I have been a UX consultant, in one form or another, for about 15 years now. After 15 years of doing the same thing, I have a decent amount of experience to look back and reflect on, so it seems a good time to examine where I’ve been and where I might want to go as a UX consultant.
If I were honest with myself, I would have to say that, out of those 15 years, I’ve considered myself to be a great UX consultant in maybe only the past five years or so. Admitting that makes me realize that I would also like to explore and articulate how UX consultants go from good to great. This is a question that I get a lot from others. So, over my next few columns, I’ll explore this topic in greater depth. In Part 1 of this series, I’ll discuss some myths about what makes a UX consultant great. A big part of understanding what makes a great UX consultant great is understanding what deficiencies hinder greatness. Read More
After nine years of building a robust UX consulting practice within a large software consulting firm, I sort of expect certain things. For one thing, I expect that the people in my organization understand the basic importance of what I do. I’ll bet you do, too. While we might not always get all of the time we’ve scheduled or be able to do all of the things we want to do on a project, in general, our expectation is that, at some level, most people recognize the importance of user experience these days. After all, even when some auto parts store in some remote part of the world revamps their Web site, they tout their “simplified user experience.” When you see that, you start to think that this whole UX thing has become institutionalized to some degree.
That’s why it came as a bit of a shock to me recently when I realized that the issues one of my consultants was having on a project were the result of a development team that felt a good user experience just wasn’t critical to the project’s success—or to the product’s overall user adoption. Read More
These are words that one never really wants to hear from a home-improvement contractor. Or any type of contractor really. Recently, I built a new house. And I heard these very words from a person who was coming in to clean up a mess. At some point, the tile guy had messed up the work the hardwood guy was doing and left an inch gap between the place leading into the bathroom—where the tile floor ends and the marble threshold begins. Or maybe it was the hardwood guy who had messed up the tile guy’s work. It’s hard to tell these days. We live in an era when the deflection of blame and the avoidance of personal responsibility are common. Read More