Bristol Usability Group

A Group. About Usability. In Bristol.

Hi all,

I'm a Senior UX Consultant  thinking of relocating to the South West, probably around Weston Super Mare, and was wondering if the Permanent UX market in Bristol is mature enough to support me and my family, whether I'd be better off Freelancing or even whether I should just continue to commute/stay-over in London.

I work out of London and the Midlands, so I'm expecting some salary drop - especially going from Freelance to Perm - because let's face it London is where the money is, but what the scale of rewards might be in your neck of the woods I'm unsure of - and agency adverts differ wildly -  so need to crunch possible numbers before seeing if the move is viable or not.

Any thoughts or advice gratefully received.


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Comment by Andrew Gifford on September 4, 2012 at 11:03

Hi Bob,

As someone who relocated here last summer (from Cambridge) I have found the local tech scene and, more specifically, the UX scene, to be both mature and relatively buoyant. Like anywhere, there are challenges of course.

While there are many BUG members far better qualified than I to respond to some of the specifics of your question, I would say that yes, there are reasons think positively about a potential relocation to the South West;

  • Bristol, Bath and Cardiff et al compete squarely with Cambridge and London for being the UK's leading technology hub, with a healthy ecology of major brand tech companies, established mid-sized businesses and innovative agencies and start-ups - many of whom hire talented UX folk
  • The region continues to attract investment; is a good place for news etc
  • The technology communities seem extra 'nice' too with many social/professional networking groups, where interesting people get together to discuss bright ideas, free from corporate agenda (check out 'Bathspark' on for example). 'Nice' is a funny word. By this I mean people tend to share ideas, leads, recommendations openly, which really helps someone new to the area. I've not experienced this sense of community so strongly anywhere else - certainly not in Cambridge or London
  • Importantly, the region is home to a number of leading UX consultancies, in addition to some of the U.K.'s top digital / creative agencies, contains a directory
  • usually lists a range of South West UX opportunities, freelance and permanent.
  • We also have some dedicated UX recruitment consultancies located here, who are certainly worth striking up a relationship with and who can answer some of your specific questions around salary etc. which will of course be unique to your own scenario

Hope some of this rather generalised babble is helpful. You are welcome to contact me regarding anything more specific. All the best with your research and planning!


Comment by Robert Powell on September 4, 2012 at 15:55

Hi Andrew,

So you're the reason I keep getting calls for UX roles in Cambridge! Someone has pick up the slack. *grin* 

Thanks for the info, excellent stuff especially the job board links, which are a welcome change from Jobsearch and Jobserve.

Thanks again


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