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
You’ve probably never heard someone say, “You know, [insert person’s name] should really start being more introverted if she wants to grow in her career.” But people who naturally show introverted behaviors constantly get pushed to exhibit more extroverted behaviors. Why is this so? What makes society and our professional environments prize extroverted behaviors to the degree that we often overlook the role that introversion can play in helping people to advance their professional career?
As someone who skews toward introversion, I’ve often felt tacit pressures to become more extroverted—especially as I’ve progressed further into my leadership career. I’ve also noticed that many UX professionals are naturally introverted, which likely contributes to their not achieving the same career growth as other more extroverted professionals within an extrovert-biased corporate environment. In this column, which is Part 1 of a two-part series, I’ll delve into the following:
understanding introversion versus extroversion
breaking down common perceptions
leveraging your inherent strengths as an introverted UX designer Read More