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Doing UI design as a freelancer

Hi! I do mostly webdesign and I know how to code a bit. But my real interest lies in UI design and usability.

What would you recommend to break into this business? I want to design UIs for software companies and/or MicroISVs (I don't care about the size). I unterstand that there is often very little to none budget for this. Most of the time the developers make the UI as well and it shows.

Any suggestions?
Wednesday, March 30, 2005
Some of us see the value of a good UI person.  I have two that I work with pretty regularly.

You need to get connected with a network of software developers and make it known that you're available.  The good ones will know who's doing what and pass your name along... if you're good too.
KC Send private email
Thursday, March 31, 2005
Roger -

Drop an email / web site link so that we know where to reach you.

Bankstrong Send private email
Thursday, March 31, 2005
Thank you for your replies!

I wrote my question so that it doesn't sound like I'm advertising my services. But if you're really curious I will add my email address to this post.
roger Send private email
Thursday, March 31, 2005
Email and maybe samples/portfolio would be great.
Kris Send private email
Thursday, March 31, 2005
Yes sample work would be very interesting.
Alex Send private email
Thursday, March 31, 2005
I *hightly* recommend a portfolio of "before and after" shots.

BTW, I suspect there is more work avaialble in WEBSITE usability than in product usablity b/c:

1. Websites get complete face-lifts more often than software.

2. Website usability is easier to measure and since it's often a sales tool, you might see IMMEDIATE improved sales.

3. It's easier to do "after the fact".

I think the real challenge is that you're selling a very ephimeral service.  You might try either a very small initial consulatation fee (first page/form at a reduced price) or even offer to look at a page and give the easiest, best suggestion free.  Only 1 per customer and only for new customers.

I'd think that a good usability person could look at a website or program and immediately find one glaring mistake that's easily fixed.

If you can work economically and make some good suggestions, I'd be interested for our website.

Email me with a link to your portfolio or examples of your work.
Mr. Analogy (uISV owner} Send private email
Thursday, March 31, 2005
email me too, with some samples....
VC+++Me Send private email
Friday, April 01, 2005
I, too, am interested in your portfolio.
Nathan Send private email
Friday, April 01, 2005
Mr. Analogy writes:
"I *hightly* recommend a portfolio of "before and after" shots."

I'm going to *strongly* second that. 

Reason: I knew someone who powerwashed and repainted houses and decks.  This man told me that when he started keeping a photo album of before & after pictures of houses he had worked on, and started showing this book to potential clients, his business MORE THAN DOUBLED, practically overnight...

People like to see things to get ideas from them.  If you let your work do the selling, it's almost like getting a the help of a salesman to work for you for free!

Anyway, wishing you luck,

Peter Sherman Send private email
Friday, April 01, 2005
email me with profile & samples
Sunny Send private email
Sunday, April 03, 2005
BTW, found an excellent example of a well done portfolio.

(I googled on "usability expert software web before and after" and found ONE hit in the first page. This guy. Well done portfolio.
Mr. Analogy (uISV owner} Send private email
Monday, April 04, 2005

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