Over the last 15 years, I’ve had a recurring conversation with senior UX professionals: “I want to progress in UX, but I’m not sure I really want to manage teams.” It seems to many that the one way up is the management track—and in many organizations, this is the only upward path for UX professionals.
In my long and varied career working on staff within companies and for clients in agencies and consultancies, I have seen many roles in User Experience that need a senior, mature person—some with people-management responsibilities; others that continue to focus on product design. These roles include the following:
UX Project Lead
Each of these UX professionals plays a specific role within an organization. For senior UX professionals, their quandary is to work out which role is required when and what role suits them best. Read More
Human beings are drawn to stories, which help us make sense of our world by letting us share others’ experiences as though they were our own. We feel characters’ struggles as they navigate difficult challenges and rejoice with them when they finally achieve their goals or share their sorrows if they do not. Stories help us learn to feel empathy—a critical trait for any UX professional.
Most importantly, stories are memorable. According to Jennifer Aaker, Professor of Marketing at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, using a story to convey information is up to “22 times more memorable than facts alone.”
Telling a story can help influence the opinions of others in ways that few other modes of communication can. The value of storytelling extends to how we present ourselves and our abilities professionally. Having participated in dozens of on-site portfolio reviews over the years—sitting on both sides of the review table—I’ve found that the most effective UX-portfolio presentations have one thing in common: the candidate told a story. Read More
“People leave managers, not companies.”—Victor Lipman
Employees join companies to hone their skills, contribute business value, and rise up the career ladder. People really don’t want to quit their job within their first year because it may appear that they are job hopping. So what exactly would induce or compel an employee to take such a drastic step as leaving after just a few months? In most cases, people leave because of the negative attitudes, behavior, or character of the manager to whom they report directly. According to a survey that Gallup conducted, approximately 50% of employees quit their job because of bad bosses.
Working in an unprofessional environment, getting bad performance reviews, or being overburdened with work for months on end are some of the major reasons why employees think of quitting. But managers with appalling traits can demotivate employees so completely that they quit their job. If, while reading this article, you recognize some of the unfortunate situations we describe and feel trapped in your job, it is probably time to rethink where you want to spend your time and effort. Read More