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
Some senior UX researchers are boldly carving out their own progression paths in UX research. Indeed, it might be time for us to carve out our own future. A big part of that means creating clear pathways for growth within our UX research teams. In this article, I’ll discuss four career and management tips for UX research leaders to help them and their teams to blossom, survive, and thrive.
As a leader in the UX research space, I’ve had the privilege of managing large UX research teams. I’ve had opportunities to train and mentor many newbies and junior researchers, and throughout my career, I’ve discovered ways of working that have helped me to manage my teams effectively. More importantly, as the industry grows and more and more researchers look to UX research as a possible career path, I’ve been managing their expectations. Read More
Setting up a UX practice inside any organization—whether small or large—can be a challenge. As a UX leader, to ensure you keep the highest-performing individual contributors on your team, you should make sure they have a clear understanding of what they must do to expand their careers within your organization. While leaders often have a clear growth path inside a company, it is often less clear how individual contributors can nurture their professional career.
For example, in some companies, the only way to advance from an interaction designer, visual designer, UX researcher, or other individual-contributor discipline is to become a manager. But, for individual contributors whose talents are less as people managers and more as superstars in their discipline, who love what they’re doing, and who want to continue to be the best at what they do, their way forward is unclear. Read More