Chicago, USA ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ

Elijah Yazdi

Freelance Designer

Hello. I'm Elijah, a freelance designer who helps businesses with design. I'm a huge fan of Hip-Hop, NBA Basketball, traveling, street art, and photography.
Chat in Slack

Where are you from and/or where are you based as a UX/UI Designer?

Chicago, Illinois, USA ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ


What inspired you to pursue UX/UI design?

My first job out of college taught us how to prototype software. The first two projects I worked on included redesigning a company's intranet site and transforming a construction foreman's job from paper into an iPad App. The projects exposed me to user research, information architecture, usability testing, and project management. I was in awe combining scientific methods, creativity, and technical skills to improve others' daily lives.


What does a typical day look like for you?

I hydrate and make oatmeal after waking up. Then, I work out at home or in the gym before work. No two days are the same as a freelancer. Multiple clients and a side project make activities ranging from discovery, project management, wire-framing, designing and developing websites, and creating content.

A couple of local coffee shops are visited to mix it up and get out of my home office. Lunch usually includes leftovers from last night or searching for a vegan option if out of the office. The evening consists of cooking dinner and having NBA League Pass on in the background while working on side projects and learning to optimize my existing business.


What challenges do you face as a UX/UI Designer?

Being a generalist and not niching down creates inconsistency. Figuring out everything on my own allows me to learn a lot, but not be an expert in one area. Serving others with the power of design and technology results in great opportunities, but each project is an adventure.


What work or project are you most proud of?

Circa - local community iOS app.

Circa is a side project several years in the making. We found an opportunity to strengthen local communities, specifically college students, through a location-based online community. We continue to enjoy the autonomy to learn, design, and build a way for students to connect with peers with shared interests and find things to do nearby.


What is your current workspace setup?

  • Husky Workbench
  • 14" MacBook Pro
  • 34" LG Monitor
  • Some speakers and headphones to get the mood right


What are your go-to or "must-have" apps?

Figma, Slack, Spark, Tick-Tick, Spotify, Notion, and the Timely App (In the browser).


What product (digital or physical) recently blew your socks off?

Oculus Quest 2 - VR has come a long way! The Oculus encourages you to move around with games that get you moving. For example, a sketch app allowed you to draw in 3D space, walk away, and still have perspective. Beat Saber is a game that was a mash-up of Dance Dance Revolution, Fruit Ninja, and Guitar Hero. The external cameras create a safe boundary so you can move around without concern. When you leave the boundary, the cameras turn on to see your environmentโ€”a bonus for streaming what the user sees on your TV.


What tunes do you listen to while designing/working?

To lock-in, I turn on baroque music. The repetitive cadence strengthens our focus. ๐Ÿ‘‡

To jumpstart my mood, I listen to reggae, Motown, and R&B. ๐Ÿ‘‡


Share your best three suggestions for budding designers!

  1. Find the role you want to play โ€” Focus on being the best at what you enjoy doing. Think of the clients/employer you want to spend the most time with.
  2. Create a portfolio and show your work โ€” Create fake clients, improve existing products or websites you love, and show your work to give future collaborators insight into your process.
  3. Always be learning โ€” curiosity will allow you to gain new perspectives and make things better when communicating or designing.

Bonus for freelancers: Productize your services โ€” it's a great way to transition from hourly to value-based work.

Learn UX/UI live โ†’

Thanks for reading my story!

Chicago, USA ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ

Elijah Yazdi

Freelance Designer

Fancy a coffee?

I'd love to grab a coffee and chat about
User Research
Design Systems
๐Ÿ—“ Book time to chat

Ready to become a UX/UI designer?

As you'll have gathered, we're open and honest and would love to have you join our next UX/UI Bootcamp!
View Bootcamps โ†’