Where the design community meets.
over 6 years ago from Cristian Moisei, http://meet-cristian.com
Hey Thomas - I appreciate the frank comment. Joining a proper company is on the roadmap and I understand there will be far more opportunities to improve once you're surrounded by a team working towards the same goal. In your opinion, what are the best companies for a designers (UI/UX) to work at?
Now, in regards to freelancing, my colleague and I find it pretty easy to design for clients who want a simple website but either don't want to get their hands dirty with a WP theme or want more than the builders can do, and we only charge around £2-3k for such sites. The real value however is the expertise we can bring, the ability to solve design problems, to handle the stuff the client couldn't handle themselves.
I don't think the problem with freelancing is site builders, those are still too small and weak to do much damage, but rather the steep competition - it's relatively easy to set up shop and call yourself a designer.
Lastly, Hyperion is the team name a freelance developer and I use to work on projects together, but legally we're each independent and I would hardly call ourselves a company.
The best companies are ones with supportive teams, who you get along with, and hopefully with a mentor who you feel can really teach you something you don't already know. If you go to an interview, make it known that you really just want to learn and see how the people there react.
In my own experience, going for un-sexy companies in my junior days helped me make a massive impact on the design there and enabled me to get into the rhythm of solving big problems. The fact that I was junior meant that if I failed at something, I wouldn't suffer massive consequences, it was chalked up to experience that I learned a lot from.
Where the design community meets.
Designer News is a large, global community of people working or interested in design and technology.
Something completely different, but you write "I am a freelancer", though you link to a company website? How does a freelancer turn into a "we"?
I personally feel like this is the time to look for a place in a team, especially if you consider yourself a UI Designer, as stock solutions on the webdesign market are too affordable and satisfy most client needs already.
As a small company or freelancer you generally want to provide your clients a reason to choose you, over a stock solution like squarespace or buying a wordpress theme. Most of the time, that USP is quality because of handwork. But, webdesign as a handwork has become much more expensive because of mobile over the years, unless you have some sort of product that you just end up configuring, instead of starting from scratch everytime, you will not be able to provide an affordable solution for your clients, that also ends up satisfying your need for doing high quality work, while also being profitable - that just doesn't work anymore imho. Furthermore, if you do that, you will exclude your practice from things that many designers these days do, like prototyping, motion design, etc. There is no need no time and no money for prototyping a client website, unless they pay 20k+, which they probably won't pay to a freelancer or a two man company.
I think its problematic to think, that X or Y makes a good designer, because ultimately all you want is to tell us that you are one of us, that you are industry standard and that you are good in what you do, and you already are. But the core problem you describe is fuelled by imposter syndrome, not by the need to truly improve. I think you already know, what your next step is. Don't wait for another designer to tell you what to do, or to tell you where you need to improve, because you already know it yourself. If you consider yourself a UI Designer, I suggest you also start learning development skills, depending on what platform you make interfaces for. If you just want to "feel like a designer", look for a position in a team that practices agile.