Amount of User Testing Required

UI design should be a direct reflection of the end-user’s purpose, so testing is almost always required for it to be a success. The amount of testing will vary and will ultimately be defined through the number of screens, interactions, and choices a user can make within your UI.

Such testing can yield valuable customer feedback and insights: Do the page names tell a user exactly what they’ll find on that page? Do the buttons stand out enough in your app? Is it easy to complete a transaction? How well does search work? Are the forms and drop-downs working properly?

Some projects may require several rounds of testing—in some cases, including both automated and manual—in order to make sure user interactions progress as intended. And the variety of users you’re targeting may also be a factor in the cost of the project. That’s why personas and storyboards can be so critical early in the process.

Top-level UI designers will have polished methods to gain the insights they need as quickly and as efficiently as possible, which can save your project money in the long run.

3. The Complexity of the Information Architecture

When it comes to UI design, simplicity is key. But for sites or apps that have a lot of content and interactions, complexity is a fact of life. Complexity requires more time and energy—and testing—on the part of the UI designer to ensure the architecture accurately reflects the information while remaining easy to navigate.

It’s not uncommon for there to be a bit of healthy debate over the information architecture, especially when there are multiple stakeholders and different opinions about what information, pages, or screens should get priority. Defining and testing these factors early in the process will help ensure your team isn’t over-designing, but this factor commonly contributes to increased cost for a UI designer

4. The Designer’s Experience and Rate



(Estimated billing rates charged by intermediate-level, U.S. based specialists)

Project Type Average Price (per hour)
Interface Layout/Design $30-$125
Visual Design $40-$90
Interaction Design $35-105

Most freelance UI designers post hourly rates to their Upwork profiles as their preferred way of being compensated. Some may prefer a flat fee for projects that are straightforward in their requirements as well.

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