In this edition of Ask UXmatters, our experts discuss what skills are essential and desirable for a UX Designer.
Each month in Ask UXmatters, our panel of UX experts answers our readers’ questions about a broad range of user experience matters. To get answers to your own questions about UX strategy, design, user research, or any other topic of interest to UX professionals in an upcoming edition of Ask UXmatters, please send your question to us at: [email protected].
When I first began my formal UX studies, I was surprised to learn that the field of usability actually predates the widespread use of computers. Like many people, I had assumed that user experience was simply an outgrowth of society’s increasing reliance on digital technologies.
Not so. Findings from industrial and cognitive psychology in the 1950s helped lay the foundation for today’s human-centered design practices. For example, during World War II, usability pioneer John Karlin began his work on how sound influences task performance. His later research on the optimal design of telephones, at what was then Bell Labs, explored everything from cord length to the layout of the dial and, later, keypads. His work continues to influence our day-to-day interactions with common objects. Paul Fitts’s experiments in the 1950s resulted in Fitts’s Law, which gave UX designers an understanding of the relationship between movement, target object, and distance that we still cite. Read More
Recently, I scaled a content-strategy team from three to eight people. In the process of conducting dozens upon dozens of interviews, while involving various internal stakeholders, I quickly learned how to avoid some common pitfalls of hiring for strategic roles.
It’s challenging to hire for strategic roles—neither as easy nor as straightforward as hiring for other skill-based positions. Ultimately, you’re looking for a strategic thinker who understands UX principles and best practices. If you’re not asking the right questions, it’s all too easy for candidates to bluff their way into a content-strategy role by saying what superficially seem to be the right things, without providing enough substance to show their strategic thought process.
In sharing my tips for hiring content strategists in this article, I hope to help you avoid these common pitfalls so you can hire talented strategists who can hit the ground running. Read More