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!