Tips & Advice, UX Career Guidance

What to charge as a UX freelancer or consultant

If you work for yourself (or are considering it), one of the hardest things to figure out is what to charge as a UX freelancer or consultant. It’s a difficult question to answer, because it largely depends on you experience and what any particular market will bear. That said, it’s a question I get often — so I’d like to share some recent advice I gave on the topic to a UX consultant just starting out in the field.

Q: A global management consultancy


Tips & Advice, User Experience, UX Career Guidance

[ PODCAST ] Making UX Work #11 with Jason Ogle: Your Mess is Your Message

Friends, I am thrilled to announce a NEW episode of my MAKING UX WORK podcast!

I’m really proud of this one, because it’s a deep dive into the relationship between struggle and success — and a testament to our ability to overcome even the most painful experiences. Like most things worthwhile, the title of this one created itself.

Listen in — and take notes. This is a good one 😉


Tips & Advice, UX Career Guidance

Cut the bullshit: it’s time to end the tyranny of UX terminology.

Clear communciation instead of UX terminology

Here’s a conversation I was party to earlier today, between the VP of Product and an in-house UX lead:

UX: “So what we really need to do is institute DesignOps. We need to put together a DesignOps strategy.”

VP: “A what strategy?”

UX: “DesignOps.”

VP: “What the hell is ‘DesignOps?’”

UX: “It means we need to work more efficiently, to cut down the time between design and deployment,


Tips & Advice, UX Career Guidance

Innovation, entrepreneurship, punk rock and why I do what I do.


A young design student recently contacted me to ask if I’d be willing to do an interview on the topics of innovation and entrepreneurship. My answer to these things, especially when it comes to students is always “of course,” so we got to it.

He sent me four questions in particular that, as I answered them, surprised me a little. Not the questions so much, but my answers. I realized a few things about my own motivations and accomplishments that I don’t think


Tips & Advice, UX Career Guidance

Am I too old for UX? (Tuesdays with Joe, Episode 12)

Today’s UX question comes from an experienced designer who’s wondering, like a lot of us who are past 40, if he’s too old for UX.

Jim is increasingly feeling lost in the mad rush of design agency life, and is beginning to question whether or not he still has what it takes to be a UX designer.

From the pressure to work very fast at any cost, to the outrageous expectations of clients, to project managers and/or salespeople dictating design, Jim feels burned out, stressed. At the end of his rope.

Not just professionally


Tips & Advice, UI Design

The difference between amateur and professional design

the difference between amateur and professional design

Today’s fast food for thought re: #design and #UX.

If the conversation is around how good the design is or how it looks, it’s the wrong conversation.

The shift depicted here marks the difference between amateur and professional design.


Tips & Advice

Words matter: why notification messages could kill Dropbox’s UX

Dropbox's new branding won't overcome their frightening notification message issues.

As many of you know by now, Dropbox recently completed a large-scale brand overhaul. Dropbox says of their new branding is about “shifting the conver­sation around work,” offering this explanation:

“Our users run the gamut from business professionals to scientists and creative types. Most of these folks tell us they feel overwhelmed and distracted during the workday, and that this is one of the biggest barriers to creating work they’re proud of. 

They deal with cluttered inboxes,


Tips & Advice

Want stakeholder buy-in? See UX their way.

Want stakeholder buy-in? See UX their way.

A few years back, I read a book (whose title I can’t recall) that delivered this absolutely GOLD nugget of wisdom regarding the struggle to get stakeholder buy-in for UX and Design:

Most people in management or executive positions can’t truly see what’s broken, because they’re usually only looking at the side that’s working.

Truer words were never spoken. I wrote that in my sketchbook on the spot and have never forgotten it.

The thing is, that’s really not their fault. It’s actually a product


Tips & Advice

The (Overlooked) UX Value of Stakeholder Arguments

stakeholder arguments

We’re all on the same side here…aren’t we?

In a previous post, I told you a story about me screwing up — and how I lived to tell the tale 😉

A big part of that failure was not doing the work upfront to learn all I could about all the players involved in the project and the product. I never looked past my initial contact, who was the head of Product Marketing. And as you saw, I got all sorts of unpleasant


Tips & Advice

Adobe asked: what do I look for when hiring a designer?

While in Chicago speaking at HOW DESIGN LIVE recently, the good folks at Adobe cornered me and asked me to weigh in on what I looks for when hiring a designer, my number one rule for talking to clients about design, and considerations for designing for a diverse audience. I was completely honored, and I hope you find some value in what I had to say!


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