User Experience Design (UX design) is a diverse skill that combines several elements of market research, psychology, and technology to define user interaction and experience for websites and applications. The domain is not limited to web and desktop applications, it is an integral element of almost every product, whether it be industrial, commercial or domestic. Over the last decade, many factors have contributed to boosting the role of UX designers in the product design lifecycle, a prominent one being the rise of portable digital devices having different screen sizes. To ensure that users don’t face difficulty while interacting with applications on different screen sizes, interfaces have to be robust and fluid enough, and that is where UX designers come in. That’s why nowadays businesses rely heavily on UX designers to bring that competitive edge to their products. As such, UX design jobs are seeing a sharp incline, and among them, a freelance UX designer is particularly sought after. Through this blog post, let’s try to see a few key aspects of a freelance UX designer role and understand how freelancing is proving to be a revolutionising factor for businesses.
First things first – How to Become a Freelance UX designer?
A User Experience Designer (UX designer) has many responsibilities to start with. Such individuals are imperative to the success of products as they are involved in every phase of the design. Let’s look at the key UX design skills you need to be successful as a freelancer in this field.
1. Product research
First and foremost, you should have a solid foundation of the concepts involved in product research and design. The success of a product is very much governed by the capability of the UX designer to research and make decisions based on the information collected, rather than getting influenced by personal opinions. Product research pretty much finalises the features a product must-have.
2. Creating user cases and scenarios
An important skill of UX designers is to create fictional personas that closely resemble the people who actually use the product. Based on these personas, UX designer drafts various use cases and scenarios keeping in mind how the interaction with the application needs to be.
3. Architecture design
Architecture design involves drafting a structure of the final product. This structure includes creating navigation of the product, categories, and hierarchy between various stages. A UX designer must be an expert in defining wireframe designs depicting each screen of the product and interaction with each screen.
4. Programming Languages
UX designers have to work in collaboration with UI designers, and thus, having a basic knowledge of programming languages like HTML and CSS can help them better understand the view of UI designers. As freelancers, chances are that they might have to work on UI design as well.
5. Rapid Prototyping and Product testing
UX designers must be particularly skilled in effectively prototyping various models and devising test plans to test these prototypes. As there may be a significant number of prototypes made and tested before finalising the product design, rapid prototyping and product testing becomes an important skill to have.
How Freelancing is Changing the Work Landscape?
We won’t be surprised if you say that you’re intrigued by freelance UX designing and want to pursue this as a career. Even experts suggest that freelancing is a booming work strategy with more and more people taking to it to enhance their careers. Take a look at this study defining the rise of the freelancing economy over the recent years in America.
In comparison to conventional jobs, freelancing has enabled businesses to hire talent on an as-requirement basis. For instance, let’s say they need extra workforce for just one project; freelancing is a lifesaver in such scenarios allowing businesses to keep their workforce flexible. Some companies purely work on freelance models with no recurring cost of setting up offices and infrastructure.
Freelancing has come as a boon for individuals as well. It offers:
- Flexible working hours
- The ability to be your own boss
- The freedom to work from anywhere
- Extra income in case of freelancing in tandem with your regular job
Why are UX Designers Critical for Business Success?
A UX designer’s work doesn’t stop with just product release. Such individuals drive innovation even after product launch. UX design can be termed as a never-ending process where UX designers keep working on more scenarios and future updates for products. UX designers not only make products easy to use, but they aim to take user experience to another level. With more people glued to the digital world, businesses have realised the potential that a talented UX designer brings to their design team. UX designers are critical for the success of a product and keep a product’s user base intact with future updates in today’s competitive world.
UX designer jobs have seen exponential growth over the years. Here’s a study in which UX design is featured among the top ten highest paid entry-level jobs on Glassdoor. With more technological advancements, the demand for UX designers is only bound to grow. With businesses actively hiring freelance talent, the future holds exciting opportunities for UX designers.
How to start? There are various freelancing websites where budding UX designers can get started like Upwork, Toptal and others but one needs to be proactive as there is no overnight success when it comes to freelancing. It is always advised that you should create your online profile and also work on increasing. You can work on increasing your exposure by taking part in various community events and meetups. Frequent participation in community events will help you showcase your talents, and at the same time gain valuable information from the attendees along with helping you build your network with the like-minded people. There are plenty some of online/physical community events which are available and it’s important that you register and become a part of the most renowned ones like meetup, slack communities and others. We suggest opting for a professional training course if you wish to pursue a career as a freelance UX designer.
Springboard offers a dedicated UI/UX design course that you may want to consider. When it comes to arming students and aspiring individuals with the right knowledge for exciting career opportunities, Springboard is a pioneer. Having launched thousands of students across 100+ countries into professional success, Springboard is an avenue that can help you take your career to new heights. Springboard’s UX design online learning program is designed in such a way that it gives our students a combination of theory, project-based learning, 1:1 mentoring and coaching along with a job guarantee. Check it out now!