UX circuit training
For any fitness level
*
@katewilhelm
*
Logistics
*
@katewilhelm
*
What we’ll cover
 Who are we?
 The UX bits
 Owning your career
 UX resources
 Leaving with a plan
How we’ll work
 Informally
 In groups
 Toward a plan
Metaphor alert!
Metaphor alert!
 No metaphors were harmed
 …but a lot were used
 …and mixed
 Try to count them
 Collect the whole set!
What you’ll have at the end
 Ideas, resources, and strategies
 A playbook with your game plan
 Some energy and momentum...
Who are we?
*
@katewilhelm
*
Who are you?
 How much UX?
 New?
 Repositioning?
 What draws you to it?
 What do you want to get out of this?
 Information architect at
BlackBerry for 7 years
 Led User Experience group
 Love UX (there, I said it!)
 Do this care...
Recipes tested in the Kate
kitchen!
http://www.thekitchn.com/
Little exercise
 Make a title page for your book
 Write down a statement that captures what
you want
 Share it with you...
Here’s an example…
 I want to work in a role that is
 Collaborative
 Challenging
 Strategic
 And lets me learn
 In a...
The UX bits
*
@katewilhelm
*
UX is a house
elezea.com
Rian van der
Mervwe (via
Garrett):
Structure with
research
foundation
Nope, it’s a honeycomb
Peter Morville: Aspects
of UX as facets
semanticstudios.com
Here, let’s try this one…
benmelbourne.files.wordpress.com/
benmelbourne.files.wordpress.com/
UX designers
 Ben Melbourne:
UX Designers focus on the structure and layout of
content and how users interact with them. ...
Another way to look at it
 Trip O’Dell framed it nicely:
 Storyteller
 Artisan
Storyteller
Radical generalist who is really curious and likes
to engage with stakeholders, users, and develop
a vision:
...
Artisan
…sweats the details whether it’s the easing in
an animated transition, the polished comp, or
the pixel-perfect CSS...
UX deliverables
 Again from Mr. Melbourne:
The types of deliverables they produce include site-maps,
user flows, prototyp...
Discussion:
 Where do you fit?
 I fit in research and design
 I influence visual design
 What interests you?
Activity: Get it on paper
 Take a minute to write it down:
 Where you fit
 What interests
you
Example: Here’s what I did
 Research
 Myers-Briggs
 Skills Inventory
 Overkill?
 Maybe
 But it reinforced my decision
Career
*
@katewilhelm
*
What do recruiters want?
 Someone is likely filtering on keywords
 Looking for
 Experience
 Deliverables
 Accomplishm...
What do recruiters,
managers, & peers want?
 Objectivity, openness, and self-awareness
 Ability to present ideas clearly...
People who are…
People who aren’t
 Arrogant, egotistical
 Deceptive
 Dramatic
 Unwilling to compromise
Put simply…
 Care and be interested
 Communicate well
 Keep a sense of humour
 Don’t be a jerk
Career strategies
 Own it
 Formalize it
 Document it
 Stay current
 Work with crushes
 Don’t get comfortable
Career strategies
 Lather
 Rinse
 Repeat
Own it! Strategies
 Who do you want to own your career?
 Define what you want
 Done! (for now)
 Create a plan
 Use st...
Or my mantra…
 Make your own sauce
www.theoatmeal.com/
Create opportunities
 At work
 Find gaps, identify needs
 Get stretch assignments
 Outside of work
 Volunteer
 Make ...
Example: Here’s what I did
 On a few occasions
 Saw a need
 Asked for a mandate
 Did the work
 Built credibility
 Fo...
Opportunities: Examples
 Pro bono: Charity or cause
 Your resume and portfolio
 Make it a design problem
 Include the ...
Create stories
 Think about your process
 Keep the artifacts
 Have a story to tell about
 Successes
 Challenges
 The...
LinkedIn
 Join before you even worry about your
resume
 Get inspired by other profiles
 Find jobs that are only posted ...
Letting it percolate
 Which strategies look
good to you?
 What might get in your
way?
 Internal
 External
Activity
 Write down a few strategies that you could
start next week
Resources
*
@katewilhelm
*
Activity
 As we go through these resources:
 Write down the ones that feel like a fit
 Mention ones that you’ve found u...
Education
 Cognitive Science
 Human Computer Interaction
 User Experience
 Information Architecture
 Information Scie...
A note on education
 Attack of the feral professionals
 The Unicorn Institute
www.aledlewis.com/
The Unicorn Institute
 Skills gap:
 Presenting
 Facilitating
 Critiquing
 Storytelling
 Sketching
 Professionalism
...
Training
 Adaptive Path UX Intensive
 Cooper UX Boot Camp
 Follow the UX Leader (CanCon!)
 Human Factors International...
Conferences
 Adaptive Path UX Week
 IA Institute IA Summit
 IxDA Interaction
 User Interface Engineering UI 18
 UXcam...
Conferences
 And Fluxible, of course!
Organizations
 UXPA
 IxDA
 IA Institute
 uxWaterloo
 CHI (in Toronto in 2014!)
Mentoring
 Through a group
 At work
 Local
 Remote
 Be one too
 Good things happen
Websites
 A List Apart
 Bill Buxton
 Boxes and Arrows
 Johnny Holland
 LukeW Ideation and Design
More websites
 Nielsen Norman Group
 Smashing Magazine
 UX Magazine
 UX matters
 Whitney Hess: Pleasure and Pain
Twitter
 Lots of conversations
 Can see who others follow
 Can use lists
 Example: I have lists of
 Local web and UX
...
Twitter is useful
Twitter is a conversation
 It’s easy to forget it’s a conversation….
Twitter: A sampling
Steve ‘Doc’ Baty
@docbaty
Livia Labate
@livlab
Dan Saffer
@odannyboy
Kris Mauser
@krismausser
Patrick ...
Twitter: A further sampling
Alan Cooper
@MrAlanCooper
Whitney Hess
@whitneyhess
Eric Reiss
@elreiss
Beck Tench
@10ch
Steve...
Books: Cognitive Science
Books: Interaction Design
Books: Sketching and
iteration
Books: Design
Books: Usability
Books: Process/activities
Activity
 Which 2 books do you go to?
 Defend!
 Discuss!
Here’s my UX starter kit:
Leaving with a plan
*
@katewilhelm
*
Activity: Set goals
 Write down 3 goals for
 Next week
 Next month
 Next year
 3 years from now
Activity: Define activities
 Write down what you should do
 Weekly
 Examples: Read websites, record accomplishments
 M...
Activity: Quick check
 Look at your activities
 Look at your goals
 Make sure your activities get you there
 If they d...
Suggestion: Get meta!
 Planning, researching, and prioritizing are
part of UX
 Treat these as deliverables:
 your book
...
Speaking of meta
 Part of my process for this presentation
 Could share as a portfolio piece
What now?
*
@katewilhelm
*
Let’s ruminate
 What was
 New
 Surprising
 Bad
 Useful
www.friendsofkootenay.ca
Parting thoughts
@katewilhelm
*
 Own your career
 It’s what you do and how you do it
 Process
 Artifacts
 Relationshi...
Soft skills really matter
 Not just what, but how
It’s worth repeating…
 Care and be interested
 Communicate well
 Keep a sense of humour
 Don’t be a jerk
Final thought
@katewilhelm
*
Cory Lebson
It may be scary—
Do it anyway
References
@katewilhelm
*
 Cory Lebson: These are my people: The Value in
UX Organizations
 Monique Valcour: Craft a Sus...
Peer support shout-outs
@katewilhelm
*
 Trip O’Dell
 Kimberley Peter
 Diana Wiffen
 Kristina McDougall
 Mary Pat Hint...
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UX Circuit Training - Delivered at Fluxible 2013 and the KW Girl Geek Dinner

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Many UX practitioners learn by doing and researching on the fly. This approach can also help those who want to develop their careers, who feel stuck in a narrow role when job postings seem to be looking for unicorns. Kate draws on her own experience and that of her peers.

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UX Circuit Training - Delivered at Fluxible 2013 and the KW Girl Geek Dinner

  1. 1. UX circuit training For any fitness level * @katewilhelm *
  2. 2. Logistics * @katewilhelm *
  3. 3. What we’ll cover  Who are we?  The UX bits  Owning your career  UX resources  Leaving with a plan
  4. 4. How we’ll work  Informally  In groups  Toward a plan
  5. 5. Metaphor alert!
  6. 6. Metaphor alert!  No metaphors were harmed  …but a lot were used  …and mixed  Try to count them  Collect the whole set!
  7. 7. What you’ll have at the end  Ideas, resources, and strategies  A playbook with your game plan  Some energy and momentum (I hope!)
  8. 8. Who are we? * @katewilhelm *
  9. 9. Who are you?  How much UX?  New?  Repositioning?  What draws you to it?  What do you want to get out of this?
  10. 10.  Information architect at BlackBerry for 7 years  Led User Experience group  Love UX (there, I said it!)  Do this career stuff myself What about me?
  11. 11. Recipes tested in the Kate kitchen! http://www.thekitchn.com/
  12. 12. Little exercise  Make a title page for your book  Write down a statement that captures what you want  Share it with your group
  13. 13. Here’s an example…  I want to work in a role that is  Collaborative  Challenging  Strategic  And lets me learn  In an environment that is open and decent
  14. 14. The UX bits * @katewilhelm *
  15. 15. UX is a house elezea.com Rian van der Mervwe (via Garrett): Structure with research foundation
  16. 16. Nope, it’s a honeycomb Peter Morville: Aspects of UX as facets semanticstudios.com
  17. 17. Here, let’s try this one… benmelbourne.files.wordpress.com/
  18. 18. benmelbourne.files.wordpress.com/
  19. 19. UX designers  Ben Melbourne: UX Designers focus on the structure and layout of content and how users interact with them. They don’t normally (but can) try to be perfect from a visual perspective.  Trip O’Dell: We solve problems for people with technology or services.
  20. 20. Another way to look at it  Trip O’Dell framed it nicely:  Storyteller  Artisan
  21. 21. Storyteller Radical generalist who is really curious and likes to engage with stakeholders, users, and develop a vision:  Empathetic  User-focused  Strategic  Research
  22. 22. Artisan …sweats the details whether it’s the easing in an animated transition, the polished comp, or the pixel-perfect CSS and assets that go from prototype to final shipping product:  Intensely focused  Passionate about craft
  23. 23. UX deliverables  Again from Mr. Melbourne: The types of deliverables they produce include site-maps, user flows, prototypes and wireframes.  These depend on the problems you’re solving  Activity: If any of these are new to you, write them in your book
  24. 24. Discussion:  Where do you fit?  I fit in research and design  I influence visual design  What interests you?
  25. 25. Activity: Get it on paper  Take a minute to write it down:  Where you fit  What interests you
  26. 26. Example: Here’s what I did  Research  Myers-Briggs  Skills Inventory  Overkill?  Maybe  But it reinforced my decision
  27. 27. Career * @katewilhelm *
  28. 28. What do recruiters want?  Someone is likely filtering on keywords  Looking for  Experience  Deliverables  Accomplishments  Not surprising…
  29. 29. What do recruiters, managers, & peers want?  Objectivity, openness, and self-awareness  Ability to present ideas clearly and confidently (good client manner)  Willingness to collaborate and listen to ideas  Ability to speak to the process
  30. 30. People who are…
  31. 31. People who aren’t  Arrogant, egotistical  Deceptive  Dramatic  Unwilling to compromise
  32. 32. Put simply…  Care and be interested  Communicate well  Keep a sense of humour  Don’t be a jerk
  33. 33. Career strategies  Own it  Formalize it  Document it  Stay current  Work with crushes  Don’t get comfortable
  34. 34. Career strategies  Lather  Rinse  Repeat
  35. 35. Own it! Strategies  Who do you want to own your career?  Define what you want  Done! (for now)  Create a plan  Use strategies  Create opportunities
  36. 36. Or my mantra…  Make your own sauce www.theoatmeal.com/
  37. 37. Create opportunities  At work  Find gaps, identify needs  Get stretch assignments  Outside of work  Volunteer  Make your own assignments
  38. 38. Example: Here’s what I did  On a few occasions  Saw a need  Asked for a mandate  Did the work  Built credibility  For IA and UX work
  39. 39. Opportunities: Examples  Pro bono: Charity or cause  Your resume and portfolio  Make it a design problem  Include the career book you’re working on  Tackle something that has always bothered you
  40. 40. Create stories  Think about your process  Keep the artifacts  Have a story to tell about  Successes  Challenges  These are things you can share
  41. 41. LinkedIn  Join before you even worry about your resume  Get inspired by other profiles  Find jobs that are only posted there  Be there for recruiters to find
  42. 42. Letting it percolate  Which strategies look good to you?  What might get in your way?  Internal  External
  43. 43. Activity  Write down a few strategies that you could start next week
  44. 44. Resources * @katewilhelm *
  45. 45. Activity  As we go through these resources:  Write down the ones that feel like a fit  Mention ones that you’ve found useful
  46. 46. Education  Cognitive Science  Human Computer Interaction  User Experience  Information Architecture  Information Science
  47. 47. A note on education  Attack of the feral professionals  The Unicorn Institute www.aledlewis.com/
  48. 48. The Unicorn Institute  Skills gap:  Presenting  Facilitating  Critiquing  Storytelling  Sketching  Professionalism  Leadership *Sound familiar? Soft skills!
  49. 49. Training  Adaptive Path UX Intensive  Cooper UX Boot Camp  Follow the UX Leader (CanCon!)  Human Factors International  Nielsen Norman Group Usability Week
  50. 50. Conferences  Adaptive Path UX Week  IA Institute IA Summit  IxDA Interaction  User Interface Engineering UI 18  UXcamp Ottawa  UXPA Conference
  51. 51. Conferences  And Fluxible, of course!
  52. 52. Organizations  UXPA  IxDA  IA Institute  uxWaterloo  CHI (in Toronto in 2014!)
  53. 53. Mentoring  Through a group  At work  Local  Remote  Be one too  Good things happen
  54. 54. Websites  A List Apart  Bill Buxton  Boxes and Arrows  Johnny Holland  LukeW Ideation and Design
  55. 55. More websites  Nielsen Norman Group  Smashing Magazine  UX Magazine  UX matters  Whitney Hess: Pleasure and Pain
  56. 56. Twitter  Lots of conversations  Can see who others follow  Can use lists  Example: I have lists of  Local web and UX  IA and UX
  57. 57. Twitter is useful
  58. 58. Twitter is a conversation  It’s easy to forget it’s a conversation….
  59. 59. Twitter: A sampling Steve ‘Doc’ Baty @docbaty Livia Labate @livlab Dan Saffer @odannyboy Kris Mauser @krismausser Patrick Neeman @usabilitycounts Christina Wodke @cwodtke Jeff Parks @jeffparks Peter Morville @morville
  60. 60. Twitter: A further sampling Alan Cooper @MrAlanCooper Whitney Hess @whitneyhess Eric Reiss @elreiss Beck Tench @10ch Steve Portigal @steveportigal Luke Wroblewski @lukew Dana Chisnell @danachis Kristina Halvorson @halvorson
  61. 61. Books: Cognitive Science
  62. 62. Books: Interaction Design
  63. 63. Books: Sketching and iteration
  64. 64. Books: Design
  65. 65. Books: Usability
  66. 66. Books: Process/activities
  67. 67. Activity  Which 2 books do you go to?  Defend!  Discuss!
  68. 68. Here’s my UX starter kit:
  69. 69. Leaving with a plan * @katewilhelm *
  70. 70. Activity: Set goals  Write down 3 goals for  Next week  Next month  Next year  3 years from now
  71. 71. Activity: Define activities  Write down what you should do  Weekly  Examples: Read websites, record accomplishments  Monthly  Quarterly  Yearly  Example: Revisit and refine goals
  72. 72. Activity: Quick check  Look at your activities  Look at your goals  Make sure your activities get you there  If they don’t, you need to rethink something
  73. 73. Suggestion: Get meta!  Planning, researching, and prioritizing are part of UX  Treat these as deliverables:  your book  your planning and learning process  Same with your resume
  74. 74. Speaking of meta  Part of my process for this presentation  Could share as a portfolio piece
  75. 75. What now? * @katewilhelm *
  76. 76. Let’s ruminate  What was  New  Surprising  Bad  Useful www.friendsofkootenay.ca
  77. 77. Parting thoughts @katewilhelm *  Own your career  It’s what you do and how you do it  Process  Artifacts  Relationships
  78. 78. Soft skills really matter  Not just what, but how
  79. 79. It’s worth repeating…  Care and be interested  Communicate well  Keep a sense of humour  Don’t be a jerk
  80. 80. Final thought @katewilhelm * Cory Lebson It may be scary— Do it anyway
  81. 81. References @katewilhelm *  Cory Lebson: These are my people: The Value in UX Organizations  Monique Valcour: Craft a Sustainable Career  Nick Finck: Starting a Career in User Experience Design  Dr. Leslie Jensen-Inman: Lone Geniuses or We Intentionality?
  82. 82. Peer support shout-outs @katewilhelm *  Trip O’Dell  Kimberley Peter  Diana Wiffen  Kristina McDougall  Mary Pat Hinton  Steve Baty  Mark Connolly  Susie Simon-Daniels  Larry Cornett

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