As an experienced UI designer with a 6 figure salary, my 22-year journey in web design and ui design has led me to a top-tier client-side company. Having transitioned from agencies, freelance work, and even a few startup endeavors, my experience across diverse roles has been instrumental in shaping my current trajectory.
The notable shift lies in the expectations of top-tier companies – they don’t recruit junior or middleweight designers. The demand is for designers who bring solutions and results to the table, showcasing a level of expertise that justifies high salaries.
Comparing my present self with almost two decades ago, several key transformations stand out:
|Ongoing engagement with the latest Front End technologies and exposure to various back-end systems, leading to a robust technical foundation developed over time and through cumulative experience.
|Corporate/Software Culture Acumen
|Mastery of large-scale organizational operations and adaptation to corporate culture, presenting a substantial challenge often underestimated at the freelance or agency level.
|Enhanced Team Collaboration
|Improved team collaboration by understanding how development teams function and accommodating various teams’ needs, recognizing the extensive impact of design decisions.
|Navigating Business Stakeholders
|Successful navigation of diverse client agendas, often exceeding 20 for a single project, showcasing finesse and addressing the distinct challenges faced by top-tier designers.
|Resilience to Rejections
|Establishment of resilience to rejections as a norm, managing multiple factors such as scheduling, budgeting, and resourcing, where designers frequently encounter more negative responses.
|Daily engagement in adaptive problem-solving, encompassing multiple backend systems, APIs, teams of developers, intricate product goals, user journeys, analytics, and marketing research.
|Emphasis on confident decision-making, considering the far-reaching repercussions of choices throughout the entire business structure.
|Evolution into a better people person, recognizing the significance of effective communication and collaboration as crucial components of success.
|Leverage of a 22-year perspective on the web’s evolution, facilitating the discernment of lasting trends from passing fads and maintaining a mental library of effective UX and UI patterns.
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Lastly, the transition from freelance to corporate job is not just about design skill-sets but entails mastering the art of dealing with people – an aspect that often defines success in top-tier roles.
– Ally Colquhoun (Ui Designer from Australia and his Ui design portfolio here)