UX research has become something of a passion for me over the past year—and the area in which I have personally seen my most noticeable career growth to date. While I enjoy creating and executing research plans for my clients, the most enjoyable part of my role as a user researcher is speaking with users, truly understanding their needs, and digging into the key issues they face—not just with my clients’ products and services, but in their day-to-day role.
I was first introduced to the world of UX research and design in 2015. The company I was working for was in the middle of a major digital transformation, was implementing agile—specifically, Scrum—across the business, and was undertaking a massive cultural shift for the organization as a whole. We had just begun employing UX designers on product teams. The aim was to catch up with and, hopefully, overtake the competition and diversify our current product offerings by putting users at the center of the design and development of our new products. Read More
Throughout my career as a user experience designer, I have continually asked myself three questions:
What should my deliverables be?
Will my deliverables provide clarity to me and their audience?
Where do my deliverables and other efforts fit within the spectrum of UX design?
I have found that, if I do not answer these questions prior to creating a deliverable, my churn rate increases and deadlines slip.
When attempting to answer the third question, I use a framework I discovered early in my career: The Five Competencies of User Experience Design.PDF This framework comprises the competencies a UX professional or team requires. The following sections describe these five competencies, outline some questions each competency must answer, and show the groundwork and deliverables for which each competency is responsible. Read More
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