Design Research, UX / UI

My Role

Project Management
Leading Interviews
Primary/Secondary Research
Insight Synthesis
UX/UI Design
User Testing


Catherine Stoddard
Hui Zheng

Freedo is a platform that helps freelancers and independent workers to do the work they love with the people they can trust.


16 week Design Research course around the topic of Future of Work. Taught by Deborah Alden and Lawrence Abrahamson. 


Our research explored into future of work and designing support systems for freelancers. Freelancing can be isolating and feel like you are stuck in a maze. Freedo solves this problem through community formed around collaboration.

How might we help freelancers and independent workers who don't have a formal support structure? 

Explorative Research

We interviewed ten freelancers, entrepreneurs or other independent workers from various industries and professions. We talked to them to understand more about what led them to become a freelancer and their experience as an independent worker and what they wish were different from the current condition. 

Research Insight

Anyone could be a freelancer at any time in their career. ‍


“When you work for a company, they always try to put the idea across that, ‘Oh, we’re a family.’ But on the day you’re laid off, you see how little of a family you are. [...]The lay off process is always very sudden. [...] So why not? Why not do freelance work? You’re in charge of yourself. There’s no potential to be laid off there.”

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Independent workers want networking events where they can form more substantial relationships over time. ‍

“I learned everything as I went. And the hard way most of the time.”
“I’m an introvert, so I find networking painful. It’s completely energetically overwhelming to me. I’m good in small groups. When you throw me into a big group, I’m very shy. I’ve talked to a lot of other freelancers who feel similarly.”
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Freelancers working in isolation prevents transparency around important issues like pay and healthcare. ‍

“It is very taboo [to talk about health insurance]. When you’re surface level friends with someone, you’re not just like, ‘Do you have health insurance?’”
“[Freelancing] can be very isolating.”
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How Might We

These insights from our qualitative research helped us refine our 'How might we' questions which informed design principles.

How might we facilitate trust between freelancers and employers?

Design Principles &

How It Works

Based on the how might we questions we defined, we set out to use the qualitative data from research that should also inform our design principles. This process helped us ideate on the minimum viable product of the Freedo.

Freedo empowers freelancers to be free to do the work they like with the people they like. Collaborating together is conducive to making connections and also change the dynamics between the people who hire them and those who get hired in a traditional sense.

Freedo's community facilitates conversations around navigating the gig economy and breaking down the barriers.