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Using UX Skills to Craft Your Career

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This is Amanda Stockwell's session from UX Australia 2015 in Brisbane.

The session discussed the unique challenges that UX professionals face when crafting their career path and finding roles that are both appropriate fits for their existing skill sets and offer opportunities to grow. It helped the attendees understand UX career options and help them craft their work samples and personal interactions to maximise their chances for success, whatever that looks like to them.
The session included a discussion of:
The varying career paths within UX and definitions of success
What employers are looking for in UX professionals
Ways to utilise existing UX skills to illustrate strengths and articulate value within a work environment or to potential employers
Tips to improve work samples to demonstrate expertise
Methods to present and brands oneself

Published in: Technology
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Using UX Skills to Craft Your Career

  1. 1. @MandaLaceyS 1 Good afternoon, Brisbane
  2. 2. @MandaLaceyS 2 Never Trust a Skinny Chef Using UX Skills to Shape Your Career Amanda Stockwell, @MandaLaceyS
  3. 3. @MandaLaceyS 3 QUESTIONS? Ask Anytime!
  4. 4. @MandaLaceyS 4 AMANDA STOCKWELL @MandaLaceyS Nerd Cred Attempted Unicorning UX Happy Place
  5. 5. 5 @MandaLaceyS
  6. 6. @MandaLaceyS 6 User Research Information 
 Architecture Interaction Design Usability ContentStrategy Prototype Code Visual Design Image credit to the awesome Rachel Daniel
  7. 7. @MandaLaceyS 7 Success in UX… Could be unicorning.
  8. 8. @MandaLaceyS 8 Success in UX… Could be specializing in a few areas.
  9. 9. @MandaLaceyS 9 Success in UX… Could be deep expertise.
  10. 10. @MandaLaceyS 10 Success in UX… Could be consulting.
  11. 11. @MandaLaceyS 11 Success in UX… Could be working in-house. Could be consulting.
  12. 12. @MandaLaceyS 12 Success in UX… Could be product strategy/management. Could be working in-house. Could be consulting.
  13. 13. @MandaLaceyS 13 Success in UX… Could be leadership Could be product strategy/management. Could be working in-house. Could be consulting.
  14. 14. @MandaLaceyS 14 Success in UX… Could be just about anything. Could be leadership Could be product strategy/management. Could be working in-house. Could be consulting.
  15. 15. @MandaLaceyS 15 Ability to persuade and make an impact Culture fit/personality Your fit within the team structure and set of expertise Problem solving approach
  16. 16. @MandaLaceyS 16 Of the 100s of candidates I’ve reviewed…
  17. 17. @MandaLaceyS 17 Of the 100s of candidates I’ve reviewed… Maybe 20% effectively communicate
  18. 18. @MandaLaceyS 18 GOOD NEWS! You already have the tools to improve.
  19. 19. @MandaLaceyS 19 User Research Content Strategy UI Design Interaction Design Usability Testing Visual Design
  20. 20. @MandaLaceyS 20 User Research
  21. 21. @MandaLaceyS 21 Potential employers/clients are your users.
  22. 22. answer 22 SAFE ASSUMPTIONS • May not be familiar with your particular niche • SUPER busy • They’re definitely people, not faceless “users.” • People like connection
  23. 23. @MandaLaceyS 23 Figure out people’s “whys”
  24. 24. @MandaLaceyS 24 Figure out people’s “whys”
  25. 25. @MandaLaceyS 25 Activity: First Impressions
  26. 26. answer 26 • Partner up • Find what you can about your partner • Summarize what you think your partner is about
  27. 27. @MandaLaceyS Compare notes • What was spot on? • What was off? • What was missing?
  28. 28. @MandaLaceyS 28 Content Strategy
  29. 29. 29 @MandaLaceyS
  30. 30. @MandaLaceyS 30 += ResumeYour Story Portfolio
  31. 31. 31 Determine what to show @MandaLaceyS
  32. 32. @MandaLaceyS 32 Choose samples wisely
  33. 33. @MandaLaceyS 33 Project Inventory @MandaLaceyS
  34. 34. @MandaLaceyS 34 • Make a spreadsheet with columns for client/project, date, activities, and outcomes. Link screenshots and documents. • Fill it out AS YOU GO. • Trust me. It’s easier than doing it retroactively. Project Inventory = Career Content Inventory
  35. 35. 35 Demonstrate success @MandaLaceyS
  36. 36. @MandaLaceyS 36 Problem Action Role Result = PARR PROBLEM ACTION ROLE RESULT The company isn’t hitting their target for new account signups. Brainstormed and user tested a shorter sign-up form. Lead interaction design, worked with visual designer Customer sign ups increased 20% per day after launch.
  37. 37. @MandaLaceyS 37 Activity: PARR
  38. 38. @MandaLaceyS 38 • Pick a project that has gone particularly well • Define the project objective • Describe the work you did • Explain your role and how you interfaced with your team • Brag about how awesome the project was • Especially helpful to have hard data Problem Action Role Result = PARR
  39. 39. @MandaLaceyS 39 Use your PARR’s to help figure out which projects and deliverables to include in your portfolio. You do not need to include every project or deliverable ever to prove your breadth of experience. PRO TIP
  40. 40. @MandaLaceyS 40 UI Design
  41. 41. 41 Visually represent your skills @MandaLaceyS
  42. 42. @MandaLaceyS 42 Activity: Broken Comb
  43. 43. @MandaLaceyS 43 Broken Comb
  44. 44. @MandaLaceyS 44 So many skills! Source: http://www.nngroup.com/reports/user-experience-careers/
  45. 45. answer 45 Pick your: • Core skills - up to 5 • Complimentary skills - up to 4 • Comparison points - up to 3 Pick a value from 1-10
  46. 46. 46 What if… @MandaLaceyS
  47. 47. 47 NDA’s • Anonymize • Remove confidential stuff • Communicate process • Talk-through New to UX • Volunteer efforts • Personal projects • School work
  48. 48. @MandaLaceyS 48 Remember the story…
  49. 49. @MandaLaceyS 49 Employers should care more about your approach than any specific deliverable.
  50. 50. 50 Interaction Design @MandaLaceyS
  51. 51. 51 (Personal) Interaction Design @MandaLaceyS
  52. 52. @MandaLaceyS 52 1.634 billion
  53. 53. @MandaLaceyS 53 Success takes so much more than technical expertise.
  54. 54. @MandaLaceyS 54 Activity: Reframing
  55. 55. answer 55 I hated my team. We never had enough budget. There were some tough personalities, but here’s how I learned to collaborate… Although we didn’t have unlimited resources, we were able to achieve… NO BETTER @MandaLaceyS
  56. 56. @MandaLaceyS 56 Usability Testing
  57. 57. @MandaLaceyS 57
  58. 58. @MandaLaceyS 58 Visual Design
  59. 59. @MandaLaceyS 59
  60. 60. @MandaLaceyS 60 User Research Content Strategy UI Design Interaction Design Usability Testing Visual Design
  61. 61. @MandaLaceyS 61 QUESTIONS? Stay in touch! @MandaLaceyS amanda.stockwell@gmail.com linkedin.com/in/amandastockwell

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