You'll probably hear quite a bit of conversation in the next few years on creative jobs that focus on the customer. Because of this renewed commitment to making technology easier, faster, and better, UX designers will continue to be in high demand with a constant supply of clients to choose from when it comes to submitting scope of work templates.
"UX" literally stands for "user experience", which should tell you a lot about what the job entails and why it's a good fit for those who are detail-oriented, able to adapt, and forward-thinking. In fact, because the role of UX designer requires both a background in design and a technical aptitude that allows for continual skill development, it's an opportunity for the tech-savvy and the creative.
Because the average salary for even a beginner UX Designer can be $60,000 or more (and $90,000+ for more experienced professionals), it's a favorite job field for those who love a challenge. Solving problems and bringing ideas to life is at the heart of this career, and almost every company that has a mobile app, desktop application, or another user interface will need at least one trustworthy UX Designer on their team. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that 10-year job growth will be at a staggering 22.1%, amounting to a total of over 3.4 million jobs available for those with the right skills.
For someone with an amazing work ethic and is open to flexible work goals, there is almost unlimited potential to find work both in the U.S. and globally. Remote jobs aren't as common with UX designers (compared to writers or marketing professionals), but they do exist. Working for a start-up also offers the chance to get in on the ground floor with a company that provides profit sharing.
UX designers make so much because they have to be good at all things. The position requires the perfect mix of programmer, designer, customer service champion, and business analyst. In short, it's a very skill-intensive job that will reward the agilest and experienced designers. So, what can a novice do to get in on this fantastic opportunity? Most agree that job skills enrichment, training, and very specialized educational programs are where it's at. Not to mention using proper design briefs. With the right learning, a career in user experience could be yours!
Perhaps you have a graphic design or fine arts degree. That's certainly a start toward becoming a UX designer. But even if you don't have a formal background in design, there are plenty of opportunities to learn what makes good user design through informal learning programs. You can start by reading up on some of the best articles from those in the field who are doing it well. Frequently browse through Dribbble portfolios to see what the most celebrated designers are creating and selling.
Remember, that UX and UI design is a little more "real-world" than things learned in basic design school courses. While you may have a foundation of color and balance, there are some elements necessary for web design that you'll need to learn by doing. Typography is one part of design, for example, that you'll get better with over time and testing.
When is the last time you made a mock-up – just for fun? By doing practice projects, you’re giving yourself a chance to gain real-world UX skills and also learn what elements of the job you love (and which will require you to buckle down and just tolerate.) Work on your skills every day, even if you have no formal clients to serve. Just updating your design software to some of the best tools for web and graphic designers, and learning about a new brush kit or color palette counts in your overall development.
In addition to trying new skills with sample projects, you should look into asking others for feedback. Get involved with a mastermind group that pairs more experienced designers with newer ones. Consider taking an intern role (even if you're out of college and won't get class credit for it.) Read what the industry leaders are saying and doing. Create your dream list of projects that inspire and educate.
While helpful, a college degree in design or computer science isn’t mandatory. In fact, many designers continue to work on their development with voluntary coursework – much of which is available online. Price points for these courses will vary. The following sites offer a variety of learning opportunities, although it's up to you to research each diligently to ensure the information presented is timely, relevant, and accurate:
Learning the skills needed to be a competent UX Designer is just the start of launching your new career. It's a bumpy road for many, and it requires iron-clad resolve to become the professional who can thrive in such an in-demand job. The good news is that there will be no shortage for those who can get up-to-speed on what companies require; those who can address problems in unique and creative ways will thrive in this high-paced career choice.
There's an old saying that goes "it's not what you know, but who you know." While skillset is undoubtedly essential to becoming a UX Designer, it's not everything. Knowing someone at a hiring company or getting connected with a team who can help direct your career is critical these days. It may be the difference of $20,000 a year or working at a company that has a respectful company culture, and that makes impressive contributions to causes that matter most to you. Consider setting up a profile on LinkedIn to let others know you're happy to engage. Getting allies in this industry is what many high-earning pros credit for their overall career success.
Do you have the creativity, business sense, and customer empathy needed to be a UX Designer? Whether you are making the leap from web designer or are starting from scratch, those who can excel in the core components of user experience have a bright future ahead! It’s a job that’s really “not about you” but has the potential to be rewarding to professionals who follow the path. Submit your UX proposal templates, manage your contracts and invoices, and track your time with a free Bonsai trial.
A verbal contract (formally called an oral contract) refers to an agreement between two parties that's made —you guessed it— verbally.
Formal contracts, like those between an employee and an employer, are typically written down. However, some professional transactions take place based on verbally agreed terms.
Freelancers are a good example of this. Often, freelancers will take on projects having agreed on the terms and payment via the phone, or an email. Unfortunately, sometimes clients don't pull through on their agreements, and hardworking freelancers can find themselves out of pocket and wondering whether a legal battle is worth all the hassle.
The main differences between written and oral contracts are that the former is signed and documented, whereas the latter is solely attributed to verbal communication.
Verbal contracts are a bit of a gray area for most people unfamiliar with contract law —which is most of us, right?— due to the fact that there's no physical evidence to support the claims made by the implemented parties.
For any contract (written or verbal) to be binding, there are four major elements which need to be in place. The crucial elements of a contract are as follows:
Therefore, an oral agreement has legal validity if all of these elements are present. However, verbal contracts can be difficult to enforce in a court of law. In the next section, we take a look at how oral agreements hold up in court.
Most business professionals are wary of entering into contracts orally because they can difficult to enforce in the face of the law.
If an oral contract is brought in front of a court of law, there is increased risk of one party (or both!) lying about the initial terms of the agreement. This is problematic for the court, as there's no unbiased way to conclude the case; often, this will result in the case being disregarded. Moreover, it can be difficult to outline contract defects if it's not in writing.
That being said, there are plenty of situations where enforceable contracts do not need to be written or spoken, they're simply implied. For instance, when you buy milk from a store, you give something in exchange for something else and enter into an implied contract, in this case - money is exchanged for goods.
There are some types of contracts which must be in writing.
The Statute of Frauds is a legal statute which states that certain kinds of contracts must be executed in writing and signed by the parties involved. The Statute of Frauds has been adopted in almost all U.S states, and requires a written contract for the following purposes:
Typically, a court of law won't enforce an oral agreement in any of these circumstances under the statute. Instead, a written document is required to make the contract enforceable.
Contract law is generally doesn't favor contracts agreed upon verbally. A verbal agreement is difficult to prove, and can be used by those intent on committing fraud. For that reason, it's always best to put any agreements in writing and ensure all parties have fully understood and consented to signing.
Verbal agreements can be proven with actions in the absence of physical documentation. Any oral promise to provide the sale of goods or perform a service that you agreed to counts as a valid contract. So, when facing a court of law, what evidence can you provide to enforce a verbal agreement?
Unfortunately, without solid proof, it may be difficult to convince a court of the legality of an oral contract. Without witnesses to testify to the oral agreement taking place or other forms of evidence, oral contracts won't stand up in court. Instead, it becomes a matter of "he-said-she-said" - which legal professionals definitely don't have time for!
If you were to enter into a verbal contract, it's recommended to follow up with an email or a letter confirming the offer, the terms of the agreement , and payment conditions. The more you can document the elements of a contract, the better your chances of legally enforcing a oral contract.
Another option is to make a recording of the conversation where the agreement is verbalized. This can be used to support your claims in the absence of a written agreement. However, it's always best to gain the permission of the other involved parties before hitting record.
Fundamentally, most verbal agreements are legally valid as long as they meet all the requirements for a contract. However, if you were to go to court over one party not fulfilling the terms of the contract, proving that the interaction took place can be extremely taxing.
So, ultimately, the question is: written or verbal agreements?
Any good lawyer, contract law firm, or legal professional would advise you to make sure you formalize any professional agreement with a written agreement. Written contracts provide a secure testament to the conditions that were agreed and signed by the two parties involved. If it comes to it, a physical contract is much easier to eviden in legal circumstances.
Freelancers, in particular, should be aware of the extra security that digital contracts may provide. Many people choose to stick to executing contracts verbally because they're not sure how to write a contract, or they think writing out the contract terms is too complicated or requires expensive legal advice. However, this is no longer the case.
Today, we have a world of resources available at our fingertips. The internet is a treasure trove of invaluable information, platforms, and software that simplifies our lives. Creating, signing, and sending contracts has never been easier. What's more, you don't have to rely on a hiring a lawyer to explain all that legal jargon anymore.
There are plenty of tools available online for freelancers to use for guidance when drafting digital contracts. Tools like Bonsai provide a range of customizable, vetted contract templates for all kinds of freelance professionals. No matter what industry you're operating in, Bonsai has a professional template to offer.
A written contract makes the agreement much easier to prove the terms of the agreement in case something were to go awry. The two parties involved can rest assured that they're legal rights are protected, and the terms of the contract are sufficiently documented. Plus, it provides both parties with peace of mind to focus on the tasks at hand.
Bonsai's product suite for freelancers allows users to make contracts from scratch, or using professional templates, and sign them using an online signature maker.
With Bonsai, you can streamline and automate all of the boring back-office tasks that come with being a freelancer. From creating proposals that clients can't say no to, to sealing the deal with a professional contract - Bonsai will revolutionize the way you do business as a freelancer.
Why not secure your business today and sign up for a free trial?