UX design is a popular career path due to the current rise of web development. Many companies are creating various web products to increase business efficiency. That is why UX designers are the most sought-after web design professionals these days.
Most organizations opt to hire product designers on freelancing platforms rather than having an in-house team. Freelancing is now a common work approach as many experts enjoy the freedom and convenience of working remotely. On the flip side, freelancing has many challenges and requires 100% commitment and sacrifice.
If you plan to pursue a freelance career in UX design, this article offers a few insights to help you make an informed decision. We shall delve into the pros and cons of being a freelance UX designer.
Who Is a Freelance UX Designer?
A UX designer is a professional who handles a product’s user experience. In other words, UX designers ensure the web product is usable and seamless.
Freelance UX designers work on clients’ projects in a remote locations. The freelancers get paid per the client agreement; it can be hourly, weekly, or after project completion. Usually, freelancers don’t wait to get a salary at the end of the month like in-house designers. What’s interesting is that freelance UX designers can take on several projects and still deliver quality work on time.
Advantages of a Freelance UX Designer
Here are reasons why many UX designers opt to venture into the freelancing field.
Many designers opt for remote work because of the time flexibility that comes with freelancing. As a UX designer, you can manage your time to fit your daily schedule. Unlike the 9-5 office hours, you can decide to work at night or early in the morning, depending on your productivity levels.
Besides, you can take on new projects when you are ready. No one will force you to work when you are feeling burned out. So, freelancing allows you to manage your work hours while living a well-balanced life.
Most in-house designers with an on-site job often have fixed salaries paid monthly. This arrangement can be quite frustrating for many designers because their income is based on the days they clock in at work. But with freelancing, the income is quite flexible since there are no limitations. The more the number of projects you tackle, the higher the payment perks.
Moreover, you have the freedom to set service rates according to your terms. If you have several projects, you can recruit an assistant to help you out with other tasks as you secure future earnings from potential clients.
Another advantage of being a UX freelancer is the freedom to pick the projects you like and are interested in. Depending on your strong skills and expertise, you can pitch on projects you are confident in delivering. You can also hire experts and collaborate on challenging projects while learning new skills.
Positive Career Growth
Freelancing offers designers an opportunity to try out new challenges. Unlike 9-5 jobs limiting you to specific projects, freelancers can pitch for diverse projects. Taking challenging assignments means you will expand your skills and gain experience. Moreover, you will have a self-drive to improve your work ethic and grow your career in the right direction.
Another reason UX designers enjoy freelancing is the freedom to work from any location. You can work from the comfort of your home or while on vacation. The location is rarely an issue as long as you deliver the project successfully.
Freelancing is a liberating approach for many designers because of the work-life balance and reduced expenses. You no longer have to endure a long commute to work if you choose to become a UX freelancer. All you need is a laptop and a steady Internet connection to work.
Disadvantages of a Freelance UX Designer
While being a freelancer has its many benefits, it also has some downsides that you need to know.
Unlike formal employment, the freelancing industry is quite unstable. You might have work flowing in for a few months, and then the workflow reduces. If you don’t plan and secure your projects’ stability, you might end up with no income. Therefore, you need to understand how to steadily build a consistent approach to generating clients.
Complicated Tax Returns
Many freelancers encounter challenges when it comes to filing taxes. Since you are your own boss, you are responsible for filing your taxes without fail. But in reality, it can be quite complicated for designers without any tax background. Therefore, you might need professional help with complex tax returns.
No Employment Benefits
Full-time designers enjoy many employee benefits, from health insurance to paid leave days. But freelancers have to make plans to pay for their benefits. There are no paid holidays or retirement plans with a freelance job. Thus, ensure you set your pay rates accordingly while planning your projects to reserve some time and money for vacations.
Even with many advantages, freelancing leaves you with a wanting social life. Being a UX freelance designer means long hours working alone, isolated from the busy workplace. You don’t have the chance to interact with your fellow design team or attend company events.
Thus, if you have an extroverted personality, freelancing might be difficult. It might limit your creative days and affect your projects. In addition, you will have to solve design problems alone with no one to offer suggestions or support your ideas.
Make Your Choice Carefully
Ultimately, most UX designers enjoy choosing their own hours and being free to work anywhere. If freelancing is your kind of lifestyle, find a balance to help you become more productive without feeling overwhelmed. You might drown yourself in endless projects without a proper break, resulting in burnout. To avoid such a crisis, list down your priorities and take in projects you can manage. Consider the pros and cons we’ve just discussed seriously, and you will make an informed choice about the career path you want to take.