Vasil Nedelchev

Mar 25, 2022

How do you grow old as a UI/UX designer with less screen time?

Imagine that...

You are 54 years old.

If you are lucky you have 10 more years of pushing pixels around the screen for 8 hours a day before you retire.

This makes me sad.

I'm now 37.

I've been in front of the screen for almost two decades. And I'm starting to think about these things. Am I still going to do the same thing 20 years from now? I hope not.

So what are my options?

Become a manager

As my daughter likes to say — Yuck!

This means getting hired as a design manager or starting my own design agency. I've tested that option in some small ways. And it seems unnatural to me. Interacting with a lot of people on a daily basis sucks out my energy.

If I'm optimizing for money, it might be a temporary option. But not for long.

Get out of design

If I put less screen time as a top priority, I have to consider this.

I'm coming from an art background. Being a full-time visual artist was my dream growing up. I have tried to pursue that. Didn't work. It still sits at the back of my mind but I haven’t seen a roadmap that I'd like to approach.

Or should I look for something boring and profitable — real estate!?

Design solopreneur

I like the sound of that!

Leverage my design skill to create a portfolio of small digital products that will replace my design service income. This way I don't have to trade screen time for money. No boss, no clients. Oh, but wait — then you got customers.

Well, it's not the best plan but at least it's a thing that I'm excited to work on.

Is there another option? I wonder if I'm missing something? Did someone already figure that out and I'm not aware of it?

Vasil Nedelchev

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