User research, UX design, Prototyping
Design research, Research synthesis, User look, Prototype, Visual design
Victoria Ayo, Elvis Yang
Creating an online open source comprehensive guide for freelance and remote workers to understand the more nuanced parts of the work process.
Users can choose categories that they need guidance on and a guide will walk them through step by step. There is also a community element where other freelancers can share their own experiences, letting users get professional input as well as community guidance.
Innovation in Product design
How might we support freelancers who don’t live in major metropolises lead active careers?
Many freelancers live away from big cities where the freelance scene is still up and coming. They always feel a lack of support in their careers, especially new freelancers. Much of the information about the freelancer they need or want is scattered and unstructured. Also there is a lack of community that they would miss out on the traditional work environment.
We conducted interviews with freelance, remote workers as well as freelance experts as well as workers who live and work in smaller cities.
We gain four main insights from our interview.
can lead to
Freelancing puts the work in networking
Inefficiencies in communication create inefficiencies in the work process
Knowledge is essential for successful client/freelancer transactions
In order to have a better vision of the life of freelancers, we tried to make the insight we got from the interview tangible.
We explored the whole process of freelancing a project.
Use freelance designer as an example:
Tetris is used to mimic the whole process of a project in freelancers daily work.
/Each block means one step.
/We found there are some obstacles (red & green blocks in the photo) on the way to the end of the project which prolongs the timeline of the whole project.
We found efficient communication between the freelancer and the client is an essential link during this process.
According to the insights we got, we translated these insights into the design language.
Give freelancers the opportunity to interact, cowork and get inspired by others who are working on similar things, while also giving them a chance to work on their own.
Give freelancers more control over their cadence, frequency and platforms of communication.
Make it easy for freelancers to connect and network with each other.
Make the work process more visible to clients and provide access to educational resources to clients and workers on policies, SOWs, resources, etc.
How might we integrate learning into the freelance working environment?
The lack of ability to learn from others is a key issue for many freelancers, many of whom work independently, alone in coffee shops or in smaller cities. Because of this, we sought to provide an online platform that could provide a sense of community for freelancers as well as a place to share vital information about elements of the freelance process that some freelancers may miss out on because they they work alone.
Community with control
Give freelancers the opportunity to interact and learn from others while also giving them a chance to work on their own. Give them more control over their platform and cadence of communication.
Provide more visibility into the work process and provide access to educational resources.
User Look | User Testing
" Show us what the artifact looks like and annotate them for users."
" Allow users to choose which step in the timeline they would like to go to next."
" What about on profile Specialization?"
" This would definitely be helpful. When I started, I didn’t know how to communicate with clients."
A simple but comprehensive guide platform for freelancers
Breaking it Down
Users are met with a breakdown of the work process and what to expect - from getting clients to getting paid.
Help and Support
Users are guided through elements of the process such as drafting a contract. They are also able to see comments and anecdotes from other freelancers talking about their experiences. Users are also able to tell their stories.
Users can look at and provide their information into a sample contract that they can then export or print out.
Users can provide the feedback for this step and the whole guideline will keep iterating as an open-source platform.