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Using UX skills to craft your career

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This presentation will approach the unique challenges that UX professionals face when crafting their career path and finding roles that are both appropriate fits for their existing skillsets and offer opportunities to grow. It will help the attendees understand UX career options and help them craft their work samples and personal interactions to maximize their chances for success, whatever that looks like to them. Participants will learn to use the core concepts they utilize for their project work to how they present themselves and their work.

I’ll cover:

The varying career paths within UX and definitions of success
Information on what employers are looking for in UX professionals
Ways to utilize 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. Session Survey: http://www.uxpa2016.org/sessionsurvey Conference Survey: http://www.uxpa2016.org/survey www.uxpa2016.org #UXPA2016 | @MandaLaceyS Good evening, Seattle!
  2. 2. Session Survey: http://www.uxpa2016.org/sessionsurvey Conference Survey: http://www.uxpa2016.org/survey www.uxpa2016.org #UXPA2016 | @MandaLaceyS Using UX Skills to Shape Your Career Amanda Stockwell UXPA2016
  3. 3. Session Survey: http://www.uxpa2016.org/sessionsurvey Conference Survey: http://www.uxpa2016.org/survey www.uxpa2016.org #UXPA2016 | @MandaLaceyS QUESTIONS? Ask Anytime!
  4. 4. Session Survey: http://www.uxpa2016.org/sessionsurvey Conference Survey: http://www.uxpa2016.org/survey www.uxpa2016.org #UXPA2016 | @MandaLaceyS Nerd Cred Attempted Unicorning UX Happy Place A brief background. I’ve worked in nearly every type of job, including recruiting. I’ve done work for Aquent and was one of their first expert network members, coaching them on how to screen and hire UXers.
  5. 5. Session Survey: http://www.uxpa2016.org/sessionsurvey Conference Survey: http://www.uxpa2016.org/survey www.uxpa2016.org #UXPA2016 | @MandaLaceyS Let’s just level set what I mean when I say UX - The first thing is something that comes up a lot in the UX world, which is the definition of what we do and what our roles are. There are almost 105 million answers to “What is UX?” Surely some of them overlap, but within the realm of UX we could have an information architect, a visual designer, a researcher, a UX designer, a UX strategist, a sparkly magic ponycorn and we’re all UX professionals. There’s no ideal experience set, no clearly delineated terminology, and our deliverables don’t always communicate our expertise.
  6. 6. Session Survey: http://www.uxpa2016.org/sessionsurvey Conference Survey: http://www.uxpa2016.org/survey www.uxpa2016.org #UXPA2016 | @MandaLaceyS User Research Information 
 Architecture Interaction Design Usability ContentStrategy Prototype/Code Visual Design There’s a reason that UX is so hard - there are a LOT of disciplines in here. And everybody wants us to do everything. It’s really a pretty good time to be in UX.
  7. 7. Session Survey: http://www.uxpa2016.org/sessionsurvey Conference Survey: http://www.uxpa2016.org/survey www.uxpa2016.org #UXPA2016 | @MandaLaceyS Success in UX… Could be unicorning. Success can look like lots of things. You could be a unicorn if you really want…and that’s a topic for another day.
  8. 8. Session Survey: http://www.uxpa2016.org/sessionsurvey Conference Survey: http://www.uxpa2016.org/survey www.uxpa2016.org #UXPA2016 | @MandaLaceyS Success in UX… Could be specializing in a few areas. But you could also be some kind of combo, like user research, usability, content strategist
  9. 9. Session Survey: http://www.uxpa2016.org/sessionsurvey Conference Survey: http://www.uxpa2016.org/survey www.uxpa2016.org #UXPA2016 | @MandaLaceyS Success in UX… Could be deep expertise. Or you could really focus in one niche area, like visual design. So just to pause here
  10. 10. Session Survey: http://www.uxpa2016.org/sessionsurvey Conference Survey: http://www.uxpa2016.org/survey www.uxpa2016.org #UXPA2016 | @MandaLaceyS Pick your angle. Which are ou?
  11. 11. Session Survey: http://www.uxpa2016.org/sessionsurvey Conference Survey: http://www.uxpa2016.org/survey www.uxpa2016.org #UXPA2016 | @MandaLaceyS Success in UX… Could be consulting. You could freelance or consult on your own, or work at an established agency
  12. 12. Session Survey: http://www.uxpa2016.org/sessionsurvey Conference Survey: http://www.uxpa2016.org/survey www.uxpa2016.org #UXPA2016 | @MandaLaceyS Success in UX… Could be consulting. Could be working in-house. You can work at a software or product company to build in-house
  13. 13. Session Survey: http://www.uxpa2016.org/sessionsurvey Conference Survey: http://www.uxpa2016.org/survey www.uxpa2016.org #UXPA2016 | @MandaLaceyS Success in UX… Could be consulting. Could be working in-house. Could be product strategy/management. You could move more into a business role, taking on product strategy
  14. 14. Session Survey: http://www.uxpa2016.org/sessionsurvey Conference Survey: http://www.uxpa2016.org/survey www.uxpa2016.org #UXPA2016 | @MandaLaceyS Success in UX… Could be consulting. Could be working in-house. Could be product strategy/management. Could be leadership Or you could be a leader of some sort
  15. 15. Session Survey: http://www.uxpa2016.org/sessionsurvey Conference Survey: http://www.uxpa2016.org/survey www.uxpa2016.org #UXPA2016 | @MandaLaceyS Success in UX… Could be consulting. Could be working in-house. Could be product strategy/management. Could be leadership Could be just about anything. We’re lucky. You can do whatever you want!
  16. 16. Session Survey: http://www.uxpa2016.org/sessionsurvey Conference Survey: http://www.uxpa2016.org/survey www.uxpa2016.org #UXPA2016 | @MandaLaceyS In-house specialist In house specialist
  17. 17. Session Survey: http://www.uxpa2016.org/sessionsurvey Conference Survey: http://www.uxpa2016.org/survey www.uxpa2016.org #UXPA2016 | @MandaLaceyS Pick again. Semi-specialist leader
  18. 18. Session Survey: http://www.uxpa2016.org/sessionsurvey Conference Survey: http://www.uxpa2016.org/survey www.uxpa2016.org #UXPA2016 | @MandaLaceyS Ability to persuade and make an impact Culture fit/personality Your fit within the team structure and set of expertise Problem solving approach Regardless of what direction you want to go, potential employers want to know a few things about you
  19. 19. Session Survey: http://www.uxpa2016.org/sessionsurvey Conference Survey: http://www.uxpa2016.org/survey www.uxpa2016.org #UXPA2016 | @MandaLaceyS Of the 100s of candidates I’ve reviewed… So I’ve not only hired teams myself, and built my team, but I spent a while doing recruiting. Looked at hundreds and hundreds of candidates and job descriptions.
  20. 20. Session Survey: http://www.uxpa2016.org/sessionsurvey Conference Survey: http://www.uxpa2016.org/survey www.uxpa2016.org #UXPA2016 | @MandaLaceyS Of the 100s of candidates I’ve reviewed… Maybe 20% effectively communicate And that 20% is generous.
  21. 21. Session Survey: http://www.uxpa2016.org/sessionsurvey Conference Survey: http://www.uxpa2016.org/survey www.uxpa2016.org #UXPA2016 | @MandaLaceyS GOOD NEWS! You already have the tools to improve. I’m guessing that some of you are here because you want to be one of those 20%
  22. 22. Session Survey: http://www.uxpa2016.org/sessionsurvey Conference Survey: http://www.uxpa2016.org/survey www.uxpa2016.org #UXPA2016 | @MandaLaceyS User Research Content Strategy UI Design Interaction Design Usability Testing Visual Design
  23. 23. Session Survey: http://www.uxpa2016.org/sessionsurvey Conference Survey: http://www.uxpa2016.org/survey www.uxpa2016.org #UXPA2016 | @MandaLaceyS User Research
  24. 24. Session Survey: http://www.uxpa2016.org/sessionsurvey Conference Survey: http://www.uxpa2016.org/survey www.uxpa2016.org #UXPA2016 | @MandaLaceyS Potential employers/ clients are your users.
  25. 25. Session Survey: http://www.uxpa2016.org/sessionsurvey Conference Survey: http://www.uxpa2016.org/survey www.uxpa2016.org #UXPA2016 | @MandaLaceyS SAFE ASSUMPTIONS • May not be familiar with your particular niche • SUPER busy • They’re definitely people, not faceless “users.” • People like connection
  26. 26. Session Survey: http://www.uxpa2016.org/sessionsurvey Conference Survey: http://www.uxpa2016.org/survey www.uxpa2016.org #UXPA2016 | @MandaLaceyS Figure out people’s “whys”
  27. 27. Session Survey: http://www.uxpa2016.org/sessionsurvey Conference Survey: http://www.uxpa2016.org/survey www.uxpa2016.org #UXPA2016 | @MandaLaceyS Figure out people’s “whys” People behave a certain way for reason. TALK TO THEM. Maybe they are scared about how they’re going to be judged. Maybe your coworker is overworked. Maybe your boss just had a baby and is super fucking over the top tired. It’s a lot easier to be empathetic when you know a little bit about someone.
  28. 28. Session Survey: http://www.uxpa2016.org/sessionsurvey Conference Survey: http://www.uxpa2016.org/survey www.uxpa2016.org #UXPA2016 | @MandaLaceyS Activity: First Impressions 30 minutes in - 6pm
  29. 29. Session Survey: http://www.uxpa2016.org/sessionsurvey Conference Survey: http://www.uxpa2016.org/survey www.uxpa2016.org #UXPA2016 | @MandaLaceyS Partner up • Find what you can about your partner • Summarize what you think your partner is about
  30. 30. Session Survey: http://www.uxpa2016.org/sessionsurvey Conference Survey: http://www.uxpa2016.org/survey www.uxpa2016.org #UXPA2016 | @MandaLaceyS Compare notes • What was spot on? • What was off? • What was missing?
  31. 31. Session Survey: http://www.uxpa2016.org/sessionsurvey Conference Survey: http://www.uxpa2016.org/survey www.uxpa2016.org #UXPA2016 | @MandaLaceyS Content Strategy
  32. 32. Session Survey: http://www.uxpa2016.org/sessionsurvey Conference Survey: http://www.uxpa2016.org/survey www.uxpa2016.org #UXPA2016 | @MandaLaceyS
  33. 33. Session Survey: http://www.uxpa2016.org/sessionsurvey Conference Survey: http://www.uxpa2016.org/survey www.uxpa2016.org #UXPA2016 | @MandaLaceyS += ResumeYour Story Portfolio
  34. 34. Session Survey: http://www.uxpa2016.org/sessionsurvey Conference Survey: http://www.uxpa2016.org/survey www.uxpa2016.org #UXPA2016 | @MandaLaceyS Determine what to show
  35. 35. Session Survey: http://www.uxpa2016.org/sessionsurvey Conference Survey: http://www.uxpa2016.org/survey www.uxpa2016.org #UXPA2016 | @MandaLaceyS Choose samples wisely Keep in mind that just because you’ve done something doesn’t mean you need to put it in your portfolio. Your story needs to communicate that you are awesome at the kind of work you want to do.
  36. 36. Session Survey: http://www.uxpa2016.org/sessionsurvey Conference Survey: http://www.uxpa2016.org/survey www.uxpa2016.org #UXPA2016 | @MandaLaceyS Project Inventory
  37. 37. Session Survey: http://www.uxpa2016.org/sessionsurvey Conference Survey: http://www.uxpa2016.org/survey www.uxpa2016.org #UXPA2016 | @MandaLaceyS • 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
  38. 38. Session Survey: http://www.uxpa2016.org/sessionsurvey Conference Survey: http://www.uxpa2016.org/survey www.uxpa2016.org #UXPA2016 | @MandaLaceyS Demonstrate success
  39. 39. Session Survey: http://www.uxpa2016.org/sessionsurvey Conference Survey: http://www.uxpa2016.org/survey www.uxpa2016.org #UXPA2016 | @MandaLaceyS 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.
  40. 40. Session Survey: http://www.uxpa2016.org/sessionsurvey Conference Survey: http://www.uxpa2016.org/survey www.uxpa2016.org #UXPA2016 | @MandaLaceyS Activity: PARR
  41. 41. Session Survey: http://www.uxpa2016.org/sessionsurvey Conference Survey: http://www.uxpa2016.org/survey www.uxpa2016.org #UXPA2016 | @MandaLaceyS • 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
  42. 42. Session Survey: http://www.uxpa2016.org/sessionsurvey Conference Survey: http://www.uxpa2016.org/survey www.uxpa2016.org #UXPA2016 | @MandaLaceyS 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
  43. 43. Session Survey: http://www.uxpa2016.org/sessionsurvey Conference Survey: http://www.uxpa2016.org/survey www.uxpa2016.org #UXPA2016 | @MandaLaceyS UI Design
  44. 44. Session Survey: http://www.uxpa2016.org/sessionsurvey Conference Survey: http://www.uxpa2016.org/survey www.uxpa2016.org #UXPA2016 | @MandaLaceyS Visually represent your skills
  45. 45. Session Survey: http://www.uxpa2016.org/sessionsurvey Conference Survey: http://www.uxpa2016.org/survey www.uxpa2016.org #UXPA2016 | @MandaLaceyS
  46. 46. Session Survey: http://www.uxpa2016.org/sessionsurvey Conference Survey: http://www.uxpa2016.org/survey www.uxpa2016.org #UXPA2016 | @MandaLaceyS Activity: Broken Comb
  47. 47. Session Survey: http://www.uxpa2016.org/sessionsurvey Conference Survey: http://www.uxpa2016.org/survey www.uxpa2016.org #UXPA2016 | @MandaLaceyS Pick:Core skills - up to 5 • Complimentary skills - up to 4 • Comparison points - up to 3 • Pick a value from 1-10 Map on a y-axis Broken Comb
  48. 48. Session Survey: http://www.uxpa2016.org/sessionsurvey Conference Survey: http://www.uxpa2016.org/survey www.uxpa2016.org #UXPA2016 | @MandaLaceyS Usability tests Surveys Heuristic reviews Stakeholder interviews User interviews Persona creation Focus groups Content audits Competitive reviews Analytics reviews Multivariate and a/b testing Card sorting Eye tracking Preference tests Desirability studies Sketches Workflows Wireframes Taxonomies User Flows Content inventories Site maps/site structure Comps Icons Typography Prototypes Moodboards Pattern libraries Style guides Illustration Photography Motion/animation Possible skills
  49. 49. Session Survey: http://www.uxpa2016.org/sessionsurvey Conference Survey: http://www.uxpa2016.org/survey www.uxpa2016.org #UXPA2016 | @MandaLaceyS What if…
  50. 50. Session Survey: http://www.uxpa2016.org/sessionsurvey Conference Survey: http://www.uxpa2016.org/survey www.uxpa2016.org #UXPA2016 | @MandaLaceyS NDA’s • Anonymize • Remove confidential stuff • Communicate process • Talk-through New to UX • Volunteer efforts • Personal projects • School work
  51. 51. Session Survey: http://www.uxpa2016.org/sessionsurvey Conference Survey: http://www.uxpa2016.org/survey www.uxpa2016.org #UXPA2016 | @MandaLaceyS Remember the story…
  52. 52. Session Survey: http://www.uxpa2016.org/sessionsurvey Conference Survey: http://www.uxpa2016.org/survey www.uxpa2016.org #UXPA2016 | @MandaLaceyS Employers should care more about your approach than any specific deliverable.
  53. 53. Session Survey: http://www.uxpa2016.org/sessionsurvey Conference Survey: http://www.uxpa2016.org/survey www.uxpa2016.org #UXPA2016 | @MandaLaceyS Interaction Design
  54. 54. Session Survey: http://www.uxpa2016.org/sessionsurvey Conference Survey: http://www.uxpa2016.org/survey www.uxpa2016.org #UXPA2016 | @MandaLaceyS (Personal) Interaction Design
  55. 55. Session Survey: http://www.uxpa2016.org/sessionsurvey Conference Survey: http://www.uxpa2016.org/survey www.uxpa2016.org #UXPA2016 | @MandaLaceyS 1,703.55 That’s the number of hours the average American works in a year according to the University of Groningen’s Penn World Table
  56. 56. Session Survey: http://www.uxpa2016.org/sessionsurvey Conference Survey: http://www.uxpa2016.org/survey www.uxpa2016.org #UXPA2016 | @MandaLaceyS Success takes so much more than technical expertise.
  57. 57. Session Survey: http://www.uxpa2016.org/sessionsurvey Conference Survey: http://www.uxpa2016.org/survey www.uxpa2016.org #UXPA2016 | @MandaLaceyS Activity: Reframing
  58. 58. Session Survey: http://www.uxpa2016.org/sessionsurvey Conference Survey: http://www.uxpa2016.org/survey www.uxpa2016.org #UXPA2016 | @MandaLaceyS I hated my team. We never had enough budget. NO BETTER 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…
  59. 59. Session Survey: http://www.uxpa2016.org/sessionsurvey Conference Survey: http://www.uxpa2016.org/survey www.uxpa2016.org #UXPA2016 | @MandaLaceyS Usability Testing
  60. 60. Session Survey: http://www.uxpa2016.org/sessionsurvey Conference Survey: http://www.uxpa2016.org/survey www.uxpa2016.org #UXPA2016 | @MandaLaceyS This is pretty straight forward. It’s about asking questions. You can start small. Ask a colleague or a friend to read an important email. Or text a picture of your outfit to your best friend. Ask for and apply feedback in all areas, even ones you think you’re good at. If you don’t know it’s a problem, you can’t address it.
  61. 61. Session Survey: http://www.uxpa2016.org/sessionsurvey Conference Survey: http://www.uxpa2016.org/survey www.uxpa2016.org #UXPA2016 | @MandaLaceyS Remember that opinions are just that. This is Peanut, who was last year’s world’s ugliest dog. His mommy loves him.
  62. 62. Session Survey: http://www.uxpa2016.org/sessionsurvey Conference Survey: http://www.uxpa2016.org/survey www.uxpa2016.org #UXPA2016 | @MandaLaceyS Activity: Solicit Feedback
  63. 63. Session Survey: http://www.uxpa2016.org/sessionsurvey Conference Survey: http://www.uxpa2016.org/survey www.uxpa2016.org #UXPA2016 | @MandaLaceyS • Find one thing you’re currently working on/thinking about • Your portfolio, a current presentation, the spinach in my teach. • Ask this team for one piece of constructive criticism Feedback And while feedback is great. Remember that opinions are just that. This is Peanut, who was last year’s world’s ugliest dog. His mommy loves him.
  64. 64. Session Survey: http://www.uxpa2016.org/sessionsurvey Conference Survey: http://www.uxpa2016.org/survey www.uxpa2016.org #UXPA2016 | @MandaLaceyS Visual Design
  65. 65. Session Survey: http://www.uxpa2016.org/sessionsurvey Conference Survey: http://www.uxpa2016.org/survey www.uxpa2016.org #UXPA2016 | @MandaLaceyS It’s not just the paint, nor is it the only thing to pay attention to. There are certain rules that things that are proportional and clean that make it easier to perceive for humans and are therefore thought of as more pleasing to the eye. It’s not about looking like everyone else or wearing a suit or fitting in. It’s about the message you send.
  66. 66. Session Survey: http://www.uxpa2016.org/sessionsurvey Conference Survey: http://www.uxpa2016.org/survey www.uxpa2016.org #UXPA2016 | @MandaLaceyS
  67. 67. Session Survey: http://www.uxpa2016.org/sessionsurvey Conference Survey: http://www.uxpa2016.org/survey www.uxpa2016.org #UXPA2016 | @MandaLaceyS
  68. 68. Session Survey: http://www.uxpa2016.org/sessionsurvey Conference Survey: http://www.uxpa2016.org/survey www.uxpa2016.org #UXPA2016 | @MandaLaceyS User Research Content Strategy UI Design Interaction Design Usability Testing Visual Design
  69. 69. Session Survey: http://www.uxpa2016.org/sessionsurvey Conference Survey: http://www.uxpa2016.org/survey www.uxpa2016.org #UXPA2016 | @MandaLaceyS Remember the people Pick samples carefully Don’t rely on words Don’t be an ass Get feedback Look the part
  70. 70. Session Survey: http://www.uxpa2016.org/sessionsurvey Conference Survey: http://www.uxpa2016.org/survey www.uxpa2016.org #UXPA2016 | @MandaLaceyS THANK YOU Stay in touch! @MandaLaceyS amanda.stockwell@gmail.com linkedin.com/in/amandastockwell

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