When you are first starting either as a freelance UX designer or as a UX agency, it can be helpful to have a place to show your work and find gigs or to find the people that fit best with your line of work. Either way, that is where freelance portals for UX designers come in. They are an easy way to find freelance UX design jobs and learn how to work as a freelancer at the beginning of your career or to find people to work with or for you.
While some of these platforms do not charge fees for membership or applying/requesting for gigs, any platform that includes a payment platform usually charges some sort of service or payment processing fee, which depends principally on the platform, type of project, currency, size of the project, and payment processor.
While there are hundreds of freelance portals out there, they will not all have opportunities for UX design gigs in particular. In this guide, we will cover what freelance portals are the best ones to find elite UX designers.
What Is a Freelance Portal
A freelance portal is a web platform that connects freelancers with clients. Some freelance portals have client management tools built in including contracts, payment processing, and messaging. Others are simply job boards and portfolio hosts that allow freelancers to find gigs and clients to find freelancers.
New freelance UX designers often turn to portals as an all-in-one solution for their freelance business. Experienced freelancers might use a freelance portal to supplement their recurring freelance commitments. Freelance portals can be convenient, especially for those who have never done independent work before.
One disadvantage is that many portals charge fees to use them. Additionally, since freelance portals are frequently set up on a “bid” system and allow international designers to apply for their jobs, some freelancers find that they cannot charge the rates that they want to on these platforms. The way that currency value and lifestyle costs vary across the world, there can be some disparity between pricing.
The 5 Best Portals to Find the Best UX Designers
In this section, we will discuss which are the definitive websites for UX agency owners to find the UX designers that they are looking for any project or agency that you may want to start running, as well as for UX designers to find those jobs.
Upwork is one of the most well-known platforms in the freelance world. It provides the infrastructure to work with freelancers in multiple ways that you can choose. You can pay hourly, hire full-time, or hire on a project basis. Upwork also has Upwork Pro and Upwork Enterprise, which provide a curated group of freelancers to bid on your project and additional project management amenities.
Upwork key points are the following ones. The merger of two competitors, Upwork, has years of experience in providing freelance services of numerous types. You can find UX designers at different rates and experience levels, and you can check their portfolios before you hire. With a structured payment system, you approve each project milestone before payment so you can get projects accomplished efficiently.
Toptal is a curated freelance platform that matches designers with clients for their business goals. The engagements work because Toptal vets and tests applicants with years of experience for their talent network. This helps ensure every Toptal designer shows language mastery, a personality match, and an elite user design interface skill set to perform for clients of different sizes and project needs.
Toptal’s customer service and selective candidate pool have earned some of the top marks in the industry. The site provides a platform for managing your projects and payments. It’s an option for small businesses, large enterprises, and startups alike.
Toptal major features are its tests and vets for high-quality front-end, graphic design, and UX freelancers that join its network, so you know you will be working with an experienced, talented, professional UX designer. The platform provides you with a personal matching service that considers multiple factors of a designer’s skillset. Because of the expectations and accountability of Toptal UX designers for hire, along with Toptal’s no-risk trial, you can find some of the best tech talent available for your product development.
Dribbble is a platform created for designers. Since its inception as an invitation-only community for designers, the platform has dropped the invitation requirement and has since allowed most designers to join. They have also added a job board that includes freelance, part-time, and full-time positions.
Dribbble has a pool of designers, so you should be able to find a designer with UX experience. With a community atmosphere, designers and community members can draw from each other and advise others on their work. With Dribbble Talent, you can receive pre-vetted UX design recommendations to access candidates ready to work with you.
99designs uses a crowd-sourced contest format to get designs for you. You can submit your proposal, and then dozens or even hundreds of designers can potentially submit their ideas for the expression of your proposal. Select the one you like and then move forward with that designer. The site has different price levels, which gives you access to designers at different skill levels.
For example, if you enter a contest, you can potentially check out dozens of ways different designers have interpreted your project before deciding on the design. Plus, you can hire UX designers directly instead of having a contest, choosing from the designers on the site.
LinkedIn is the mother of portals for finding jobs. Although it is not entirely based on freelance work, it is still the leading portal to find any type of professional job. It is a US-based worldwide professional social network. Freelancers can use LinkedIn to network with potential clients, find gigs on LinkedIn Jobs, share their work experience and portfolios on their profile, and optimize their profile to be discovered on search. LinkedIn will also send freelancers jobs that match their profiles.
By using these portals you will find the best UX designers for your next project or they will find you. Either way, you can only find each other if both of you load your profile and your intentions in these portals.