User Experience Career Advice From 1,015 UX Professionals We recently published the 2nd edition of our User Experience Careers report, 7 years after the 1st edition was published. Our report is free and a gift to the UX community. The 2nd edition is based on several research studies carried out in 2019 and is based on responses from over 700 UX professionals. They included an online survey completed by 693 people, 2 focus groups, and 17 remote, semi-structured interviews, all carried out with UX professionals around the world. What Hasn’t Changed? UX practitioners are just as satisfied with their careers as they were in 2013; career satisfaction got an identical rating of 5.4 on a 1–7 scale (where 1 was completely dissatisfied, and 7 was completely satisfied). Enjoying the process and the work Seeing the impact of their work Receiving recognition for their work Having opportunities to grow and excel Industries hiring UX practitioners and the kinds of things UX practitioners work on are also much the same. What’s New? Changing Careers
Lean ways to test your new business idea I’ll be honest, I’m a bit late to the party. I’ve only just completed Eric Ries book, ‘The Lean Startup’, that was published to much acclaim last year. I put off reading it, believing it would be another generic how-to-start-a-high-tech-business book. I already have a bookshelf full of these kinds of book, most of them unread beyond the initial chapter. But now I’ve read it I think that it should be obligatory reading for any UX person. What I like about the book is that it puts UX at the very heart of new product design — and does so in language that will make managers sit up and take notice. Here’s my version of the digested read. Designing new products or services is risky because there are so many uncertainties. Sound familiar? UX practitioners have a lot to contribute to this way of working but I wanted particularly to focus on the item I’ve numbered 4 in the list above: iterative design and testing. These techniques have three things in common. The three methods I want to discuss are:
Rapid Prototyping: Tips for Running an Effective R&D Process So you realize that it's important to prototype your ideas before launching into production -- but how do you do it? Arkadium's director of R&D, Tom Rassweiler, lifts the veil on his company's process and explains why it shifted to central R&D for new game prototypes. As the director of Research and Development at Arkadium, I'm tasked with identifying unique and successful game mechanics for our future games. The decision to move to a central R&D model was not made lightly. Due to new distribution methods, new audiences, and new platforms, the game industry is now rewarding unique, creative game ideas like never before. In response to the increasing complexity of the industry, the idea of effective prototyping is very hot. Prototyping is useful because the best way to know whether a game will be fun is to play it. The advantages of prototyping are generally well known, and most development teams spend sometime prototyping before each project. Often, this tension is good.
Just What is a UX Manager? | Adaptive Path Earlier this week, I wrote quick blog post, calling out seven lessons for UX managers from this year’s MX conference. Then on Twitter, Livia Labate, who leads the experience design practice for Marriott International asked, “Dear @AdaptivePath, what is a UX Manager?” Here’s my not-so-twitter-length response: UX managers come with all sorts of fancy-pants titles. This isn’t about titles. This is about responsibilities. Someone who manages user experience has stuck their neck out and said they’ll deliver business outcomes through improving the experience that customers have with a product or service. That means you believe UX is a force that can not only improve people’s experiences but that it can also drive business. Why I <3 UX Managers Okay, let it be said that I’m biased. I’ve spent the past six years trying to get to know as many of you as I can, either speaking at or chairing Adaptive Path’s Managing Experience conference. What I’ve learned is that this is an emerging discipline.
Why most UX is shite I was invited to speak at the event this week where getting a little sweary and ranty is kind of encouraged (it goes well with the craft beer consumption that is an integral part of the conference mix). This was my contribution. Slides: When I checked the agenda to see what I was supposed to be talking about at Monkigras, I saw that I was down to talk for 15 mins about ‘Crafting Good UX’. An elegant UIBeing AddictiveA Fast Startbeing Seamless, andIt Changes You I hate these kinds of lists. If only that were true, we’d be overwhelmed by UX amazingness. It’s not that simple right. Now, there are plenty of ways you can make a user’s experience of your product rubbish, but in my experience, there are a handful of serial offenders. 1. So, this one I see ALL the time. From a start up who doesn’t want to rule anything out of its value proposition so doesn’t really know what it is so, as a consequence, no one knows what problems it’s solving so they don’t engage. This starts at the top. 2. 3. 4.
Prototyping: You’re (Probably) Doing It Wrong You’re not alone, I was also doing prototyping wrong until a few years ago. There are probably many different ways of prototyping games correctly, and maybe your way works great for you. In that case, a more accurate title for this post could have been “Prototyping: I Was Doing It Wrong”. A good game prototype is something fast/cheap that allows you to answer a specific question about your game. Chris Hecker and Chaim Gingold gave one of the best presentations on the subject of rapid prototyping. Mistake #1: Going With The First Idea Every company I’ve ever worked at has done this mistake. Creating a prototype for a game you know you’ve already committed to is pointless. What I do now is to force myself to prototype several of my top ideas before committing to any one project. With a good prototype it’s easy to see if an idea is worthwhile. Also, often times, after doing one prototype and deciding against it, a new idea will come up. Mistake #2: Not having a good question
Product Manager and UX Designer - What's the Difference? Photo Credit: pelican via Compfight cc Product Manager vs. UX Designer I always advocate in favor of broad definition of User Experience Design practice. Here’s the definition from my recent ebook UX Design for Startups: “User experience design (abbreviation UX, UXD) – A discipline focused on designing the end-to-end experience of a certain product. A UX designer’s work should always be derived from people’s problems and aim at finding a pleasurable, seductive, inspiring solution. When you’re designing an experience, you are in fact planning a change in the behaviour of your target group. User experience lies at the crossroads of art and science and requires both extremely acute analytical thinking and creativity.” Planning, measuring, building, validating – that’s pretty broad set of actions, but this is what, I believe, have to be done to create stunning UX Design. Is there anything left for Product Managers? PM = UX Designer PM ≠ UX Designer Reimagining the way you design.
6 Steps for Measuring Success on UX Projects | disciullodesign – By MARK DISCIULLO The tepid economy is putting pressure on everyone from executives to User Experience (UX) teams to show direct, measurable results. So, I’m often surprised to hear of the many projects that include a UX component to them, yet there isn’t any true, quantifiable success criteria defined for UX. UX is still being treated as though it’s a very subjective topic to measure. “This is not acceptable. Without credible UX success measurements, we all risk not being able to quantify our success. Why are we not measuring our UX efforts? Often times stakeholders or clients don’t realize that UX can be quantified and measured. We need to be backing our UX efforts with quantifiable stories such as, “We decreased shopping cart abandonment by 30% which lead to 10% higher sales”, “We increased intranet adoption by 55% .”, “We increased overall user satisfaction by 30%.” So how do we do this? Imagine if you could clearly define measureable goals for your UX efforts? Start measuring now!
Quick and Dirty Prototyping: A Success Story Last November at the IGDA Leadership Forum, I gave a short talk on quick and dirty prototyping as a production method for small PC games. The topic was met with curiosity, as most producers were already comfortable with their existing waterfall or agile methodologies. While our studio, Boomzap Entertainment, is agile in the simplest definition of the word ("can move fast, is flexible"), we don't follow Scrum, XP, or any of the popular frameworks. Instead, we've tweaked a process that works best for our indie studio for the past five years -- a process I like to call "quick and dirty prototyping", though no one else at Boomzap refers to it as such. You can read a short summary of the presentation here. To give you some context on how we work: Boomzap Entertainment is a small indie casual games developer in Southeast Asia. The Awakening team worked with each other entirely online, from meetings and documentation to asset and build processing. 1. 2. 3.
How important is user experience? 9 things you need to know about UX. UX is based on 200 years of scientific knowledge, 30 years of industry best practices and specifically applied research. - @mashable User experience (ux) is an emerging practice that sits at the intersection of behavioral science, web development, and domain-specific knowledge. It’s a human-centric approach to understanding how people engage with technology, and how to build the best web experiences possible. Consider the following: 88% of online consumers are less likely to return to a site after a bad experience. -@econsultancy94% of a user’s first impressions are design-related. - @Veopix73% of consumers access websites on their mobile devices. - @Bond_Group The best user experience practice comes from a deep knowledge of buyer personas. The practice of user experience spans multiple disciplines, including buyer research, information architecture and knowledge management, interactive design, and visual design. User experience carries a significant, measurable ROI for organizations.