Should I Work for Free? [Flowchart]


One of the most accurate, funny things I’ve seen on the subject in a while. Credit to

(Help) How to submit a Pre-Interview UX assignment - (Format/Outline)
Designer's Exploitation

This was developed by Jessica Hische and then marked up in HTML and CSS to


Some of the answers are hilarious but the ideas are spot on!


Oh snap, I wonder if she knows about UsabilityCounts using it! I didn’t see any attribution on their page, but I admit I may have overlooked it.

EDIT: No, there doesn’t appear to be any attribution on their page. That’s disappointing. I tweeted at both of them, so we’ll see what happens.


@Piper_Wilson - exactly! That’s what makes it so great :slight_smile:


This has made my morning!


I’ gonna print this thing out in the form of a poster and put in on the wall right above my desk. Amen!

Wish I was that smart some time ago :stuck_out_tongue:

But I need to add that one of the “see what you’re capable of” got me a job. So… sometimes it’s worth it. But mostly it’s not :slight_smile:


So deep and hilarious at the same time :slight_smile:

On a similar note I am currently interviewing for UX roles. Some companies ask to do an assignment before they call in for an interview. In such cases how much time should one spend on it?

Personally I don’t feel like spending more than 8 hrs (1 workday) on an assignment and stick to lo-fi prototypes along with process explanation. Maybe a bit more if it is a dream company like Google or Facebook :slight_smile:

What is the norm?


Oh man, do I have an opinion on this.

0 hours. That’s how much time you should put in to that type of project, unless:

  • You agree on a nominal fee for your time regardless of whether or not you get the job OR
  • …you receive a promise of feedback on your design regardless of whether or not you get the job AND you are comfortable knowing that you will not get paid for it.

I’m personally of these opinion that these take-home design challenges need to stop as they do not test what makes a good UX professional and are inherently biased against those who don’t have the time commitment to work on a project like that.


Hahahahah - notice how none of the ‘legitimate business’ options on the flow chart end in a “Yes”? :grinning:

Oh I used to love these take home things and one time I did have an amazing experience that resulted in a lot of valuable feedback and a great job that I stayed with for a couple of years before branching out on my own - but that positive experience happened just once.

I’ve been burned too - repeatedly- and I’m so damn over it. I’m sick of watching other people go through it too.

It’s not ethical, it’s not equitable and most of the bad experiences I’ve had, have occurred when the task was set by people who aren’t UXers and have no idea friggin idea what that actually means or why they shouldn’t be doing it! Ugh sorry - end rant.


I wish I live to see this day soon :joy:


I have just spent about 12 months looking for a UX gig, and did heaps of UX assignments. I didn’t mind because I thought it would leave to greater opportunities. But none of them did. The business that offered me a position did one interview – just one, and no assignments. And they offered the best $.

You know what pissed me off about the whole assignment ordeal – none of those jerks offered a single bit of feedback on my work. I felt so used.

Here’s another story that some will find deeply upsetting. This wasn’t for a UX role – it was for a Marketing Lead role in a startup, but the principal is the same. This startup intentionally held off hiring someone for 3 months because they were getting so many good marketing ideas from all the interviews they were conducting. So many people had their time wasted. You know, these people took sick days, or paid for extra childcare to come in, and then offered ideas that would have cost thousands of dollars had the company got in a consultancy. Does that make you mad or what?



That’s disgraceful.

Jerks! I’ve had a few say something unhelpful like “oh we liked it” or some other useless comment!

Only that one unicorn of an assignment experience actually resulted in value on both sides. It was discussion based with the actual team I was interviewing to join and was a genuine two-way conversation that unpacked my thinking, gave feedback and it wasn’t a real project! It was loosely based on an past project and they told me about it in the discussion and together we compared my approach to what had actually been done a few years before. For a long time, I thought this was how take home assignments worked and I loved them but then I had a few of the more typical experiences and now I’m feeling pretty pissed off that this is happening.


Yeah, you’ve given your expertise for free. feedback should be mandatory. From now on, I will demand it before starting!