Productizing our UX agency: Monthly design & development subscriptions

Why we productized our UX agency, creating monthly design & development subscriptions instead of traditional retainers

Dan Spratling sitting in a bar window with a drink, smiling

Dan Spratling

Productized UX: Monthly design & development subscriptions


Sep 18, 2023

Last Edited

Oct 19, 2023

Read Time

3 mins



Retainers power almost every agency.

In case you need a reminder.

A retainer is a repeating subscription service where an agency/freelancer offers either a specific service (like hosting or website audits) or hours of their time on repeat every month.

But times are changing

Modern businesses value transparency

And hiding your pricing and included services, forcing your customers to get in touch with you to understand exactly what you can support them with, is falling out of fashion.

What is productised pricing for agencies?

Productized pricing for agencies is a new twist on retainers that highlights what an agency can offer, showing their pricing and services up front.

Inspired by many SaaS products, agencies will offer a fixed service for a fixed price.

You can see our productized pricing on our pricing page.

How it works for us

Our productized pricing is built around being able to help as many businesses as possible while still being able to provide the best service we possibly plan.

We have 3 pricing tiers, plus a custom tier for anyone looking for expanded offering.

  • Starter - Best for small businesses and startups needing impactful and focused support, but with a limited budget

  • Growth - Best for medium businesses who need extra support, but don’t want to commit to hiring a full time employee

  • Professional - Best for larger businesses who need a higher level of extra support

These tiers weren’t pulled out of thin air. These tiers were based on our retainers that we’d been working with our current and previous clients on.

Where our tiers came from

We’d noticed a pattern with our clients where we’d typically be working in one of three approaches.

For our smaller clients, we’d provide mostly consulting support with a little design or development work. We were typically pointing them in the right direction and filling in any gaps they might have in their knowledge.

For everyone else, we’d be helping them restructure their application which would require us to use our user experience driven expertise to understand their needs and implement the best solutions, with the main difference being if we supported with design or development (or both).

The benefits of productizing

By switching our approach we significantly simplify our offering.

Our pricing is up front, making it easier to understand and budget for. Usually, pricing is hidden until after calls identifying and scoping work, but that stuff can take weeks and if the budgets don’t line up, that’s a lot of wasted time.

We can get started immediately because we don’t need to worry about scoping out the work. Our packages encompass everything you’d need, so once you click “Get Started”, we can start the next working day.

You can upgrade, downgrade or cancel anytime. We don’t feel like you should be locked in if you don’t want to be, and more options for how we work together is always better so you can choose what approach works for you, and get as much support as you need.

By productizing we simplify the experience working with us, by removing unnecessary barriers throughout the entire process.

What if my project doesn’t fit within your productized pricing?

While productized pricing is going to be our primary pricing model going forward, we’re aware that sometimes you just have a fixed project you need to get built.

We’ll still offer fixed projects for now (just reach out if that’s something you’re looking for), but as most of our clients end up switching to retainers after their project is complete, it’s possible that in the future we may focus our efforts on delivering the best productized experience possible. We’ll see how it goes in the future.

Want to give it a try?

If you think our productized UX design & Jamstack Development packages could benefit you, head over to our pricing page and let’s work together.

Or if you’re still not quite sure, reach out on our contact page and we’ll answer any questions you have.

When you're ready, there are 4 ways I can help you:

1. SkywardUI (coming soon) - Speed up your development with a fully customisable UI library. Start with a strong foundation and adapt it to your needs without reinventing the wheel.

2. CTO Support - Learn where your software is holding you back and how to improve it. Get expert support from Dan to help you save money, work more efficiently and release faster

3. Hire Skyward - Bring your project ideas to life. Hire the Skyward team to drive forward the user experience of your websites & applications, and futureproof your software

4. Refer and earn - Know someone who we could help? Introduce them to us and earn 10% of the project value* once we start working together
(*up to $10,000)