I wanted to see what would be the best way to look for volunteer work so that I can get some exposure to UX. I want to know where designers such as yourself started looking for side project to get experience?


Take a look at participating in hackathons. This may seem like a developer focus thing, but most projects they work on usually have a user facing component associated to it and thus can use the skill of UX designers. Most developers would love to get a designer to help make their stuff look polished.

I would start by going to http://www.meetup.com and search for hackathon events happening in your area.

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  • Yeah or go to Eventbrite. You can find a number of hackathons happening at major metropolitan areas - NYC, Boston, Philadelphia, San Fran, etc. – firedrawndagger May 6 '14 at 16:20

Offer your services to non profits.

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    This can be a good option, but a few caveats: 1) Typically UX can not work alone, so it's not always an easy thing to pitch by itself. 2) remember that non-profit isn't synonymous with "doesn't have money to pay". :) – DA01 May 6 '14 at 16:27
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    Agree with what DA01 said, I would never recommend working for free unless you absolutely have to and have exhausted all other options. You work and time, no matter how unskilled, is worth more than nothing. I'd stay away from people who want to give you just "things to put in your portfolio" and so on. – Anindya Basu May 6 '14 at 16:42
  • I wouldn't consider non-profit work to be 'for free'. If your goal is to get experience, then the implication is that you have none. If you have no experience in an area, then it's reasonable that you shouldn't expect to be paid. – Mel Hogan May 6 '14 at 18:00
  • @MelHogan the guy mowing my lawn may not have experience doing it, but I'm pretty sure he expects me to pay him. – DA01 May 6 '14 at 20:26
  • @DA01 I think we can agree to disagree on this one. I have my point of view, and you have yours. No worries. – Mel Hogan May 6 '14 at 21:40

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