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 usability study immediately after, before their 2017 funds expired. I [...]

2017-11-21T09:04:02+00:00Nov 21, 2017|Tags: , |

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 me to others who need user research support. After the [...]

2017-06-23T11:13:34+00:00Jun 23, 2017|Tags: , , |

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 hour for each participant. Like my marketing research colleagues, I [...]

2017-04-22T22:36:42+00:00Apr 3, 2017|Tags: , |

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 decent percentage of my overall consulting revenue. Although I’ve been [...]

2017-04-24T17:23:39+00:00Mar 1, 2017|Tags: , , , |

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! My first course, Planning a Career in User Experience (UX), [...]

2017-04-22T22:36:39+00:00Feb 24, 2017|Tags: , , , |

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 two people can do, and at those points I have [...]

2017-06-23T11:37:36+00:00Oct 31, 2016|Tags: , , |

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 myself and one staff person, as well as consider the [...]

2017-06-23T11:37:50+00:00Jan 14, 2016|Tags: , , |

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 UX freelancer, this means simultaneously maintaining a personal identity as [...]

2017-04-22T22:36:58+00:00Jul 18, 2014|Tags: , , , |

UXmatters – Are You Ready to Be an Independent UX Consultant?

For most of my career as a UX consultant, I have worked full time on some company’s payroll. A number of years back, one very large consulting organization hired me for a 6-month, full-time gig, working on site for a client. When, at the appointed time, the project concluded successfully, the consulting firm didn’t immediately [...]

2014-03-10T08:17:03+00:00Jan 27, 2014|Tags: , , , |

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 succeed. The same is true for User Experience (UX) professionals. [...]

2017-04-22T22:36:18+00:00Dec 16, 2013|Tags: , , , |

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?” I explained that I am not. When I mentioned that [...]

2017-04-22T22:36:42+00:00Feb 25, 2013|Tags: , |

LinkedIn for User Experience Professionals

[Update 3/29/13: This post was part of the basis for Lebson, Cory. "Care About Your UX Career? Network Now!" User Experience Magazine, Volume 13, Issue 1 (First Quarter 2013).] It was 2003 and a good friend from high school who had moved to Japan sent me a LinkedIn invitation. It said that he wanted me [...]

2014-02-03T11:08:18+00:00Jun 18, 2012|Tags: , , |

User Experience as a moral imperative? We want you, we want UX, but we have priorities.

A client hired Lebsontech for user experience related work, but partway through the process decided to use Lebsontech staff to address some other priorities that weren’t specifically user experience (UX) related. Since I knew funds were limited, using the funds and my team for this alternate purpose would seriously limit the time and funding available [...]

2014-01-28T15:13:30+00:00Jun 11, 2012|Tags: , , |

Colleagues or Competitors?

I spoke with a colleague on the phone last week.  We hadn't talked on the phone before but found that we had a lot in common.  We both run small user research firms and both enjoy doing similar kinds of user research.  There was a brief awkward moment when the person said that their company [...]

2017-04-22T22:36:16+00:00Mar 24, 2011|Tags: , , |

Love your Client, Like Yourself

Recently, a client said to me of another consultant that this consultant did not exhibit a passion for the work or for the company. This consultant generally produced good quality work, but that lack of passion was a serious impediment to the company’s perception of his consulting skills. I started thinking about this. Do consultants [...]

2017-04-22T22:36:31+00:00Feb 4, 2011|Tags: , |