My experience as a freelance designer started back in 2010 where my situation changed from working full time in a creative agency and then being told that my job would be at risk due to changes that were being made within the company, ultimately meaning I would be made redundant in a matter of weeks. A natural reaction to this may of been to panic, but I felt a sense of freedom, the chance to explore what I wanted and to influence and engage with people or clients in the way that would make me really enjoy what I do.
When you enter the freelance world you already know how to craft your skill as a designer but nobody really tells you how to become good at business and that’s probably because you don’t know what questions to ask when you start out. One of the biggest challenges I found right at the start was making connections with new companies, shamelessly cold calling, emailing and finding out who’s the best person to speak to and getting an online presence — getting clients is an art in itself and keeping hold of them is down to you.
One of my tips when working with clients is to keep good communication in the working hours that you want to be contacted. You have to be strict with your schedule and manage your own time to keep within a budget and maintain a work life balance, working on your own can be a challenge and extremely rewarding at the same time. Remember, you don’t have to be completely separated from your clients or colleagues that you may be collaborating with, get face to face on a video call — don’t be the faceless freelancer, especially if you’re doing a lot of remote work and are not available to be onsite.
Get face to face on a video call — don’t be the faceless freelancer, especially if you’re doing a lot of remote work and are not available to be onsite.
People ask me this all of the time — how secure do you feel being self employed? What if the work dries up? Well, it takes a bit of time but if you know you have something that people will buy the work eventually comes to you — and that is a beautiful thing when it happens. As I mentioned at the start of this article I was in what I thought was a secure job, but then I was given 4 weeks notice before that full time job ended, that made me think — nothing is secure, you’re only as secure as what you have in the bank, with that mindset I felt confident exploring my own options as a freelancer.
If you know you have something that people will buy the work eventually comes to you — and that is a beautiful thing when it happens.
You’ve been meaning to move on for sometime in that non creative role you realise that you hate, but moving on too soon within full time employment comes with negativity, people feel that they owe the company their time and if you’ve not been there long enough — you’re a failure and it doesn’t look good on the CV. As a freelancer your mindset changes, companies are now clients and you are your own boss. If you feel financially secure don’t be afraid to move on with what’s the best fit for you and your career, gain what experience you can and use it to embrace your next challenge.
The flexibility of work has it’s advantages, it’s always good to change your environment and clients, be flexibly, keep fresh and always enjoy the freedom of life. I love short project work as it helps me think fast and on my feet, condense my thinking time and be razor sharp with thoughts and ideas. Working remotely means you can spend that extra time with the family at the end of the day rather then travelling, but also putting yourself out of your comfort zone and jumping on a train to attend a workshop on the other side of the country can feel extremely exciting too. It’s definitely healthy to change things up, feel nervous about what’s next, the fear of not knowing always makes me produce my best work keeping me hungry to learn more.
There is something nice about being your own boss and making your own decisions. You can decide how and when you want to work, take holidays and charge what you think you’re worth. What I’d say is I like the fact that I’m not owned by an entity, I can make my own career and business led decisions. One of the other thoughts for me is that I don’t need to fall inside a hierarchy but rather operate as a consultant and advise appropriately using my experience.
The ‘unknown’ is exciting for me, it means you have a choice, you can go down a path and if it’s wrong then change it. The idea of freelance is ‘variety’ in terms of work, people, environments and experiences. Freelancing and entrepreneurship has its ups and downs, but as long as you keep at it, in the long run you’ll have complete control over your future, earnings and your happiness. Feel free to pop over to see some of my work, maybe drop me a message – I’d love to hear from you
I’m a freelance UX UI designer. I’d love to collaborate with you.
My aim is to design products with a focus on the end user.
I work either on my own or as an extension to your team.
I’ll get straight to it, I’m here to add value and work with you to achieve the best results. Think of me as a collaborative design partner.
It’s not just what you do, it’s the way you do it
I’ll engage with you to understand the scale of the requirement and propose the best fit. If you have an idea or need something creating from scratch, I can develop your brand or product no matter what stage you’re at.
Generally all projects have a discovery phase of which wireframes are explored and iterated so you can review and show potential users.
At this stage a brand is either in place or needs to be created. I’ll craft pixel perfect high fidelity visuals within a comprehensive design system to achieve the best user experience.
Depending on what your product might be whether it’s an app, portal or website, delivery of the final piece of work is produced in Sketch and export to Zeplin for development.
In a nutshell, this is what I can help you with
The goal is typically to attract people who may be interested in your products or services. Crafting an online presence is critical – I’m here to design that experience and get it right.
Got an idea for an app or need the UX UI reviewing on an existing app? I love creating beautiful user journeys. This starts with initial wireframes through to animations and high fidelity visuals.
It’s really important we establish an idea of how your product and brand will fit within the market. I’ll define a creative direction in the form of a moodboard to set the scene right from the start.
Having a design system helps build products at scale. What this means is it enforces consistency with reusable components. This is something I use with every project.
You’ll start to get a real feel for what we’re creating when you can interact with a prototype. It helps showcase the end to end flow for potential users and developers.
You might think you need a new website, well firstly I’ll discuss if that’s the right approach. In the early stages I’ll identify your needs and advise how best we achieve your goals.
A place where I express my thoughts and ideas
If it’s worth a read, I’ll let you know
Sometimes people just have nice things to say
Richard helped set the bar in terms of quality, attention to detail, pace and collaboration, between the UX and front end design teams. I was very impressed by how pro-active Richard was. The man never stops working, he would actively seek out new projects with the UX team and request that his design assumptions were given the acid test with real customers. What is more, the feedback Richard received from the lab sessions was acted upon and iterated into his work where appropriate in a very timely fashion.
Richard is a great designer and hungry to check his work and improve it in a user centred way.
I brought Rich in to work on site at a client’s premises with me on a large, complex and challenging project. I had been on site for over a year already so already had a deep understanding. Rich quickly got up to speed then translated my ideas into a very elegant and thoughtful design that the client loved.
With a masterful use of Sketch Rich set the project up with a new symbol library and produced an Invision prototype then we started layering on additional functions and exploring the initial concept in more depth, with the design system we had put in place we were able to make rapid progress and keep a strong level of control and consistency.
Rich always challenges what he is given and brings his own ideas which he presents with a lot of enthusiasm, he is very passionate about what he does and i would not hesitate to hire him again in the future.
Richard was an excellent addition to our team. His flair for design exceeded our already lofty expectations but his positive attitude and contribution towards other team members was a bonus.
He was a pleasure to communicate with and delivered a high volume of work which always surprised and delighted us.
We would love to have Richard back again in future and I would have no hesitation in recommending him to anyone looking for a creative and proactive designer.
Richard really helped us improve our design and design processes across our product portfolio. He spent his time with us developing and implementing our design system, visual language and information architecture for the redesign of our products.
He is very passionate about his work which helped him gain a deep understanding of what we do. Also, he really gets work done! Working closely with the team he was able to work on multiple design tasks at once, getting hifi designs and prototypes together for user testing and development quickly and of high quality. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend or employ Richard in the future!