Is it better to be an employee or a freelancer in a recession?

It was June of 2008 and I was a research director, working in-house at K12.com. I had gotten in my head that maybe it was time to go freelance and after giving it a lot of thought, I decided that the decision was the logical ...

By |2020-12-04T09:01:40-05:00September 23rd, 2019|Freelancing, UX Career|

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|

Think about more than just your users: Practice nice UX

As user experience professionals, we’re a passionate lot. We care deeply about the user – the customers that we design for. We look for meaning. We feel empathy, sometimes painfully so. But in our drive to help those users have meaningful interactions with the products ...

By |2020-12-04T09:01:41-05:00March 4th, 2019|Advocating for UX, User Research, UX Career|

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|

What Does it Mean to be a Junior or a Senior UX Professional?

It was the end of 1994 and fresh out of college, I was hired for my first UX role as a research consultant. I proudly started out in the workforce as a “human factors engineer.” In today’s parlance, I was neither doing human factors nor ...

By |2020-12-04T09:01:43-05:00July 18th, 2017|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|

Top skills for tech are not all about coding: Career success with UX!

LinkedIn recently published a list of 50 Top Companies in the US and along with that list an inventory of the skills that hiring managers are looking for. As I reviewed the list of skills that were most in demand from the top companies, however, ...

By |2020-12-04T09:09:52-05:00May 22nd, 2017|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|

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|

Aquent Blog – UX Careers and Artificial Intelligence

If you have seen “careers” and “artificial intelligence” in the same sentence, it’s likely because there is yet another article wondering whether certain jobs will soon be done faster and more reliably by an intelligent algorithm. Employers who hire UX professionals needn’t worry about their ...

By |2020-12-04T09:08:34-05:00April 1st, 2016|Posted elsewhere, UX Career|

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|

Please Stop Trying to Explain the Difference Between UX and UI Design

No! Yet another [infographic / article / explanation] on what the true difference is between UX and UI design, or between UX and UI development, or between UX design, UI design and UX/UI design. Or between UX development, UI development and UX/UI development. Gah! It ...

By |2020-12-04T09:08:34-05:00September 1st, 2015|UX Career|

Getting close! A UX Careers Handbook Update

Although I announced that I was writing a UX Careers Handbook in mid-December 2014, it wasn’t until mid-January that I actually started putting the virtual pen to paper and writing the book. I’m excited to say that two weeks ago—five months and 82,000 words later—I ...

By |2020-12-04T09:08:35-05:00July 14th, 2015|UX Career, Writing|

Announcing the UX Careers Book Project (Come join me!)

I am excited to announce the kickoff of one of my most intriguing adventures yet: writing a book on UX careers for Focal Press! While there are plenty of career books and plenty of UX methods books on the market, there is no one comprehensive ...

By |2020-12-04T09:08:35-05:00December 15th, 2014|Publication, UX Career, Writing|

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

At least once a day I get a message 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 am often ...

By |2021-04-26T13:03:25-04:00August 25th, 2014|Consulting, UX Career|

Teaching Basics of UX/Career Adventure: What Are The Required Skills?

Note: The basic tenants of a “UX adventure” are covered in more detail in the UX Magazine article: UX Adventure: Enhance your resume, improve your career potential, and feel the excitement!   In London this past week at the UXPA 2014 conference the closing keynote speaker, ...

By |2020-12-04T09:08:36-05:00August 1st, 2014|Networking, Training, UX Adventure, 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|

UX Magazine – The Hidden Value of UX Connectors and the Future of Our Community

I was in Austin, Texas recently and, following the rules of UX Adventure, I took the opportunity to coordinate with some Austin UXers to meet at a local bar. On the day of the meetup, I checked my Twitter account and noticed that our rendezvous ...

By |2020-12-04T09:08:37-05:00April 10th, 2014|Posted elsewhere, Publication, UX Career, UX Leadership|

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|

Get out there to advance your career + real networking: a winning combination

In early November 2010, I was finishing up my first year as the president of the UXPA DC chapter and was in San Antonio on a separate user research project with the then UXPA DC VP, Jen Romano Bergstrom.  One evening, after the research had ...

By |2020-12-04T09:08:38-05:00March 5th, 2014|Networking, Speaking, UX Career, UX Leadership, UXPA|

Tips & Techniques for UX Professionals: Introverts, Ambiverts and Shyness

I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve heard UX professionals say that they are introverts. Sometimes they tell me directly, and sometimes it just comes up in a group conversation. At other times, I’ve heard it from speakers at conferences. Is it true? ...

By |2020-12-04T09:08:39-05:00January 22nd, 2014|Networking, UX Career, UX Leadership|

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|

UX Magazine – These Are My People: The Value in UX Organizations

While at the User Experience Professionals Association (UXPA) International conference last month in Washington, D.C., I spent a lot of time talking with attendees. I heard all sort of interesting things there, but one simple comment resonated with me: as an attendee looked around the ...

By |2020-12-04T09:08:41-05:00August 21st, 2013|Networking, Posted elsewhere, Publication, UX Career, UX Leadership, UXPA|
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