No matter what kind of UX freelance work you do, you are most likely going to be hired to deliver. In this video, Cory Lebson talks about how you can understand what your client is looking for and then produce deliverables that make your clients happy.
- Employees are hired by companies to do work. As a freelancer, you are hired to deliver. As a user researcher, my typical deliverables involve user research plans, materials to be used during these efforts, and reports of all kinds. But, my deliverables may not be delivered as files. In fact, I find that what I'm hired to deliver sometimes includes things like realtime workshop facilitation. Your deliverables are going to vary a bit depending on the type of UX work that you're hired for.
Most likely they'll involve illustration of ideas that you create for your clients, documentation from design evaluations, or assistance in framing strategic visions. Regardless of deliverable type, you need to figure out what your client is looking for. Understanding these deliverables will help you get a more solid handle on how much time you'll be spending on any given effort. For user research reports specifically, don't just rattle on and on about findings, but make sure to provide your client with actionable recommendations.
How can they take your findings and make a difference now? Think creatively to help them solve problems. You can certainly feel free to classify issues and recommendations based on impact on users, but beware of classifications that explain how hard or easy things are to fix. More likely than not, you're on the outside, so don't try to appear as if you understand everything that is going into the design or development process. Also, make sure that you understand the level of granularity that the client is looking for.
For example, does the client want to know exactly how many participants were impacted, or will general themes suffice? For design deliverables, whether interaction or visual design, make sure that you fully understand how your client expects you to present your creations. Be it wireframes, click through prototypes, design comps, or anything else. Also, make sure that you understand the level of fidelity that your client is looking for. Again, this should be something that you work at with your client as the contract is being signed, not later.
Consider the level of collaboration the client is expecting as you do your designs. Are there initial creative meetings followed by some heads-down activities where you're working independently? When are those points when you come back together with your client? Ultimately, it's important that you make your client happy. If the employee doesn't deliver exactly what is expected of them, a good boss will work with them to do better next time. However, for a freelance consultant, they may not make the same effort. So figure out how to make your clients happy.
You shouldn't put yourself in the position that you feel taken advantage of, but you should also remember that a happy client is more likely to hire you again, recommend you to others, and keep your pipeline full.
- Managing your freelance workload
- Keeping your freelance pipeline full
- Letting go of perfectionism
- Working with primary and extended stakeholders
- Tips for balancing stakeholder needs
- Working with freelancers as a UX manager or project manager