This article was inspired by a discussion at last week’s Silicon Valley IxDA meeting, where Daniel Szuc and Josephine Wong spoke on the topic “Sleepwalking + Designing for a Healthy Future,” which got me thinking about what qualities one must have to be an effective UX professional. So much of success derives from mindset rather than skillsets, and mindset takes a lifetime to develop—or, for those of us who believe in reincarnation, multiple lifetimes. Your mindset derives from your life experiences and the way you respond to them, as well as what you learn from those who influence you greatly—such as your parents, mentors, and spiritual teachers. Read More
Perhaps you’re thinking about a career specializing in user research. Perhaps you’re looking to hire a user researcher. Or perhaps you manage or work with user researchers. If so, you might be thinking about what qualities lead a person to succeed in user research. While others have written about this topic—notably Demetrius Madrigal and Bryan McClain in a 2010 column on UXmatters—I want to add my own perspective based on what I’ve observed specializing in user research over the past 17 years.
The following list of characteristics may seem daunting, but you don’t have to be a perfect ten in all of them. There are certainly areas in which I have strengths and weaknesses. We all have room for improvement. But the more of these qualities you possess, the more well suited you are for a career in user research. In this column, when I refer to a user researcher, I mean both user-research specialists and generalists who do both user research and design. Read More
In this special sesquicentennial (150th) edition of Ask UXmatters, our expert panel ponders the future of UX design. Our panelists discuss the sustainability of the discipline of User Experience, specialization in the UX professions, required skills for UX designers, the value of T-Shaped people; merging the best practices of Product Management, User Experience, and Engineering; sharing the ownership of User Experience, the growing importance of design as strategy, user experiences of future technologies—including interacting with our environments—and how all of this can help us create a better world.
I want to thank the many UX experts who have contributed to Ask UXmatters since its first edition, “Choosing the Language for a User Interface,” in November 2008. We have covered a wide variety of UX topics since then, including strategy, user research, design validation, working with stakeholders, agile and Lean methodologies, systems engineering and interrelated systems, and artificial intelligence. We’ve seen tremendous growth in the field of User Experience since 2008. This column would not be a success without the time and efforts of our more than 100 expert-panel members, from six of the world’s seven continents. Thanks to the many readers of Ask UXmatters as well. I sincerely hope that this column helps you to advance and grow in our field. Read More