Every month in this column, our Ask UXmatters experts answer our readers’ questions about user experience matters. To get answers to your questions about UX strategy, design, or user research in an upcoming edition of Ask UXmatters, please send your questions to us at [email protected].
For most of my career as a UX consultant, I have worked full time on some company’s payroll. A number of years back, one very large consulting organization hired me for a 6-month, full-time gig, working on site for a client. When, at the appointed time, the project concluded successfully, the consulting firm didn’t immediately have any other UX work for which I was suited. No problem. They were large, had deep pockets, and were optimistic. They told me they were putting me on the bench. What did that mean? It meant that I’d continue to be employed, but there was really nothing that needed doing. “Relax,” they said, “and stay nearby in case we need you on short notice.” So I went home and did just that. I went to the beach for a few days with the family and caught up on household chores.
At the time, this made me feel safe. Here was a company that cared about their consultants enough to pay me to do absolutely nothing when they couldn’t find any project to put me on. But now, when I look back on that time, I see things a little differently. Yes, they were certainly worthy of respect for keeping me on the payroll even when I was on the bench, but knowing what I know now about billing rates for companies like that, I figure that their profit from my working for them for six months was greater than my pay for one year. Certainly, my being on the bench for a month or so wasn’t all that big a deal for them financially. Read More
Even experienced UX professionals often feel that they are not being heard by their clients, managers, and developers. Why? Many such problems come from our desire to be valued for our knowledge and skills alone and to have our expertise respected without question. But this desire conflicts with the reality in which we find ourselves. To overcome this problem, we need to demonstrate that we bring measurable value to the products for which we design user interfaces.
Armed with your understanding of a business and a calculator, here are a few ways in which you can prove your value as a UX professional and get the resources you need—whether budget, UX team members, or more time. Read More