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
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
Someone recently asked me what UX roles and positions companies such as Rockwell Automation should invest in, as they evolve their business strategy to focus on SaaS (Software as a Service) and cloud-based services. My immediate thought: we first need to consider what skills will be necessary to support this change, because focusing too much on roles and positions tends to skew people’s mindsets toward staffing and recruiting before they’ve considered the user value they must deliver and the business outcomes they need to achieve.
Nevertheless, the question was certainly a valid one that I’ve wrestled with over the past several months, as we’ve been preparing to expand our UX teams and capabilities to meet the demands of an evolving industry with new customer expectations. Now, after having had some time to mull over this question, I’ve concluded that companies on paths that are similar to Rockwell’s should bolster and invest in the following skills over the course of the next couple of years: