Work With Me

Do you want to hire me for a contract or a project? I answer frequently asked questions about my work. Read more to learn if we could be a good fit.

Jane Zhang - Jan 17, 2021

Want to inquire about working with me? Please fill out this form.

Overview of what I do

This post is written for clients who are interested in hiring me for my services. Currently, I am not considering pro bono projects and unpaid collaborations.

I provide consultation and services in data visualization design. I focus on creating products that are user-centric and solve complex problems. I have been a self-employed data visualization designer since 2019. I specialize in creating print products that act as learning aids. A good example of what I do is this history of amendments project I made for a lawyer.

One of the cards I created to summarize the amendments made under the US Bankruptcy Code.

Another example is this recipe project I created. I designed recipe cards that show variables defining it.

These cards were created to allow people to visually browse recipes by comparing cooking time, ingredients, flavours, textures, and cooking method.

During 2021-2022, I am focusing most of my time developing print products to sell on the consumer market. I am interested in short-term work or part-time work. I am not open to full-time roles. I am also open to speaking at conferences and teaching workshops (here’s a recording of my workshop).

What I do:

  • perform an assessment of the user’s needs by crafting user personas and use that information to design the user experience (example)
  • design and prototype concepts and ideas with tools like Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator
  • design static visualizations
  • carry out the full project cycle: from vision building to executing the final result
  • work with quantitative data (variables that can be measured)
  • work with small-medium datasets

What I don’t do:

If I am not what you’re looking for, you can check out the Data Visualization Society and post on the job board. This society has over 10,000 members, so there’s enough traffic to find the right talent.

The specifics

What is data visualization?

Data visualization is the graphic representation of both quantitative data and qualitative data. Quantitative data refers to information that can be measured, such as temperature and time. Qualitative data cannot be measured, it offers depth. Examples include interviews and focus groups. A common output of qualitative research can often be found in journalistic writing where reporters interview several types of people for a story.

Data visualization is a meaningful field to me. It is an interdisciplinary field that will always have room for innovation. I like the idea of capturing abstract concepts that make sense once visualized. There has been a lot of precedents set in this field, but I still see immense potential for it to evolve. I am in this field to invent new ways of seeing our complex world through data.

What is your work history?

I have formal education in life sciences and design strategy. Right after I graduated, I worked 10 months at a start-up learning the full spectrum of operating a business. I realized while working that I didn’t want to stay in operations and knew I wanted a career in design. So, I spent a lot of time exploring personal projects. After a lot of trial and error, I decided to focus on data visualization. My personal projects accidentally helped me build a portfolio and relevant skills. My portfolio helped me get a job at Kantar. They are a huge market research firm based in UK and is owned by WPP and Bain Capital. I was a data design specialist creating PowerPoint reports for Fortune 500 clients. After two fantastic years at Kantar, I decided to leave and start my practice in 2019.

How much do you charge?

I charge a fixed project fee. I generally consider the following when deciding how to charge:

  • timeline: if this project is short-term or long-term
  • scope: how large the project is
  • commitment: the amount of time that I need to spend on this project on a weekly basis
  • complexity: this considers how many components are involved

If you are based in Canada, I charge Canadian dollars. For clients abroad, I charge US dollars.

What’s your process?

When I work with clients, I first determine what the problem is and why you need data visualization to solve it. Then I work to understand why you need my help with it.

After that, we determine:

  • your target audience
  • the stage you are in the project
  • solutions you are considering
  • existing research and data you have
  • what’s missing in terms of resources and talent

Once I have a good idea of what you need, the stages of my work are generally as follows:

  • research of domain subject (if required)
  • understanding your target audience by developing user personas
  • pitching several ideas
  • developing and testing out ideas
  • narrowing down to one idea
  • several rounds of feedback on idea development
  • final development

What are your terms of engagement?

After you’ve contacted me, we set up a brief call for me to learn if I can provide what you need. If we decide to move forward together, I will hold one longer call to gather more details on what the project would look like.

Once we agree to move forward from this point, I require a 50% payment upfront before I begin any type of work.

When working with me, I expect that you will commit time to provide guidance and feedback in a timely manner.

Ready to hire me? Click here to start.

My name is Jane, I am an independent data visualization designer based in Toronto. I create print products that solve specific user problems. I write on my blog to help me reflect on lessons I learn as I walk on the dataviz path. If you learned something new or useful, then please consider supporting my work.