UX for Good: Research, evaluation and strategy for low-cost or no-cost —just ask!

The offer: Will work for low cost or no cost to do good Effectively immediately, I will offer up any time that I don’t have regular rate UX work to work where it would otherwise be unaffordable to bring on someone of my seniority. If you ...

By |2020-12-04T09:01:40-05:00December 2nd, 2019|Advocating for UX, Consulting, Freelancing, UX Adventure|

What’s it like to live and work in the DC area as a UX professional?

I represent the fifth generation of my family to live in Maryland and have spent about 35 years of my life here in the state. For the past 15 of those years, I’ve lived in the DC suburbs of Silver Spring in Montgomery County, solidly ...

By |2020-12-04T09:01:40-05:00September 16th, 2019|Consulting, Freelancing, Government, UX Career|

Appropriate expectations –> Happy stakeholders –> Successful usability testing

When I do usability testing, particularly with teams that have not been involved in the process before, I often find myself providing a mini lesson about what usability testing is (and is not!), how the process is going to work, and what they’re going to ...

By |2020-12-04T09:01:41-05:00April 30th, 2018|Consulting, User Research|

Maintain your routines to avoid work-travel stress

A family member recently voiced concern about all the traveling that I have been doing. He told me the stress of all the travel seemed unsustainable in the long term, and he couldn’t imagine that I would be able to continue doing so much business ...

By |2020-12-04T09:01:41-05:00April 17th, 2018|Consulting, Freelancing|

How to moderate usability testing with simultaneous translation

In the decades that I’ve done user research, nearly all of my research has been conducted in English. While I’ve done some research in other countries and with products in other languages, either the product itself was still an English-language product or, when I didn’t ...

By |2020-12-04T09:01:42-05:00January 20th, 2018|Consulting, User Research|

Be prepared for the cadence of freelance work

Work flow was good… Four weeks ago I was feeling pretty confident about the remainder of 2017. A client had locked in the last week of November for an international usability study and another client sounded reasonably confident that they’d want a large three-part local ...

By |2020-12-04T09:01:42-05:00November 21st, 2017|Consulting, Freelancing|

Healthy Living: Get fit by treating your body like a work project

On turning 40 Since my teenage years, I’ve always tried to do some kind of exercise. In those days, I’d go running with my father, go biking on the streets of Baltimore County and go swimming at the pool where I worked as a lifeguard. ...

By |2020-12-04T09:01:42-05:00July 31st, 2017|Consulting, Freelancing, UX Career|

Should freelancers respond to RFPs?

For the most part, my user research and evaluation freelance work comes through referrals. That means I spend my business development time on being visible and present in the UX/tech world, and then work comes through either people who know me personally or who refer ...

By |2020-12-04T09:01:43-05:00June 23rd, 2017|Consulting, Freelancing, UX Career|

Be an employee or be a freelancer but be cautious when it’s full-time work that’s a bit of both

I often hear from my UX colleagues that they are thinking of going off on their own. They tell me that they’re ready to make the leap to freelancing and think that they have found their first gig – maybe it’s a 3-month contract, or ...

By |2020-12-04T09:08:32-05:00April 5th, 2017|Consulting, Freelancing, UX Career|

Research Recruitment Fail! Now what?

I largely do user experience (UX) research activities such as usability testing, cognitive walkthroughs, ethnography, interviews and focus groups all centered around how users and potential users would interact with existing, updated and new interfaces. Sessions and activities are typically scheduled to last about an ...

By |2020-12-04T09:08:32-05:00April 3rd, 2017|Consulting, User Research|

Should you do UX work in the Federal government when you don’t agree politically?

For much of my UX career, I’ve been pretty solidly tied to the Washington DC region. While I’ve never committed to any one specific industry, just given the amount of Federal UX work that has been available locally, Federal-related contracts have been responsible for a ...

By |2020-12-04T09:08:33-05:00March 1st, 2017|Advocating for UX, Consulting, Government, UX Career|

Recording for Lynda.com/LinkedIn Learning: My lessons learned & a glimpse behind the scenes

Right at the anniversary of my first Lynda.com / LinkedIn Learning course, I had the opportunity to head out once again to sunny Carpinteria, California. I got to record two new courses, both focused on a topic near to my heart - being a freelancer! ...

By |2020-12-04T09:08:33-05:00February 24th, 2017|Consulting, Speaking, Training, UX Career|

Freelancers Onboarding Freelancers

I’ve enjoyed working as a freelancer for the past 8 years and have largely found that I can maintain a workload that matches what can be done by myself and Edie (the second person on my two-person team). Occasionally, however, the workload goes beyond what ...

By |2020-12-04T09:08:33-05:00October 31st, 2016|Consulting, Freelancing, UX Career|

Race and gender as usability testing screening filters?

Most qualitative usability testing studies that I do involve the creation of a screener early on in the research process. The screener is the product of a necessary effort to determine not only who specifically the expected users are of a product, but also how ...

By |2020-12-04T09:08:34-05:00June 6th, 2016|Consulting, User Research|

Is bigger better when you’re a freelancer?

As a user experience (UX) consultant/freelancer with a small business, whenever there is a new project opportunity, I need to decide whether or not to accept the project. I have to think about how well the project fits with the existing skillset and schedule for ...

By |2020-12-04T09:08:34-05:00January 14th, 2016|Consulting, Freelancing, UX Career|

Don’t be a UX perfectionist. Just do your best.

In high school I was that kid that in theory was supposed to get top grades. I was serious in class, spoke intelligently and appeared studious. Yet my grades were not great – not terrible, just not what teachers were expecting of me.  The truth ...

By |2020-12-04T09:08:36-05:00September 29th, 2014|Consulting, User Research|

Recruiter FAQ: No full-time permanence but always interested in talking!

At least once a day I get an email from a recruiter offering some new job for which the recruiter thinks I’d be a great fit.  While I do appreciate knowing that I’m findable and in lots of databases of potential candidates, I never find ...

By |2020-12-04T09:08:36-05:00August 25th, 2014|Consulting, UX Career|

UX Magazine – Go Ahead, White-Label Your Services

While “white-labeling” has been associated most commonly with limited-edition musical recordings, it has also come to refer to a situation where a product or service is provided to a company and that company then sells that product or service under their own brand. For a ...

By |2020-12-04T09:08:36-05:00July 18th, 2014|Consulting, Posted elsewhere, Publication, UX Career|

Lessons learned from five weeks “on the bench”

Since I left the W-2 world in 2008, my work flow has been pretty much non-stop with an average of perhaps 35 hours a week of billable time and another 10 hours per week of non-billable time.  The non-billable time was spent largely on things ...

By |2020-12-04T09:08:38-05:00March 20th, 2014|Consulting, Freelancing, UX Career|

Diversify Your User Experience Career

Investors are advised to make sure that they have diversity in their portfolio. By diversifying into multiple types of investments and different kinds of industries, there is a safety in knowing that if one type of investment fails, there are other investments that will still ...

By |2020-12-04T09:08:39-05:00December 16th, 2013|Consulting, Networking, UX Career, UX Leadership|

Staying Under the Radar: A Business Strategy

I met someone recently who is a consultant at a large organization. We started talking about our various consulting efforts, and I mentioned that I do a lot of work with government agencies. “Oh,” he said, “does that mean you are on the GSA schedule?” ...

By |2020-12-04T09:08:43-05:00February 25th, 2013|Consulting, Networking|

How Much Should a Small Business Owner Pretend?

I’m a small business owner. My office is in my basement. The basement was converted into a two-room “in-law suite” apartment by the prior owners. We use one room as my office and the other room as my wife, Aviva’s, office. We also have a ...

By |2020-12-04T09:11:31-05:00August 7th, 2011|Consulting, Freelancing|
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