How to Become a Remote UX Designer [2023 Guide]

Looking for your first remote UX design role? In this guide we’ll tell you about what to expect from a career as a remote UX designer, and how to make it happe…

Alexa Harrison
Alexa Harrison
Feb 23, 2023
Min Read

The average person will spend over one third of their life at work.

This is why it is so important to do something you love for work—or at least something that allows for a healthy work-life balance. Remote work offers a tempting relief for those pursuing more flexibility. Post-pandemic, many workers have had a taste of this remote lifestyle, and aren’t willing to return to the traditional office setting. 

As of 2022, 26% of U.S. employees work remotely, and there are expected to be 36.2 million American employees working remotely by 2025.

UX/UI design continues to be a popular option for those who are looking for remote roles. Since very little in UX design is tied to a physical location (everything from your design tools to user testing processes can live online), there are many opportunities for hybrid or remote positions.

Now is the perfect time to make the switch to remote work, and UX design may be your ideal path to do so. If you're wondering how to become a remote UX designer, we'll break it down for you in this article.

Table of Contents

  1. Pros and Cons of Remote Work as a UX Designer
  2. Is the design process different for in-person vs. remote UX designers?
  3. What is the remote job market like for UX designers?
  4. What kinds of companies hire remote UX designers?
  5. How much do remote UX designers earn?
  6. How easy is it to become a remote UX designer?
  7. How can I find remote UX jobs?
  8. Remote Work 101: How to Understand a Remote Job Description
  9. How to Land a Job as a Remote UX Designer
  10. Traits Companies Look for in Candidates for a Remote Job

Pros and Cons of Remote Work

Some people really love the freedom and flexibility of the remote work lifestyle. Others find that they prefer to work their 9-5 in a physical office environment. Here are a few pros and cons that might be helpful to consider as you seek out your own remote UX design role.

The Pros

Flexible location

With a truly remote position, the most obvious pro is that you can work (and live) from anywhere. May it be your home office, in your van, a co-working space, a coffee shop, or a beach (I’m determined to invent the perfect laptop sun shade.) Even while some roles might require you to be in a specific time zone or city, just being able to work from home is a huge win for many.

Flexible schedule

An increasing number of companies are realizing that research—and experience—shows that the traditional 9-5 schedule isn't always the best route. You can’t force creativity. Many remote companies have embraced the concept of allowing workers to design their own ideal workday. If you’re most productive during the early morning hours, for example, and then prefer to take time for exercise mid-morning, you can do that. For the most part, remote UX designers can set their own schedules, with exceptions being things like scheduled team meetings, sync ups, and UX research sessions.

No commute

Commuting is stressful, and often, the worst part of someone’s day. In fact, a survey of over 5,000 commuters across Europe reported that, for commuters, “the journey to work causes more stress than their actual jobs (or even the dentist).”

Cost savings

There are many hidden costs associated with working at a brick and mortar company, both for the companies, and their employees. Working remotely can actually save both parties money.

Here are some ways you can save money working remotely:

  • Commuting: Parking fees, train tickets, subway passes, gas, etc.
  • Food: Working from home enables you to cook more and eat out less.
  • Wardrobe: Nice business clothes are expensive. It’s a lot easier to look professional just on the top half of your body (it’s a lot cheaper, too.)
  • Taxes: You can write off square footage in your home, office supplies, tech equipment, and more as a remote worker.

More time to do what you love

When you're not spending 15-25 hours a week commuting, you can spend it with your loved ones, investing in a hobby, social pastime, or simply unwinding, instead.

Cons of Remote Work

Feelings of loneliness 

People warned me I was going to get lonely when I began working remotely, and I didn’t believe them, because I thoroughly enjoy being alone. It didn’t happen right away, but feelings of loneliness eventually crept in. I didn’t realize how much the community I had built at work fed my desire for social interaction.

You can combat feelings of loneliness as a remote worker by connecting with others working remotely nearby, checking out peer-to-peer virtual workshops, having video coffee break chats, and co-working. As always, take care of your mental and physical health through the practice of self care.

Read: 10 Tips For Staying Happy And Productive As A Digital Nomad

Less management/structure

If you struggle to manage your work schedule, rely on frequent feedback, or face a steep learning curve in your role, remote work can be a tough option. Remote work often means less supervision, less hand holding, and generally less structure. To succeed as a remote employee, you must develop excellent time management skills.

More distractions

Traditional work environments (with the stinky microwave fish and water cooler chats) come with a suite of built-in distractions. However, it can be equally challenging to stay focused and productive in remote environments. Whether in the form of children, delivery drivers, phone calls, the tv, or the fridge, home can be a distracting place. Setting boundaries for yourself, and those around you, is important. Many remote workers have found that they enjoy working in co-working spaces, coffee shops, etc. as a way to help keep distractions minimal when working.

Need for more communication

Remote workers are required to have excellent communication skills, in fact, you’ll probably see this on every remote job listing you find. In the world of remote work, you have fewer chances to communicate effectively, so you need to make the most of the fewer conversations you have. Written communication also accounts for a good majority of remote communication, so you’ll want to brush up on your writing and grammar skills.

Is the design process different for in-person vs. remote UX designers?

While interaction with team members and customers is central to the role of a UX designer, it is entirely possible to execute your responsibilities remotely thanks to digital collaboration tools. For example, card sorting and other analysis methods can take place remotely and asynchronously using tools like MURAL or FigJam. Then, you might follow up with a Loom video with any questions.

In UX Academy students practice the design process from start to finish in a remote fashion (which still holds true if they end up in an in-person role).

What is the remote job market like for UX designers?

The remote job market is currently thriving due to the ever-increasing demand for digital products. In fact, 16% of U.S. companies are fully remote, and remote jobs now make up 15% of work opportunities in the US. With more businesses seeking to create user-friendly, intuitive designs with a focus on customer experience, UX designers are becoming increasingly popular for both full-time and freelance positions. Digital collaboration platforms have also made it easy for companies and agencies to work remotely with UX designers without compromising on quality.

Read: Job Market Trends for UX Design (2023 Edition)

What kinds of companies hire remote UX designers?

A variety of companies hire remote UX designers—not just tech companies—including agencies, consulting firms, startups, and e-commerce businesses. Many companies are now looking to fill UX design roles remotely, in order to save costs and access a larger pool of talent. UX designers may work remotely on projects ranging from website design and user experience optimization to mobile app design and graphic design.

How much do remote UX designers earn?

Remote UX designers can earn a wide range of salaries depending on their experience, skills, and the industry in which they are employed. According to BuiltIn, the average salary for a remote UX designer is $117,925.

Read: What Salary Can You Expect as a UX Designer? (Updated for 2023)

How easy is it to become a remote UX designer?

Becoming a remote UX designer can be a very rewarding career, but it takes skill and dedication. You will need all of the same skills that a UX designer needs: to be able to understand user needs and industry trends; create user-focused wireframes, prototypes, and user interfaces; and test and evaluate designs. Additionally, you'll need remote-specific skills like excellent communication, proactivity, and self awareness (more on that below).

If you’re serious about becoming a UX designer, trust that it is possible to land a remote job as a new UX designer. In fact, many of our UX Academy graduates have gone on to receive offers for remote work as their first role in the field.

Read: Is Now a Bad Time to Transition to UX Design?

Where can I find remote UX jobs?

There are a number of resources to help you find a remote UX design job, like Indeed, ZipRecruiter, and LinkedIn. By applying the “remote” filter, or using “remote” in the search field, you’ll be able to narrow down your search for remote UX design jobs. 

Start by making a list of your dream companies, companies that are 100% remote, partially remote, in your field, in a field you’re interested in, etc. Follow these companies on social media, sign up for their newsletter, visit their website, and interact with them. Get on their radar, and get them on yours. By doing so, you’ll be more likely to see job opportunities right when they’re posted, and you’ll get to know more about them (good fodder for your interview).

Here are some of the top sites to find remote work as a UX designer specifically:

An image containing 4 job boards for remote work.

Read: Where to Find Remote UX Design Jobs in 2023

Remote Work Terms 101: Understanding a Remote Job Description

Before we dive into how to find a remote UX design job, here are some key words and phrases that you should know when looking at remote jobs.

Vocabulary to Know

Work from home/ Work remotely: A work arrangement in which an employee primarily works from a home office instead of a company’s central brick-and-mortar office.

Hybrid: A combination of remote and in-person work. Note: some roles are touted as “remote” but require some in-office days per month, so this would be considered a hybrid role.

Digital Nomad: An employee that travels, often internationally, while working remotely.

Fully distributed team: All team members are working remotely in different locations.

Partially distributed team: A central or core team in one location–not necessarily in an office but regularly meeting in-person–with an additional group of remote employees all around the globe.

Remote-first: A mentality companies can embody that ensures remote employees are as much a part of the team as those in the office. These organizations build processes from the ground up with the assumption that not everyone will be face-to-face or in the same location/time zone.

Retreat: Annual, semi-annual, or quarterly events in which all team members travel to the same destination (usually for 1-7 days) to co-work, build culture, and strengthen working relationships.

Remote hiring: Hiring people exclusively through virtual communication, without an in-person interview.

Aspects of a Remote Job Listing to Consider

An image containing 4 things to consider in a remote UX design role.

Geographic Requirements

When looking for a remote job, be mindful of the geographic requirements.

Even though a company is remote, they might still only want candidates who are currently living in a specific location. Remote job boards typically do a good job of highlighting these requirements.

This requirement might be as broad as North America, or, as specific as Oklahoma City. You’ll want to click through the listing and read it thoroughly before deciding if you meet the geographic requirements.

Remote Experience

Some remote jobs may desire candidates that have already worked remotely before, since it requires a unique set of hard and soft skills to really excel in this type of environment.

If you’ve worked remotely in some capacity, but not necessarily full-time, don’t let this deter you from applying for a position. But if you have zero experience working remotely, try starting with a remote freelance or contract position to buffer your resume before applying.

Team Retreats

Fully distributed teams often have regular team retreats, or all-company meetups. These can be as often as quarterly, or as infrequently as once a year.

You’ll want to consider if this time away from home is okay with you, as you’ll be expected to attend. For many people, these retreats are a great way to build friendships with your co-workers, and to see places you’ve never been before. But if you’re a parent, these retreats could be more difficult to make work logistically. 

Read: Designlab Team Retreat: A Week in Portugal

How to Land a Job as a Remote UX Designer

An image containing 3 Tips For Landing a Remote UX Design Job.

Step 1: Figure out what your ideal remote job looks like

Carefully consider these aspects of your future remote role, and figure out what your priorities are:

  1. Time zone
  2. Geography
  3. Flexibility
  4. Team structure
  5. Retreats/travel

Step 2: Tailor your resume and UX design portfolio to remote work

You’ll want to beef up your resume, portfolio, and cover letter for remote work specifically. Highlight any remote work experience you have. You can also highlight any virtual collaboration from past or present roles, whether that came in the form of user research or an online bootcamp. For UX designers specifically, you'll want to consider how you can communicate a remote-based design process, from usability testing, to user research, and dev handoff.

Step 3: Showcase excellent communication in the interview

Getting a remote job will almost always entail having a remote job interview. 

If your interview is via a video call, make sure you’ve got a solid internet connection, and a quiet, distraction-free location to take it from. Turn off any apps on your computer and silence notifications on your phone. 

Make sure the room you’re in is clean, or at least, the part of the room that’s on video. Or, showcase your creativity and use a Zoom virtual background

If you rehearse your responses to interview questions, study up on the company, and present yourself with poise on camera, you’ll likely nail it.

Also remember to be prepared with questions for your interviewers. This will show you’re seriously considering the opportunities, and have done your research. Some questions related to remote work specifically include:

  • What communication tools do you use as a team/company?
  • What project management tool does the design team use to manage projects and individual tasks?
  • Are there regular team retreats or meet-ups?
  • What are the expected working hours?
  • What are the biggest challenges for this company remotely?
  • Will equipment be provided or do I need to supply my own?

Read: UX Interview Tips: How to Prepare for a UX Design Interview

BONUS Step 4: Follow up with a personalized Thank You

Thank you emails are expected, and you should always send them after a job interview. Make note of your interviewers’ names and email addresses (you may need to ask the HR rep for email addresses if it isn’t clear). Then, prompt follow-up with a thank you email after the interview.

You’ll stand out from the crowd if you get specific with your thank you email (and you’ll showcase those excellent communication skills that are needed for a remote role!) Make notes throughout the interview of little nuances from your conversation and reference them in the email. Briefly reiterate what makes you a great fit for the position, and why you’re excited about working with their company. This personalization will go a long way.

Traits Companies Look for in Candidates for a Remote Job recently conducted a Q&A across 140+ leading remote companies, and the results are pretty telling. Read some of their responses below, and the complete Q&A here. Below they answer the question, "What traits do you look for in candidates for a remote job?"

Proactive Self-Starter

“Autonomy and self-discipline are absolute requirements for remote workers. We look also for people who are proactive in their approach to their lives and their work.” - Dell

“In a remote setting it’s vital to hire proactive, curious people who won’t wait to be told how to do things. That’s why one of the most important things we look for in interviews are ‘Jacks & Jills of all trades’–people who take ownership over learning new skills.” - Doist

Excellent Communication

An image containing a quote about excellent communication from the company, Edgar.

Positive Attitude

“Some of the questions in the culture interview are pretty goofy, so one big red flag we have seen before is just a general bad attitude. When candidates act too cool to answer the questions or like the culture portion isn’t worth their time, it’s generally a sign they won’t really mesh with our team. We know that scissors probably aren’t that essential to pizza delivery, but when we ask candidates how they would use scissors if they worked for a pizza shop, we hope they approach their answer with a sense of humor." - Formstack

Interests Outside Work

“If someone is going to be working from home, then it’s really important that they have hobbies, friendships, and things to do outside of work. Without something else to help them switch off and decompress, it’s much easier to end up burning out.” - GitHub, Inc.


“When we hire, we look for people who see remote work as an upgrade—an improvement to their lives. They’re driven individuals who have the self-awareness to know how they work best. Some people function better in a physical office environment, or might be at the outset of their careers and want that sort of structure. Our team sees remote work as a big benefit, even if it has its own set of challenges.” - InVisionApp

Key Takeaways

  • Since very little in UX design is tied to a physical location, there are many opportunities for hybrid or remote positions.
  • The average salary for a remote UX designer is $117,925.
  • When reviewing a remote job description be mindful of the geographic requirements, travel needed, and remote experience requirements.
  • Beef up your resume, portfolio, and cover letter for remote work specifically, highlighting any remote work or virtual collaboration experience you have. 
  • Highlight key traits companies look for in candidates for a remote job during the interview process, such as: excellent communication, proactiveness, and self-awareness.

How to Become a Remote UX Designer

The best way to learn UX design is to start learning visual design and UI design. In UX Academy Foundations, you'll do just that. UX Academy Foundations is an online course that teaches the fundamentals of visual design and UI design in just 4 weeks. This course includes 1:1 mentorship with an experienced designer—and an automatic $500 credit towards our intensive UX Academy bootcamp.

UX Academy Foundations CTA 2023

Launch a career in ux design with our top-rated program

Top Designers Use Data.

Gain confidence using product data to design better, justify design decisions, and win stakeholders. 6-week course for experienced UX designers.

Launch a career in ux design with our top-rated program

Top Designers Use Data.

Gain confidence using product data to design better, justify design decisions, and win stakeholders. 6-week course for experienced UX designers.