Can you be an effective UX Designer working remotely?

Tom Scott


November 23, 2021

“As long as you can reach your users remotely and are still able to communicate with your team — yes. From my personal experience, it’s possible but less effective overall. As a UX designer, you need to be close to the business, close to your users and close to the dev team. This rarely happens from the comfort of your home office.

Depends on (of course! 😉) Contra: broadband communication with multiple people at once and war rooms with large walls to work on collaboratively is hard to beat in terms of both effectivity and efficiency. Screens, even the biggest ones, just SUCK in terms of making sense of complex domains & problem fields, keeping important information tangible and making work visible for anyone on the team etc.

Tools like Mural/Miro barely cross the bottom line of what I would consider the minimum viable remote substitute for that (but, being digital, offer other advantages). That said, I would propose that the critical factor for successful design practice is much less onsite vs. remote but rather team/org culture, general collaboration skills, mature leadership, design maturity (for lack of a better term — I consider all the maturity models wrong), and the like.”

Courtney Jordan

“With international companies, it’s just not possible to get a good cross-section of your users with on-site testing. So yes, you can meet and interview and usability test users remotely.

You can A/B test remotely. You can analyze the quantitative and qualitative data to streamline the customer journey and remove pain points remotely. You can communicate early and often with your team and any stakeholders for new/evolving features on slack/email/web conf remotely.

Most customers don’t have several hours to come into your office (and that’s IF they’re local, which most are not), and smaller companies can’t afford to fly their UX to a good cross-section of customer offices. If we look to external agencies, those agencies are remote from their clients, who are remote from their customers. UX also requires peace and quiet to think through flows and data to make sure we’re not missing important use cases/pain points.

Not to mention all the extra time from not commuting that can be devoted to the user experience and to building customer relationships :). But this is for senior UXers.

Louis Valenzuela

“ I agree with a previous comment in that it depends what you define success as. I am a fully remote UX practitioner and one example of success for me is providing insight and strategic direction with an intuitive and relevant design and it actually being implemented.