Negotiating Higher Rates: UX/UI Design Tips
Written by  Daisie Team
Published on 7 min read


  1. Know your value
  2. Research market rates
  3. Build a strong portfolio
  4. Showcase your skills
  5. Negotiate with confidence
  6. Ask for feedback
  7. Build long-term relationships

Getting a raise or negotiating a better rate is an art. It's not just about asking, but about asking right. You're already a pro at UX/UI design, and now it's time to become a pro at negotiating your worth. This blog will guide you through the process of how to negotiate UX/UI designer rates effectively, so you can get the pay that matches your talent and hard work.

Know Your Value

First things first: you need to know what you bring to the table. Your value isn't just based on your skills or your years of experience – it's about the unique perspective you bring, the problems you solve, and the impact you create.

Let's break down what this means:

  • Unique Perspective: As a UX/UI designer, you're not just creating pretty interfaces. You're leveraging your unique understanding of users and technology to create experiences that work. This is a unique value that you bring, and it's key in knowing how to negotiate UX/UI designer rates.
  • Problem Solving: You're a problem solver. You look at a challenge and you find a solution that fits the user's needs and the business goals. This ability to bridge the gap between users and businesses is a valuable asset.
  • Impact: Every design decision you make has an impact on the user experience and ultimately on the business. This is a big responsibility and it's something that should be considered when negotiating your rates.

So, how do you quantify this value? Start by reflecting on your past projects and achievements. Think about the challenges you overcame, the solutions you found, and the impact your work had on the business. This will give you a solid basis to start your negotiations from.

Remember: knowing your value is the first step in negotiating higher rates. It gives you the confidence to stand your ground and advocate for yourself. So take the time to really understand your value – it's worth it.

Research Market Rates

Now that you know your value, it's time to see where you stand in the market. Researching market rates for UX/UI designers might sound like a tedious task, but it's a critical step in knowing how to negotiate UX/UI designer rates.

So, where do you start? There are several resources out there to help you. Websites like Glassdoor, PayScale, and Indeed offer salary insights for different roles and locations. You can also reach out to your peers, mentors, or industry groups for information.

Here are some tips to make your research effective:

  • Look at your location: Rates can vary greatly based on location. Make sure to consider this while researching.
  • Consider your level of experience: With more experience, you can command higher rates. Take this into account while comparing.
  • Don't forget about your skills: Specialized skills can increase your value. If you have such skills, look for rates that factor them in.

Remember, these rates are just a benchmark. They give you an idea of what the market is paying, but they don't define your worth. Use this information as a starting point for your negotiations, not the end goal.

And here's a little secret: Employers expect you to negotiate. They know the market rates as well as you do. So, don't be afraid to ask for what you deserve.

Build a Strong Portfolio

Next step on our journey on how to negotiate UX/UI designer rates is building a strong portfolio. Now, you may think, "I'm a designer, not a builder!" But hear me out.

Your portfolio is the showcase of your talent, skills, and creativity. It's a tangible proof of your work, and it speaks volumes about your capabilities. A well-crafted portfolio can make a strong argument for a higher rate.

So, how do you build a strong portfolio? Here are some tips:

  • Show, don't tell: Instead of simply listing out your skills, demonstrate them through your work. If you claim to be good at creating user-friendly interfaces, make sure your portfolio reflects that.
  • Quality over quantity: It's better to have a few impressive projects that showcase your best work rather than a multitude of mediocre ones. Focus on your most successful projects and detail your role and the impact of your work in them.
  • Keep it updated: Make sure your portfolio reflects your current skills and style. As you grow as a designer, so should your portfolio. Regularly adding new projects will show that you're active and continuously improving.

In the end, a strong portfolio not only helps you stand out from the crowd, but also gives you the confidence to negotiate better rates. After all, seeing is believing, right?

Showcase Your Skills

Now that we've built a strong portfolio, it's time to showcase those hard-earned skills. This is like setting up a shop window to attract potential customers - in this case, clients who would be willing to pay higher rates for your UX/UI design services.

So, how do you showcase your skills effectively? Let's look at some strategies:

  • Master the jargon: Understanding and using UX/UI design terminology fluently can boost your credibility. Just make sure to break down complex terms so potential clients can understand the value of your work. For instance, explain how 'responsive design' ensures their website will look great on all devices.
  • Prove your adaptability: UX/UI design trends are ever-changing. Show that you can keep up by demonstrating your adaptability. Have you recently designed a successful app using the latest flat-design trend? Mention it!
  • Highlight problem-solving skills: At its heart, UX/UI design is about solving problems. Make potential clients see this by highlighting your problem-solving skills. Show how your design made a website more navigable, or an app more user-friendly.

Remember, the key here is not just to list your skills, but to demonstrate them in action. Not only will this give potential clients a better understanding of what you can do, but it will also help you negotiate higher UX/UI designer rates.

Negotiate with Confidence

Now comes the part that some of us dread - the negotiation. But fear not, armed with the right preparation and mindset, you can approach this with confidence.

So how do you negotiate UX/UI designer rates with confidence? Here's how:

  • Have a clear pricing structure: Don't be vague about your rates. Have a clear pricing structure that you can explain to your potential clients. This could be based on the project or on an hourly basis. Either way, knowing your worth and being able to articulate it can significantly boost your confidence during negotiations.
  • Don't undersell yourself: It's easy to feel intimidated during negotiations and just accept the first offer. But remember, you've worked hard to build your skills and portfolio. Don't undersell yourself. Be prepared to walk away if the offer doesn't match your expectations.
  • Practice your pitch: Practice makes perfect, especially when it comes to negotiations. Role-play with a friend or mentor. Ask for feedback and refine your pitch. The more you practice, the more confident you'll be when it's time for the real deal.

Remember, confidence comes from knowing your worth and being able to effectively communicate it. So stand tall, and negotiate like you mean it. After all, you're not just negotiating a contract, you're negotiating your future. Now, who's ready to negotiate higher UX/UI designer rates?

Ask for Feedback

One of the best ways to improve your negotiating skills and increase your UX/UI designer rates is to ask for feedback. But how exactly do you solicit constructive criticism that can help you grow?

  • Be Open and Receptive: Approach your clients, peers, or mentors with an open mind, ready to receive their thoughts. Show them that you value their opinion and are willing to make changes to enhance your work.
  • Ask Specific Questions: Instead of a generic "What do you think?", ask pointed questions like "How can I improve my communication during negotiations?" or "What would make my design portfolio more compelling?". This will guide them to provide more actionable feedback.
  • Learn from the Feedback: Feedback is only useful if you apply it. Analyze the feedback, identify your areas of improvement, and work towards enhancing those skills. Remember, growth is a continuous process.

So, keep the lines of communication open, continuously seek feedback, and use it as a stepping stone to negotiate higher UX/UI designer rates. After all, every piece of feedback is a golden nugget of wisdom that brings you one step closer to your goal. So, are you ready to ask, learn, and grow?

Build Long-Term Relationships

Long-term relationships are the backbone of any successful business, and it's no different for a UX/UI designer. But why exactly are they important when you're looking to negotiate higher rates?

  • Trust and Respect: Over time, you build trust and respect with your clients. They know the quality of your work and your reliability. This puts you in a stronger position to negotiate your rates, as they value your input and are willing to compensate you fairly for it.
  • Consistent Work: With long-term clients, you can enjoy a consistent stream of projects. This not only ensures steady income but also gives you more opportunities to negotiate your rates over time.
  • Referrals: Satisfied clients are likely to refer you to others. This expands your network, bringing in new prospects where you can apply your improved negotiation skills.

Building long-term relationships isn't just about increasing your current rates—it's about securing your future in the UX/UI design industry. So, next time you wrap up a project, don't just move on to the next one. Instead, take the time to nurture that relationship. Remember, it's a marathon, not a sprint.

If you're looking to improve your negotiation skills and secure higher rates for your UX/UI design projects, we highly recommend checking out Tetiana Gulei's workshop, 'Do's and Don'ts of UX Portfolio.' This workshop will not only help you create a strong portfolio showcasing your best work, but will also give you valuable insights on how to present yourself to potential clients and negotiate higher rates for your projects.