When it makes sense to hire a freelance UX designer

Frame from “X-MEN ORIGINS: WOLVERINE”.

Having a dedicated, full-time designer on board is by far the best way to ensure that design becomes part of your company’s DNA. There are situations, though, when it might make more sense to work with a freelancer.

Let’s take a look at three such cases.

Specialized skills

You don’t always have a particular skill-set (like user-onboarding or data-visualization) in house. And developing it internally might take a while. By hiring a freelancer that specializes in a particular field you can ensure you meet a high standard of quality without losing time. Hiring a specialist also frees the rest of your team to stay focused on their tasks and responsibilities. It helps you foster a culture of craftsmanship and attention to detail, so essential to the long-term success of your business.

Fresh perspective

When you are focused on your product it’s easy to lose sight of what works and what doesn’t. Yes, you do know the product inside out. But after those first few months no matter how hard you’ll try you won’t be able to experience it the same way as a first time user. Hiring someone externally on the other hand can offer a fresh perspective. No history, no baggage, no politics. Essentially a clean slate. Often that will be enough to finally spot that really obvious solution that was there all along.

Deadline

If you absolutely need something done without delays freelancers are probably your best bet. First, it’s in their own self-interest not to waste time — it enables them to take on more projects. Second, moving from one project to the next conditions them to get up to speed quickly. Tell them what you need and off they go. Speed doesn’t mean cutting corners, though. Freelancers must deliver quality work or they will start losing business. And what better way to get referrals than exceed expectations?


Building an internal design team or working with freelancers does not have to be a zero-sum game. To the contrary. Both can compliment each other, saving you time, helping you stay focused and, ultimately, deliver a product your customers will love using. Use them to your advantage.

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