Are UX design jobs usually contractual or mostly full-time?  — on Quora

Over the course of a long career I would have to say that the majority of my engagements were contractual.


The ‘long career’ framing is not merely self-serving puffery. In the earlyDaze of this stuff (the 80’s and 90’s) nearly all engagements were contractual or consultative … because there simply were no fulltime jobs yet in the arena (the term ‘ux’ didn’t even really appear as a job description until the early/mid 2000’s). But that’s just an artifact of history.

Examples from my Portfolio:


Since that time I’ve encountered engagements where my experience was considered to be ‘too senior’ for the environment. I was often prepared to take the enterprise to the next level of strategic approach to usability … but the client was really just looking for a limited and momentary solution.

Why so many short-term assignments?

When questioned on the topicby recruiters (who were often looking for a conveniently shallow response to the bullets in their jobreq), I would sometimes reply:

UX is – by its nature – consultative.

Even when you’re on-staff, the Usability Maven often acts as an Internal Consultant.  (Hey, we like what ya did over there.  Can you do it again … over here?)

The Usability Practice performs most effectively as an enterprise service bureau.




Quora is a terrific resource.




© The Communication Studio LLC