Can UX designers work from home?
Yes. As a UX designer, you’re perfectly capable of working from home. All you need is a laptop, your design tools, and an internet connection.
Especially in today’s global pandemic, working from home becoming more and more popular each day. The use of business communication applications like Slack, Teams, and Zoom is growing rapidly.
As a UX designer, you can make great use of this situation. If you take a look at some of the more popular job boards you see an increasing number of remote UX design job openings. This is the moment to find yourself your next (remote) UX design job.
That being said, working from home, completely remote or at a big office, all bring their own challenges. Here’s how you can work from home as a UX designer.
The UX design tools you need to work from home
There’s one problem with working remotely. You’re not in the room. This provides you with challenges. For example, how can you conduct user research remotely?
Luckily, there are many solutions to quite literally bridging the gap between you, your team, stakeholders, and users. Tools like Miro and Lookback provide you with the means to facilitate workshops and user research remotely. You can do your UX research from the comfort of your own home. In addition to that, commonly used design tools like Sketch or Figma support digital collaboration. Sketch has a feature called Sketch Cloud. Within Figma, it is possible to work from your browser entirely. No problem there.
Tips and tricks when working from home
Working remotely from your own home as a UX designer is a whole different way of working compared to working in a big office.
Here are some tips and tricks to help you get going.
Go outside. When you work from home nobody is watching you. This can be a good thing but there’s also the risk of a common pitfall. Since you don’t have to commute every day you might not take breaks or go outside at all. The daily commute is for a lot of people the only time they ‘exercise’ and a big part of their outside time. When you work from home, you lose these moments. By going outside and actually taking a break you’ll increase your productivity and take a step back. It is good for your health as well.
When you work on location, you have microbreaks when you run into someone at the coffee machine or in the hallway. Take those microbreaks when you’re working from home as well by going outside, playing with your pet, or something else to help you relax.
Stay in touch. An important aspect of doing remote work as a UX designer is communication. As mentioned earlier, you can’t just walk up to your colleagues like you would when you were all in the same building.
Make sure you attend weekly recurrences like reviews, Scrum meetings, and standups. In my own experience, it works well to have a short phone call with your stakeholders every week to check if you’re all still on the same wavelength. During this phone call, you can discuss current and upcoming work.
Keep practicing your design skills and tools. Since you cannot show yourself in real-life you have to make sure your work speaks for itself. Keep practicing your design skills. Keep learning. Always.
For a remote UX designer, two of the most important choices you need to make are the laptop you use and the tools that come with it. Take a look at the posts below to help you in making the right choices.
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