At my software company, I usually have a lot of time to brainstorm and research before I start creating detailed designs in Figma. However, on freelancing platforms like Upwork, the client may have limited time and budget, so I may not have as much opportunity to complete all of the UX processes. As a freelancer, it's important to be quick and efficient with ideation and UX research to complete projects successfully. If you're new to UX/UI design, don't worry! I'm here to help you learn how to solve complex problems in product design. Today, I'll be walking you through the steps to do this effectively. Let's get started!
Step 1: To start, take some time to brainstorm ideas for the functions and visual design of your product. Don't worry about researching at this stage; just let your creativity flow and think about how you envision the product. Once you have some ideas, try sketching out a rough version of your thoughts. Keep in mind that this initial sketch may change as you continue the design process, but it will give you a clear direction to follow. The next step is to gather inspiration from well-established brands to help refine and develop your ideas further.
Step 2: It's important to gather inspiration from real-life products, not just design portfolios like Dribbble or Behance. To do this, I like to use websites that show screenshots and videos of popular apps. This allows me to see how they function and get design inspiration. However, it's important to remember that you should only use these products for inspiration, not copying.
Here are some websites that showcase real-life products that you can use for design inspiration:
Step 3: Now, it's time to take the ideas and inspiration you've gathered and create a final sketch. This sketch should combine your own ideas with the knowledge you've gained from other sources and ensure that the user experience and visual components are aligned. Try to create a sketch that brings all of these elements together seamlessly.
Step 4: There are many wireframe kits available on Figma that you can use to quickly create digital wireframes based on your previous sketches. Just add shapes and components clearly so that when you show them to the client, they can easily understand and provide feedback. This method can save a lot of time and increase your credibility with the client. It's important to be honest and efficient with your time on platforms like Upwork, as it will benefit you in the long run.
Final Step: It can be helpful to create guidelines that you can use in all of your projects. I often find that UI components I use in one project can be reused in future projects. It's also a good idea to create a typography scale and save it in Figma to improve consistency and design across your projects. Having these guidelines and resources in place can streamline your design process and save time in the long run.
I've found that this practice really helps me when I need to do fast ideation. I've used it in a variety of projects, like an ed-tech website with an admin dashboard and a freelancing platform design. It helps me relax and focus on the visual design rather than getting overwhelmed by complexity. I hope it can be helpful for you too!
I hope these steps are helpful for freelancers who are just starting out with large projects on freelancing platforms. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact me. I'm always happy to help!
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