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UX Career Path - Tips to Designing Your Own Path
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UX Career Path - Tips to Designing Your Own Path


Most designers paths are not well planned. This presentation walks through what is needed to know in order to plan a UX career path.

Most designers paths are not well planned. This presentation walks through what is needed to know in order to plan a UX career path.

Published in Career , Design , Technology
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  • Write out your strengths and weaknesses
    Ask someone else you have worked with what they think
    Be totally honest with yourself, you are only lying to yourself
  • Start with:
    What matches what is happening at work
    What you are most curious about
    What you are lacking the most
  • Lots of ways to choose:
    Job opportunities
  • • Is a great way to explain a concept or inspire a team or get stakeholder/client buy-in
    • Have a whiteboard? Sketching while you tell a story is even more powerful
    • Storytelling for User Experience by Whitney Quesenbery & Kevin Brooks
  • • Not talking about beautiful sketchnotes more like back of the napkin sketches
    • The next time you are working through an idea, sketch it. Interface or flow or whatever
    • Resources: On the Back of the Napkin by Dan Roam and Sketching the User Experience by Bill Buxton
  • • You are probably going to be designing as part of a team
    • Partner that with the fact Great design happens through iteration
    • You need to be able to give good feedback and to receive it
    • Aaron Irizarry and Adam Connor’s site Discussing Design,
  • • At it’s core great presenters are good storytellers
    • In this business your gonna be presenting your work in many contexts
    • Show and Tell by Dan Roam and Presentation Zen by Garr Reynolds … or watch lots of TED videos
  • • At some point in my career I realized this was a huge part of my job
    • You are going to be working with various types of people and will need to pull out the best from them
    • You’ll need various methods for the context
    • Gamestorming by Dave Gray, Sunni Brown, James Macanufo and writings by Kevin Hoffman
  • How are you going to know whether or not you are heading in the right direction without getting feedback
    Find someone who can give you feedback and listen to what they have to offer
    Don’t have a mentor, get one
    Find a design buddy who is learning like you
  • I have found the best way to truly ingest something is to teach it
    It makes you really have to think about the subject matter and usually in different ways
    Some ways you can teach are:
    Talk to the local IxDA folks they are always looking for speakers
    Interactions South America is looking for speakers for this year’s event
    Start an apprenticeship or internship program at your workplace
    Mentor another designer
  • For example if you have some gaps you might say: My first goal is to fill in the gaps of my knowledge by the end of the year. My stretch goal is to grow my vertical a little bit.
  • Let’s say you have 5 months left in the year and have 4 areas of gaps. You can say for month 1 I will focus on Visual Design, month 2 research, month 3 content strategy, and month 4 information architecture. You could spend the the first 2 weeks learning and second 2 weeks practicing. The following month find a way to to teach others about what you learned and what you did with it. You’ll have one month extra in case something takes longer.

    Try to align it to your project work if you can, this way it will be easier to practice.
    Consciously work in those other skill sets into your practice.
    Some align better with others. Storytelling with say with storyboarding within interaction design. Sketching with visual design.


  • 1. UX Career Path Tips to Designing Your Own Path John Labriola @john_labriola #UXCareerPath
  • 2. My Path Cultural Communications Studies College Marketing/PR Company Commercial Web Sites Small Design Shop Commercial Web Sites • Mobile Web Sites Big Insurance Company Commercial Web Sites • Intranets • Web Apps Really Big Bank Web Apps Consulting Commercial Web Sites • Intranets • Web Apps • E-Courses Another Big Insurance Company Intranets • Web Apps Non-Profit Education Intranets • Web Apps • Mobile Web • Apps Big Technology Company Commercial Web Sites • Mobile Web • E-Commerce • Apps
  • 3. What is Your Path? Oaktor Photography Brian Mullender Riccardo Cuppini
  • 4. I am a UX Designer because __________
  • 5. Core Disciplines of UX
  • 6. Research Interaction Design Content StrategyVisual Design Usability Understanding the people, the problem, the context… Designing the behaviors Planning for the creation, delivery, and governance of content Designing the visual aesthetics Measuring the quality of the experience Information Architecture Organizing the information in a purposeful and meaningful way via Nick Fink
  • 7. Interaction Design Specialist • Wireframing • Task flows • Prototyping • Interaction Principles • Personas • Scenarios • Concept models • Experience mapping • Design Principles
  • 8. T-Shaped Personality broad d e e p
  • 9. With a UX Lens User Experience Design
  • 10. Assess Yourself User Experience Design
  • 11. Fill in the Gaps User Experience Design
  • 12. But Pick a Vertical User Experience Design
  • 13. You Might Have to Tweak It User Experience Design
  • 14. Jared Spool’s Skills for UX Mastery
  • 15. Storytelling Wyn Griffiths John Brosz
  • 16. Sketching Nathanael Coyne Andy Bright Chris Blow
  • 17. Critiquing stephanie vacher Drew Drew
  • 18. Presenting Alfred Lui Juhan Sonin Green Map System
  • 19. Facilitating Tony Carr Tony Carr Queen's University
  • 20. Areas You’ll Need to Know About
  • 21. Psychology Nathanael Coyne Nathanael Coyne Nathanael Coyne
  • 22. Sociology Tokyo Fashion qmechanic Adrian Sevitz
  • 23. Technology
  • 24. Domain Knowledge SamsungTomorrow jpellgen Nathanael Coyne
  • 25. Processes Nathanael Coyne SAP Nordstrom Innovation Lab
  • 26. How to Do It
  • 27. Learn Nathanael Coyne Nathanael Coyne Nathanael Coyne
  • 28. Practice woodleywonderworks Kids’ Own Warren Long
  • 29. Feedback Luiza Ferreira Waag Society Ben Walker
  • 30. Teach Kaba Duncan Hsieh Jonathon Colman
  • 31. Creating a Plan
  • 32. Set some goals Getty Ed Donahue Ritu Raj
  • 33. Make a plan Phil Calçado Chris Campbell Nomadic Lass
  • 34. Getting Help
  • 35. Don’t Have a Mentor, Get One!
  • 36. Network Moody Man IxDA Global IxDA Global
  • 37. "There's a difference between knowing the path, and walking the path" — Morpheus
  • 38. Resources
  • 39. Career • Get Started in UX: The Complete Guide to Launching a Career in User Experience Design by Matthew Magain & Luke Chambers • UX Career Progression: Finding a Niche & Building a Personal Brand by Nick Fink • It's a Great Time to Be A UX Designer Video by Jared M. Spool Generalist UX • A Project Guide to UX Design by Russ Unger & Carolyn Chandler • Designing for the Digital Age by Kim Goodwin Sketching • On the Back of the Napkin by Dan Roam • Sketching the User Experience by Bill Buxton Storytelling • Storytelling for User Experience by Whitney Quesenbery & Kevin Brooks Critiquing • Aaron Irizarry & Adam Connor Presenting • Show and Tell by Dan Roam • Presentation Zen by Garr Reynolds Facilitating • Gamestorming by Dave Gray, Sunni Brown, & James Macanufo • Writings by Kevin Hoffman Psychology • Designing with the Mind in Mind by Jeff Johnson • 100 Things Every Designer Needs to Know About People by Susan Weinschenk Sociology • Designing Social Interfaces by Christian Crumlish & Erin Malone • Designing for the Social Web by Joshua Porter Design Process • Lean UX by Jeff Gothelf • Designing for Interaction by Dan Saffer
  • 40. Got Questions?
  • 41. Thanks! Join the IxDA community! • Website: • Facebook: • Twitter: @ixdacba