“We should try to leave the world a better place than when we entered it.”—Michio Kaku
Inclusiveness, diversity, and belonging in the workplace have become essential parts of a ubiquitous, ever-present ideology for organizations. Diversity and inclusion are quickly moving to the top of organizations’ lists of priorities because of the value they add. Not only do they contribute to creating a happier, more discretionary, and productive workforce, they also improve the organizations’ financial performance, as multiple studies have reported.
Still, one of the biggest challenges we face today is creating a diverse and inclusive environment for the workforce. Achieving true diversity and inclusion takes more than a training video or a session about being polite to coworkers. Many reputed organizations have been taking measures across multiple fronts—including hiring, promotions, opportunities, behavior, and more—to instill, improve, and constantly monitor these principles. Awareness of the business case for inclusion and diversity is on the rise. While social justice is typically the initial impetus behind these efforts, companies have increasingly begun to regard inclusion, diversity, and belonging as a source of competitive advantage—and more specifically, as a key enabler of growth. Read More
This is a question that every UX professional faces at some point: is it better to be a UX generalist—for example, practicing both user research and UX design—or is it better to specialize—perhaps in a specific domain? Companies often question whether a team of UX generalists or a mix of specialists is best.
I might be the ideal person to answer this question. Over the last 15 years, I’ve had the unusual experience of starting out as a UX design generalist, becoming a user research specialist, and again becoming a UX design generalist. In this column, I’ll discuss the advantages and disadvantages of generalization and specialization for UX professionals and the companies that hire them. Read More
Human beings are drawn to stories, which help us make sense of our world by letting us share others’ experiences as though they were our own. We feel characters’ struggles as they navigate difficult challenges and rejoice with them when they finally achieve their goals or share their sorrows if they do not. Stories help us learn to feel empathy—a critical trait for any UX professional.
Most importantly, stories are memorable. According to Jennifer Aaker, Professor of Marketing at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, using a story to convey information is up to “22 times more memorable than facts alone.”
Telling a story can help influence the opinions of others in ways that few other modes of communication can. The value of storytelling extends to how we present ourselves and our abilities professionally. Having participated in dozens of on-site portfolio reviews over the years—sitting on both sides of the review table—I’ve found that the most effective UX-portfolio presentations have one thing in common: the candidate told a story. Read More