I have been getting a lot of questions lately about what makes a good user experience designer. Unfortunately, the phrase “user experience” is gaining momentum but not a lot of clarity. We used to be called information architects, then usability specialists, and now user experience designers and customer experience designers.
While talking with a tech recruiter today I was reminded of a previous post. So here is a variation on the original. However, this speaks to the hiring criteria.
Check out Whitney Hess’ blog. I believe Whitney makes a good point that one way to understand what a good UXer is, means to have a clearer picture of what a good UXer is not. Especially, if you are hiring (or considering hiring) a UX designer, make sure you know exactly what you’re looking for. There is a big difference between a Web Designer and a UX Designer. There is a big difference between a Frontend Developer and UX Designer. For added information, see Whitney’s detailed post on these points below:
You’re not hiring a UXer if they…
- Don’t talk to users
- Can’t identify your target audience
- Don’t define the problem before trying to solve it
- Can’t articulate your users’ goals
- Don’t understand the importance of analytics
- Design in a vacuum
- Make design decisions based on personal preferences
- Don’t consider the business objectives
- Don’t use UX methodologies
- Don’t design for conditions and edge cases
- Can’t understand and talk to business stakeholders, creatives, and front-end/back-end developers
- Only think about the interface
- Never consider the ROI
Make sure the job description for your position includes these items or you’re looking for the wrong person. I hope this helps remove some of the fuzzy thinking and mystique behind hiring a good UXer. Enjoy!
[Based off a previous post]
There seems to be this unspoken creed among adults in the working world that goes like this, “If you’re having fun at work you must not be working.” The insinuation is, if you are playing, you’re not getting work done, therefore, you’re wasting time. Likewise, the slogan “Work Hard, Play Hard” is often associated with two different environments 1) Work hard while at work 2) Play hard while at home (or on HR related corporate outtings). Why can’t these environments be the same? Why can’t they co-mingle?
The National Institute for Play says:
Corporate attitudes about play-on-the-job vary immensely. But, the knowledge and ethic to support play-based practices that create innovative, problem solving work teams are virtually non-existent in organizations today.
Executives running organizations do not have the information to understand the true nature of play. Even those who have a natural appreciation and temperament for the benefits of play see play and work as separate. Some believe that play is the opposite of work.
When it comes to business we have to be mature and serious. Right? Yet, we’re jealous of the people that “love what they do” and “cannot wait to get up each morning” because they are having fun at work.
Within some entrepreneurial organizations the concept of fun and play are emerging as viable and needed elements in employee development and competitive business growth. This is especially poignant when it comes to innovation and organizational learning. This is what I call “The Fun Factor” in learning. Below are listed several ways that establishing the catalyst of fun will benefit your life, your team, your work, and your bottom-line.
10 Benefits of the Fun Factor
- It is pleasurable and consequently opens the learner to additional learning.
- It minimizes defensiveness and a trust relationship is developed with the employee.
- It stimulates retention because what the employee likes and enjoys, he/she remembers and practices.
- It captures imagination and stirs the creative and innovative nature within the employee.
- It engages the employee, gets him/her interacting while not putting them to sleep with mundane routine.
- It excites and drives the employee to want to know more on a subject or topic.
- It energizes the employee and shapes departmental and corporate culture.
- It synergizes as the employee applies “fun approaches” to work.
- It changes outlook as the employee begins to see life from a positive aspect.
- It increases mental flexibility helping the employee cope with strenuous situations.
What other benefits have you seen? Comment below and let me know.
Valuable User Experience Infographic for those making a case for UX ROI – thanks to experiencedynamics.com
I recently read a short piece by Oz at UX Beginner and feel he is spot-on! The article is about finding a UX Mentor.
Key take-aways for mentors:
- Help set expectations
- Be on the lookout for opportunities to network your mentee
- Be on the lookout for possible job opportunities for your mentee
Key take-aways for mentees:
- Drive the relationship
- Show initiative
- Be accountable to your mentor
Thanks Oz for your insights and this timely post. Read the full article for more details.
The implications could be enormous for every site on the Web that competes for Google ranking. Good UX is more than look and feel. Make sure you have a seasoned UX professional on your team to maintain a strong Web presence.
Google can currently look at the user interface and not just see specific font sizes but see how a user would see the fonts on different mobile devices. Google is also able to see how a user will see how a page scrolls on a mobile interface; are the buttons large enough to click on; is the interface confusing to mobile users?
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