A few months ago I talked about the advantages of hiring a UX/UI designer from abroad, and today I would love to inspire all those designers who wish to start their career as remote UX designers.
For those not used to work from home, or with the right equipment, this road may get a little bumpy. But don’t despair! This is a highly demanded job and it will only take you time and motivation to find yourself in it.
Back to the Roots
To be a remote UX designer you have to keep on studying. And it’s not even an exaggeration. The most beautiful thing about this profession is that anyone can do it. Literally anyone. But you have to keep on learning.
As long as you have the right computer, patience, motivation, and knowledge. You are unstoppable. But you will always have to be a student because everyday things in the UX/UI world change, and you will want to know about those changes before they crash you unexpectedly.
I don’t personally believe you have to go to college to study UX/UI design, but I do find it imperative to keep on watching online tutorials, to read UX/UI journals and books, and to surround yourself with other designers.
Not only because you will want to make friends who share this in common, but because when you need immediate help, sometimes forum questions won’t be that helpful. That’s when you could email a friend and ask for a little help.
Polish Your Communicational Skills
When you work in an office usually there is someone else there whose job is to talk to the clients for you, but when you become a UX remote designer, you will have to do this task.
Actually, you have to do pretty much everything.Search the clients, send them proposals and samples, create budgets that are not only realistic but profitable, the design job, all the incoming changes, talk to the client again, and so on.
If it sounds exhausting it’s because it really is, but once you catch up with all those tasks you will notice that they come out naturally.
My personal recommendation is: always be friendly. Which does not mean letting clients ruin your day; the clearer and more honest you two are from the beginning, the smoother the job will become.
If it’s the first time you work from home (or coworking), you will have to learn about time management and to ignore the procrastination god quite often.
But please understand that if something is not coming out as it’s supposed to, you may want to take a walk, a cup of joe, and come back with a fresh mind. You can solve this! But don’t forget to be nice to yourself too.
Dare to Experiment
When the workflow is low you have time for two things: keep on learning and experiment! Do you have your own site? Play with it! Make changes, make tests, and see if things improve, or not.
Practice with your friend’s website, create something new that can be visible in your portfolio. And have fun designing something completely new without a timeline breathing on the back of your neck.
And if you don’t feel like testing new things, see what other UX/UI are doing! Read blogs, journals, news, and videos about what’s going on out there. It will help you find inspiration, new ideas, and probably new proposals for future clients.
Find The Right Platform for You
UX and UI designers usually start working on platforms for freelancers like Upwork, Fiverr, Toptal, Aquent, Crowded, and Freelancer.
They all have their pros and cons, my advice for you is to open a free account in two or three of those sites, and see how it goes.
Usually, you will have to compete with other freelancers all over the world for clients, and usually, the ones with the cheapest prices get clients faster, but you need to understand that these sites work on a review basis.
The more clients are satisfied with your work, the more will find you. But I won’t harm you to learn a little of SEO and advertising to boost your views and new deals.
Let’s create progress together.
Choose Wisely Your UX/UI Tools
Honestly, they will be your right hand when it comes to get the job done quickly and with the expected quality.
Some of the tools that I love to use are:
- Figma: is a vector graphics editor and prototyping tool. It is web-based, with additional offline features enabled by desktop applications. It is far the best tool for creating prototypes fast and present them in an easy way.
- Sketch: make as many changes as needed without losing your mind. Sketch allows you to make all kinds of changes with their library of symbols, text styles, alignment features, and more. It is a time-saver tool that also comes with a huge variety of plugins.
- Stylify Me: so your client likes an exact color and you don’t know the code? Stylify Me tells you the exact color you need. Simply paste the URL with the color you are interested in and download the HEX values in PDF.
- UserTesting: get real-time feedback from real customers! They recruit a panel of target users, apply the test, and deliver you the results in no-time. It’s more a service than a tool, but I find it extremely valuable for UX/UI designers that work alone remotely.
- Optimizely: need to know the target’s reaction when they get in touch with your app or site? Optimizely performs A/B testing and compares data in a very short time, allowing you to experiment freely with the results in the search of the ultimate reaction.
As I said at the beginning of this post, becoming a remote UX/UI designer is something anyone can do, but it will not be an easy job.
My advice to you all is to keep on trying and learn from your mistakes and failures. The more you learn about what you may be doing wrong, the faster you can change it and exceed your clients’ expectations.
Also, surround yourself with other designers, you will need their friendship and support, but mostly their expertise and advice.
But whatever you do, if you feel like taking a walk, please go and take a walk! Most of the troubles I have faced when designing get solved easily after I take a break.
And I know, how can you take a break if you work from? Simple, take a short nap, walk around your block, go to a coffee shop, play with your pet, check Instagram, or whatever makes you feel relaxed. I promise after it you will find the way.