Start UX as freelancer?



I work as a freelancer in the film industry.
Now I decided to learn UX Design.
I have to mention that I’m already 41 years old.
Now I have some questions:

1.) Do you think it is possible to get started in UXD as a freelancer (after finishing my 6 month course in UXD)?
Or is it better to work for 1-2 years in a company to learn all the UX stuff?
Surly I am too old for an internship or to work without getting paid (kids, house …)

2.) Do you think it is difficult to get a job because of my age?

3.) I am also intersted in motion design for video. Does it make sense to work as UX Designer and Motion Designer
(i.e. for corporate videos) as well?

Thank you very much for your answers!!! :wink:



Hey Marc,
Welcome. Glad you’re here.

  1. I imagine it depends on where you live and how connected you are. If your existing network or reputation are strong enough then you could potentially leverage that to get work, but freelancing is hard and there is no guarantee of income with as you mention can put a strain on things when you have financial commitments. Are you in a position to continue freelancing in your current field and then supplement that with UX work when you get it? That might be good middle ground.

  2. I’m 43 and I have 3 jobs. I started in this field 7 years ago. :slight_smile: We discussed this a while back – there were a variety of opinions. Here you go: Do agencies hire 50+ yr. old designers?

  3. @Lukcha will be able to speak to this. HIs background is in film.


Hey Marc, good questions. :slight_smile:

  1. I think it’s possible, but I generally wouldn’t recommend it. Freelancing comes with some pressures and curly problems that make it difficult as a starting point if you have obligations to kids/house and only 6 months experience under your belt, not to mention clients may expect and deserve more. If you have the chance to work in a team, and with people with experience, then that would ultimately be the best next step.

  2. That really depends on your professional network (the best job opportunities come via contacts), where you live (urban ares with more professional services have many more openings) and who you want to work with (workplace culture, UX maturity and hiring practices). Overall, I think your motivation and flexibility will be much more of a factor than your age. Personally, I think you’re not in a bad position at 41 with life experience, energy levels and potential, but people wanting to hire the cheapest and most energetic designers would disagree with me. There are plenty of us around your age in UX, and I think we’re still driving the changes. Don’t rule out internships, either.

  3. As @hawk mentioned, I started in film too (as a cinematographer), and there are quite a few others here in the forums with a background in multimedia, video, animation, etc—@maxflyer in 3D animation and graphics and @SteveCrow in video production, to name two. It’s not unusual for UX people to cross over into areas like motion design, but its early days so still really depends on the project and the opportunities, not the industry expectations.


Hey Hawk and Lukcha,

thank you for your quick reply! :slight_smile:

I understand everything Lukcha told me about freelancing in this field,
and I know the hurdles, because I started freelancing in 2011 as an editor.
Now it works very well, and I have many customers for which I work for.

But I would like to do it like Hawk said: To do both in the beginning, to ensure my income.
I could imagine to do little jobs in UX in the very beginning and than get bigger jobs
with my work experience, while I am still editing commercials.
Fortunately I live in a city with many job offers in the UX field.

Do you think (if I get little jobs), that I get the right experience to work as UX designer?
How much time do you spend in the average on a UX job?

Thank you!


How long is a piece of string? :wink: There isn’t an ‘average UX job’ . You could be talking anything from several hours to several months.


Yes, you’re right Hawk.
I thought there would be an average time.
Like in my job, most jobs take me about a week.


Martin, it is never too late to start your dream but you should think twice before you leap.
One of my friends is already a UX designer and she is 24 years old. Every day she is busy with her works.
Well technically not every day, just when they have a project, they have to spend lots of time to attain the goal. It is fun but also really tired. I am not sure if you have enough time for your family if you become a UX designer.


Thanks for your reply! :blush:
Thats not the point.
I work in my Job nearly every day, , sonetimes 14 hours a day.
I meant, if jobs in UX wouldn‘t take so much time, I could work as freelancer in both jobs (UXD and film editing) to have enough money. Because as a Junior UX Designer, I think the salary isn‘t enough for my financial liabilities.
On the iother hand I have the opinion right now, that starting as freelancer in UX wouldn‘t be the right choice. :blush:
I need to find a way (after the course) to esrn enough money while learning all the stuff to get into the field of UX Design.


By the way. What do you think about “The Interaction Design Foundation”?


Hey there. Thanks for checking back in. I’m sure someone with relevant knowledge will be by soon. In the meantime, how are things going with this?


Hi Piper,

that sounds good!
First I wanted to enroll to careerfoundry.
But afrer reading that you need 20-30 hours a werk for learning, I realized that I don‘t have the time for that.


IDF has a very good reputation. I haven’t done any of their courses personally but @CoolMike90 has. You can see what he says about it here:


Ah, thank you.
I will have a look at that.