Ready to leave the 9-to-5 and set your own schedule and rates as a UX designer? It may be time to try freelancing.
Once seen as “not a real job,” freelancing is now a viable career path for people with a variety of skills and talents.
Here are the best freelance sites you can join to find freelancing work as a UX Designer.
Table of Contents
- Best Freelance Websites for UX Designers To Find Work
- How to Become a Freelance UX Designer
- Benefits of Freelancing as a UX Designer
- How to Choose the Right Freelance Website to Work For
- Best Freelance Websites by Category
- Frequently Asked Questions
Check out our list of the best freelance websites for hiring UX designers.
Best Freelance Websites for UX Designers To Find Work
Best overallLearn More
Toptal is the top choice among both junior and senior-level UX designers looking for consistent, high-paying gigs.
UX designers love the level of communication and support they receive from the recruiters at Toptal. The vetting process is rigorous, but if you’ve got what it takes, you’ll find fairly consistent, well-paying work.
Designers claim it’s hit or miss at first, but once you get one long-term client, recruiters begin approaching you directly for work. The clients themselves are reliable and professional since they’re vetted by the recruiters at Toptal.
Job postings on Toptal are categorized as hourly (requiring time tracking), part-time (with automatic payment for 20 hours per week), or full-time (with automatic payment for 40 hours per week).vPayment is made on a regular basis, typically on a monthly schedule, which is appreciated. All client hours are aggregated, and the payments are usually processed through Toptal via direct deposit payments.
- Read our Toptal review.
Best for beginner UX designersLearn More
You may hear mixed reviews about Upwork, but many UX designers found their first gigs on the popular freelancing site.
If you don’t have a portfolio at all and just need to get started, there is no shortage of UX design gigs on this platform. However, the market is fairly saturated and many of the gigs you find will be somewhat low-paying, so it’s important to be discerning when considering your opportunities on the site.
The biggest upside to Upwork is the regular pay schedule and pay protection. Your pay is protected through the site, so you won’t be screwed over if your client ends up being a scammer.
- Read our Upwork review.
A great place not only to find jobs but also to network with other UX designers is actually over on Reddit.
The subreddit r/uiuxdesignerjobs is a tried-and-true option for UX designers to find legitimate gigs that have often been vetted by other UX designers.
While it’s obviously not the most organized place to look for gigs, it does provide plenty of freelancing opportunities to a smaller community that’s less saturated than a larger platform like Fiverr or Upwork.
Many freelance UX designers can also create a post that they are searching for work and receive responses. Plenty of users also post questions and requests for advice on navigating the industry.
Best for UX designers looking for startupsLearn More
If you’re a newer UX designer eager to collaborate with a budding startup from its inception, Wellfound is the ideal platform for you.
Once you complete a profile outlining your experience and preferences, you can use the super convenient “one-click apply” feature. The platform also ensures that the compensation options are clearly displayed, saving you valuable time by ensuring you only pursue opportunities that align with your financial goals.
Wellfound serves as a direct link connecting freelance UX designers directly with startup founders, facilitating a seamless connection with the startup companies you want to collaborate with.
Best for long-term connectionsLearn More
LinkedIn, often hailed as a “career social network,” is our top choice for cultivating enduring client relationships.
Experienced UX designers who have established a substantial portfolio will find LinkedIn particularly advantageous. However, it's worth noting that, depending on your existing connections, even freelance UX designers with less experience may receive inquiries from potential clients.
I've personally received multiple job offers through LinkedIn, making it an effective platform for staying connected with prospective clients. To make the most of it, make sure you regularly check your messages and enable notifications to ensure you never miss out on an opportunity.
Another option for beginnersLearn More
Fiverr has cemented its position as a reliable platform with a huge user community spanning businesses of diverse sizes. For budding freelance UX designers, it serves as an excellent starting point.
Newcomers love Fiverr for its user-friendly profile setup, which enables them to quickly embark on their freelancing journey.
The platform also provides access to an extensive network of fellow freelance UX designers, opening doors for networking and expanding your brand within the field.
It's worth noting that Fiverr's convenience comes at a cost; they deduct a 20% service fee from your earnings.
- Read our Fiverr review.
Behance is an excellent platform for showcasing your projects and work to a wide audience.
Adobe owns Behance, and if you have an Adobe Creative Cloud subscription, you get access to Adobe Portfolio. This service provides templated websites with plenty of customization options.
The real advantage is that Behance functions as your Content Management System (CMS). After uploading your work to Behance, you can seamlessly integrate it with Adobe Portfolio. This allows you to selectively choose which projects to display, determine their arrangement, and make quick edits to text and images.
UX designers recommend building a portfolio on Behance to receive feedback, and then use that information to make a great portfolio website.
How to Become a Freelance UX Designer
Here’s how to become a freelance UX designer in 10 easy steps:
- Learn UX Design: Start by acquiring a strong foundation in user experience (UX) design. Study UX principles, usability, and design tools like Sketch, Figma, or Adobe XD.
- Build a Portfolio: Create a portfolio showcasing your UX design projects. Include case studies that demonstrate your problem-solving skills, user research, and design solutions.
- Network: Connect with other designers and potential clients through platforms like LinkedIn, Behance, or Dribbble. Attend UX meetups and conferences to expand your network.
- Gain Experience: Consider internships, freelance gigs, or volunteer work to gain practical experience. These real-world projects can help you refine your skills and build your portfolio.
- Freelance Platforms: Sign up on freelance platforms like Upwork, Fiverr, or Toptal to find initial clients. Be proactive in bidding on projects and delivering high-quality work to get good reviews that will help you land more clients.
- Market Yourself: When you have a portfolio built up, create a professional website to showcase your portfolio and services. Use social media and online communities to promote your skills.
- Client Relationships: Communicate with clients, understand their needs, and deliver user-centered designs. Building strong client relationships is what leads to repeat business.
- Continuous Learning: UX design is constantly evolving. Stay updated with industry trends, take online courses, and seek feedback to improve your skills.
- Legal and Financial Setup: Set up contracts, invoices, and a business structure if necessary (e.g., LLC). Ensure you manage your finances responsibly.
- Persistence: Freelancing may take time to establish, so stay persistent. Be adaptable, and continuously refine your skills and services to succeed in the UX design field.
Benefits of Freelancing as a UX Designer
There’s a reason that so many people, especially UX Designers, are leaving their 9-to-5s in favor of a more flexible career as a freelancer.
Here are some of the biggest benefits of freelancing as a UX Designer for a living.
Flexibility and Independence
Freelancing as a UX designer means you can have greater control over your work schedule. You have the freedom to choose when and where you work, giving you the flexibility to balance work with other aspects of your life. This leads to improved work-life balance and reduced (or non-existent!) commuting time.
Variety of Projects
Freelancers often work on a diverse range of projects for different clients and industries. This variety allows UX designers to continually learn and apply their skills to new challenges. It also keeps work interesting and prevents monotony.
Higher Earning Potential
Freelancing UX Designers have the potential to earn more compared to traditional salaried roles. As a freelancer, you can set your own rates and take on multiple clients at the same time, increasing your income. You can also benefit from negotiating higher rates as your skills and reputation grow.
Skill Growth and Learning
Freelancing exposes you to real-world challenges and client requirements, which can accelerate your learning and skill development. You'll encounter various technologies, tools, and approaches, pushing you to expand your knowledge and hone your skills.
Building a Personal Brand
With freelancing, you can establish and grow your personal brand as a UX Designer. Building a strong online presence, sharing your expertise through blogs or social media, and delivering quality work can lead to a strong brand that can attract more clients and opportunities.
How to Choose the Right Freelance Website to Work For
To pick the right freelance site to work for, think seriously about your abilities, experience, and availability.
You should also take into consideration how much of your pay will be shaved off to pay platform service fees, as this can impact your overall income.
If you’re just getting started as a UX Designer, we recommend setting up an easy, free account on Fiverr or Upwork to start building your resume.
As you gain experience and improve your skills, you can look into more advanced, vetted sites like Toptal.
Behance and LinkedIn offer great resources to connect with other UX designers and build a community.
The great thing about freelancing sites is that you can create profiles on as many or few sites as you want, allowing you endless work opportunities.
Best Freelance Websites by Category
Looking for more of the best freelance websites but need to browse by category? Check out our below freelance website reviews to either expand your portfolio or hire a freelancer for your next project.
- Freelancing Websites for Developers
- Freelancing Websites for WordPress Calculator Developers
- Freelancing Websites for AI Prompt Engineers
- Freelancing Websites for Graphic Designers
- Freelancing Websites for UX Designers
- Freelancing Websites for UI Designers
- Freelancing Websites for Illustrators
- Freelancing Websites for Writers
- Freelancing Websites for Accountants & Bookkeepers
- Freelancing Websites for Data Entry
- Freelancing Websites for Data Analysts
- Freelancing Websites for Data Scientists
- Freelancing Websites for Editors & Proofreaders
- Freelancing Websites for Digital Marketing
- Freelancing Websites for SEO Experts
- Freelancing Websites for Video Editors
- Freelancing Websites for Photographers
- Freelancing Websites for Virtual Assistants
- Freelancing Websites for Software Testers
- Freelancing Websites for Attorneys
- Freelancing Websites for Translators
- Freelancing Websites for Transcribers
- Freelancing Websites for Voice-Overs
- Freelancing Websites for College Students to Find Work
Frequently Asked Questions
Where can I find freelance work as a UX designer?
You can find freelance work as a UX designer on Upwork, Toptal, Behance, and even Reddit.
Can I freelance as a UX designer?
Yes, you can work as a freelance UX designer, and many UX designers find freelancing work to be the best way to maximize earnings.
Is freelance UX design worth it?
Yes, freelance UX design is worth it since you have the ability to work on your own time, set your own rates, and choose your clients.
How much should a UX designer charge for freelance?
A UX designer should charge around $25 to $40 per hour when starting out, then increase their rates as they gain experience.