March 5, 2024
UI/UX Guide
4 min

How To Become a UI/UX Freelancer?

1. Make Sure You Have Financial Resources 2. Learn UI/UX Skills 3. Create a Portfolio 4. Set Up Your Business 5. Be Present On Social Media
Cristi Fonea
March 5, 2024
How to become a UI/UX freelancer?

Do you identify as a trendsetter rather than a rule follower? Is the idea of dedicating your life to a 9 to 5 office job disheartening and mundane to you? Do you feel like you are wasting your creativity by trying to fit the mold? Then a career in UI/UX freelancing may just be the perfect fit for you!

Freelancing was born as a reaction to the more traditional working styles and has been gaining popularity due to the rise of the internet. Just between the years 2000 and 2014, the freelancing workforce increased by 500%. Factors such as startups, the economic recession, and millennial culture have also contributed to the rise of freelancing.

Because the UI/UX design sector is heavily influenced by technological advancements, it is not surprising that so many people who work in the field choose to be freelancers. Product designers are people driven by creativity and freelancing allows them to collaborate with various clients. This work environment also provides them with the opportunity to learn how to market themselves and their skills.

But why would you choose a career in UI/UX in the first place?

5 Reasons To Start a Career In UI/UX

The primary work of a UI/UX designer is to create user interfaces and develop user experiences for various web design and app design platforms. They are responsible for researching, collecting, investigating, and evaluating different user requirements. There are multiple reasons why someone who is passionate about these subjects should choose UI/UX as a career path.

  • High Demand. The first reason is that there is currently a high demand for UI/UX designers so it should not be very difficult to find work in the field. Because there is a growing emphasis on user experience, it is expected that the need for these roles will only increase in the upcoming years.
  • Working Remote. Especially if you are a freelancer, working from home is a great advantage offered in this field. You get rid of costs such as transportation and getting takeout at the office. You also gain more time for yourself and other activities.
  • Learning a User-Centric Approach. The role of a UI/UX designer implies that you will learn how to receive feedback from users to enhance their experience. In that way, you will build up your empathy and understanding of various demographics.
  • Versatile Skills. This subject field is remarkably complex. The skills you learn from working in UI/UX can also be applied to other areas. This is by no means a stiff and boring job! From playing with visuals to creating websites and mobile applications, you get a taste of everything. 
  • Rewarding Salary. UI/UX designers earn good salaries. The average salary for a person who works in this field as a freelancer is estimated to be between 50 and 70$ per hour. And the best part is that the more experience you accumulate, the more you can increase your earnings.

Now that we’ve established a career is worth it, you might wonder how to become a UI/UX freelancer. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered!

How Do I Start As a UI/UX Freelancer?

  1. Make Sure You Have Financial Resources

As opposed to more traditional jobs where you earn a monthly salary from the get-go, freelancing does not offer you this stability from the beginning. You have to be financially prepared for the first month. Especially if you are a beginner UI/UX freelancer, your first projects might not take off instantly.

It also takes time to make a name for yourself and attract clients. Do not let this discourage you! If you dedicate yourself to the craft, the results will not fail to appear. You just need to have a little patience and some money saved up until your UI/UX business kicks off.

  1. Learn UI/UX Skills

While you are saving up for your new career, you must earn the necessary skills. There are plenty of concepts that you will need to be familiar with when you start as a UI/UX designer, from prototyping, wireframing, and visual design, to usability testing and user research. 

After you have understood the fundamentals, it is important to get accustomed to platforms such as Figma and Adobe Illustrator as you will most likely use them in your work a lot if you become a UI/UX freelancer. You also have the option of following online tutorials and courses. Some of them give out accreditation which can be advantageous for your resume. If you are not new in the field and already have experience, it is always a good idea to revise your knowledge. Repetition is the mother of learning after all.

  1. Create a Portfolio

You have gathered a lot of useful information and skills and you used them to product design different projects . Now it is time to organize this work in the form of a portfolio! A portfolio is just another word for a resume and this is what will probably land you a client as UI/UX freelancer. 

When you are designing your portfolio it is important to showcase that you are skilled in both UI design and UX design. Combining impressive visuals with a complex methodology is the key. A helpful tip is to discuss your portfolio with other designers who have experience as it will provide you with new perspectives.

  1. Set Up Your Business

As a freelancer, you need to do a lot more than just work on UI/UX designs. Because you are your employer, you need to get accustomed to doing taxes, setting up your website, managing contracts and invoices, and so on. A good idea would be to talk to someone who is specialized in this field so they can take you through the processes and steps. 

You will need to craft a brand for yourself, choose a fitting name, and design an attractive logo for your business. These details are crucial because they show clients whether you are a trustworthy business or not.

  1. Be Present On Social Media

In the digital age, it is almost impossible to be a successful freelancer unless you have a noticeable social media presence. We have already mentioned the need for a website, but your online marketing does not stop here. 

Nowadays there are so many social media tools that we can use to create content. This can help a UI/UX freelancer at the beginning of their career gain visibility and exposure. Whether you are advertising your projects through Instagram reels or you are creating design content on TikTok, you should strive to activate on as many platforms as you can.

  1. Networking

One of the easiest ways to find potential collaborators and clients is to focus on networking. The UI UX design sphere is pretty ample and chances are that you already know a few people who work in the field. It might seem harder for someone who works from home to make new connections. Fortunately, there are many events and conventions related to UI/UX design.

We live in the digital age, so we might as well reap the benefits of online networking. From special forums to more popular social media platforms, we can quickly engage with different designers from the comfort of our homes.

  1. Make Your First Clients

After you have established useful connections in the web and app design world, it is time for your first clients. It can be helpful to focus on a niche target audience at the beginning of your career. For example, you could take up clients with smaller businesses until you get used to the UI/UX design workload.

Know your limits. While it can be tempting to take up many projects at once, it is advised against it, especially in the beginning. You should also choose clients that have projects that would suit your particular skillset and goals. If, for instance, you want to specialize in app design, it would be a good idea to choose projects involving apps.

  1. Constantly Update Your Skillset

The UI/UX design universe is in a constant state of evolution. You need to keep up with the latest advancements and follow news related to this if you don’t want to become just another UI/UX freelancer, but a good one. You can always strive to improve your designs. We learn for as long as we are alive.

uinkits – Our Figma Design System

We at uinkits understand the importance of inputs in great user experiences and creating amazing UI designs. That’s why we’ve developed a Figma UI Kit with design components that include these essential UI elements that enable you to design intuitive and user-friendly interfaces effortlessly.  

“You press the button, we do the rest,” – Kodak.

Inspired by this iconic tagline from Kodak, we believe in simplifying the design process for you. Our Figma UI Kit, uinkits, is a complete design system with UI components that allows you, as a UI UX designer, to create your products as quickly as pressing a button. 

Our design system components, including variables, cards, buttons, and everything you need for your design process. All you have to do is take your UI design component needed, and you’re ready to use it in your designs!

Cristi Fonea
March 5, 2024

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