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Escaping the Stagnation Sandpit: Building a Continuous Learning Team [UX Lisbon 2019]

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For a business to thrive, it must find and retain strong UX talent that creates customer-centered products and services. Most professionals don’t have time to continually expand their knowledge of new technologies and tools, but their work relies on this currency. How can we stay up-to-date in a world constantly in flux?

This talk explores techniques to build a culture of continuous learning in the workplace for new and seasoned professionals who want to stay current on emerging tools and avoid stagnation. Learn techniques that UX teams can use to be agile and resilient in the face of ever-evolving technologies.

Published in: Design
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Escaping the Stagnation Sandpit: Building a Continuous Learning Team [UX Lisbon 2019]

  1. 1. UX Lisbon 2019 | Escaping the Stagnation Sandpit | @katerutter Escaping the Stagnation Sandpit Kate Rutter | @katerutter | 2019.05.23 Building a Continuous Learning Team
  2. 2. UX Lisbon 2019 | Escaping the Stagnation Sandpit | @katerutter Hello! @katerutter
  3. 3. UX Lisbon 2019 | Escaping the Stagnation Sandpit | @katerutter …if you believe any of these will impact your company within the next 5 years: • IoT • AI • Voice Assistants • Machine Learning • • Crypto Currency • AR • VR • Drones • Chatbots • • Biometrics • Gene Therapy • Blockchain • 
 • CRISPr • 3D Printing • Robotics • 
 • Spacial Computing •
  4. 4. UX Lisbon 2019 | Escaping the Stagnation Sandpit | @katerutter …if you are actively designing for (or with) any of these technologies. • IoT • AI • Voice Assistants • Machine Learning • 
 • Crypto Currency • AR • VR • Drones • Chatbots • • Biometrics • Gene Therapy • Blockchain • 
 • CRISPr • 3D Printing • Robotics • 
 • Spacial Computing •
  5. 5. UX Lisbon 2019 | Escaping the Stagnation Sandpit | @katerutter …if you believe that the job you are doing today will be the same in 5 years?
  6. 6. UX Lisbon 2019 | Escaping the Stagnation Sandpit | @katerutter …if you have plans to go back to school
 to a program related
 to your work.
  7. 7. UX Lisbon 2019 | Escaping the Stagnation Sandpit | @katerutter UX work
 is tied to the tempo of digital invention.
  8. 8. UX Lisbon 2019 | Escaping the Stagnation Sandpit | @katerutter The rapid pace of tech isn’t slowing down
  9. 9. UX Lisbon 2019 | Escaping the Stagnation Sandpit | @katerutter It’s hard to keep skills
 up-to-date.
  10. 10. UX Lisbon 2019 | Escaping the Stagnation Sandpit | @katerutter Coming of Age Digitally: MIT Sloan Management Review Deloitte Digital 2018 Global Study, June 5, 2018 https://www2.deloitte.com/insights/us/en/focus/digital-maturity/coming-of-age- digitally-learning-leadership-legacy.html
  11. 11. UX Lisbon 2019 | Escaping the Stagnation Sandpit | @katerutter Coming of Age Digitally: MIT Sloan Management Review Deloitte Digital 2018 Global Study, June 5, 2018 https://www2.deloitte.com/insights/us/en/focus/digital-maturity/coming-of-age- digitally-learning-leadership-legacy.html “Individuals report needing to continually develop their skills but say they get little to no support from their organization to do so.” “Many employees are also willing to do it themselves, given the right support.”
  12. 12. UX Lisbon 2019 | Escaping the Stagnation Sandpit | @katerutter Seasoned folks risk getting stale.
  13. 13. UX Lisbon 2019 | Escaping the Stagnation Sandpit | @katerutter “I’m so out of practice with the hands-on design tools. I never did learn Sketch properly. It’s like I need a sabbatical to just catch up.” ~ Sr. Design manager
 Huge tech company
  14. 14. UX Lisbon 2019 | Escaping the Stagnation Sandpit | @katerutter Newly educated folks struggle to get hired.
  15. 15. UX Lisbon 2019 | Escaping the Stagnation Sandpit | @katerutter Jeff Atwood, Stack Overflow & Stack Exchange: https://blog.codinghorror.com/the-years-of-experience-myth/ v v
  16. 16. UX Lisbon 2019 | Escaping the Stagnation Sandpit | @katerutter State of UX Design in 2019, UX Collective, https://trends.uxdesign.cc/
  17. 17. UX Lisbon 2019 | Escaping the Stagnation Sandpit | @katerutter Many jobs
 we’ll hold
 don’t exist yet.
  18. 18. UX Lisbon 2019 | Escaping the Stagnation Sandpit | @katerutter Ikea to hire 16,000 new employees by 2030, news.com.au, April 5, 2018 https://www.news.com.au/finance/work/careers/ikea-to-hire-16000-new-employees-by-2030/news-story/ca519209cb3ad80511a126ff88f26e19 v v v
  19. 19. UX Lisbon 2019 | Escaping the Stagnation Sandpit | @katerutter We have a problem
  20. 20. UX Lisbon 2019 | Escaping the Stagnation Sandpit | @katerutter We have an opportunity
  21. 21. UX Lisbon 2019 | Escaping the Stagnation Sandpit | @katerutter A way to learn
 that actually
 works for work.
  22. 22. UX Lisbon 2019 | Escaping the Stagnation Sandpit | @katerutter school work
  23. 23. UX Lisbon 2019 | Escaping the Stagnation Sandpit | @katerutter
  24. 24. UX Lisbon 2019 | Escaping the Stagnation Sandpit | @katerutter
  25. 25. UX Lisbon 2019 | Escaping the Stagnation Sandpit | @katerutter
  26. 26. UX Lisbon 2019 | Escaping the Stagnation Sandpit | @katerutter
  27. 27. UX Lisbon 2019 | Escaping the Stagnation Sandpit | @katerutter
  28. 28. UX Lisbon 2019 | Escaping the Stagnation Sandpit | @katerutter • UX Designer at Mercedes-Benz Research & Development North America, Inc. • Product Designer at Lyft • Player Lab Manager at Riot Games • UX Design and Product Management at 
 NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory • Service Designer at Designit • Co-Founder & CEO at Together10 • Product Designer, Asana • Senior Product Designer at Grovo • UX Designer at HotSchedules • Product Designer at Teachable • Experience Designer at Havas • Senior Product Strategist at Invoke Co. • Head of Product at Trafi 3 years later… Jan 2014 - April 2015 • 15 months • 12 cohorts • 57 designers
  29. 29. UX Lisbon 2019 | Escaping the Stagnation Sandpit | @katerutter A culture of continuous learning
  30. 30. UX Lisbon 2019 | Escaping the Stagnation Sandpit | @katerutter Continuous Learning ✓ Individually-directed and personal ✓ Peer-to peer, collective and social ✓ Learning partnerships ✓ Not a “one and done”…ongoing, iterative and thrives on feedback
  31. 31. UX Lisbon 2019 | Escaping the Stagnation Sandpit | @katerutter ✓A map to
 guide us ✓Simple steps for
 immediate use Framework Practice
  32. 32. UX Lisbon 2019 | Escaping the Stagnation Sandpit | @katerutter a map of how learning works Framework
  33. 33. UX Lisbon 2019 | Escaping the Stagnation Sandpit | @katerutter Four Stages
 of Competence image: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Four_stages_of_competence Noel Burch, 1970s image: https://www.slideshare.net/KarenMartinGroup/the-improvement-professionals-evolving- role-from-practitioner-to-facilitator-oto-coac/13-Dreyfus_Model_ofSkill_AcquisitionStuart_Hubert Dreyfus Model of Skills Acquisition Stuart & Hubert Dreyfus, 1980s
  34. 34. UX Lisbon 2019 | Escaping the Stagnation Sandpit | @katerutter
  35. 35. UX Lisbon 2019 | Escaping the Stagnation Sandpit | @katerutter via Perry, Belenky, Baxter-Magolda with some Rutter viz interpretation Du-Mu-Rel-Com guide collaborate Knowledge is contextual & ethical • Quest for evidence • Gain personal experience • Respectful debate • Ability to reference evidence • Evaluate new info in a 
 nuanced way • Apply, adapt & create new 
 models of thinking Knowledge can & must be evaluated with evidence BeliefsBehaviors teach elicit Knowledge = amassing 
 piles of “right” facts • Avoid ambiguity • Focus on “right” answer Knowledge = personal 
 perspective on facts • Opinionated discussion • Search for “best” answer • Acceptance of complexity Duality Relativism Commitment simplistic sophisticated Multiplicity Learning StagesPartner’sRole
  36. 36. UX Lisbon 2019 | Escaping the Stagnation Sandpit | @katerutter via Perry, Belenky, Baxter-Magolda with some Rutter viz interpretation Du-Mu-Rel-Com guide collaborate Knowledge is contextual & ethical • Quest for evidence • Gain personal experience • Respectful debate • Ability to reference evidence • Evaluate new info in a 
 nuanced way • Apply, adapt & create new 
 models of thinking Knowledge can & must be evaluated with evidence BeliefsBehaviors teach elicit Knowledge = amassing 
 piles of “right” facts • Avoid ambiguity • Focus on “right” answer Knowledge = personal 
 perspective on facts • Opinionated discussion • Search for “best” answer • Acceptance of complexity Duality Relativism Commitment simplistic sophisticated Multiplicity Onramping Contributing Learning StagesPartner’sRole
  37. 37. UX Lisbon 2019 | Escaping the Stagnation Sandpit | @katerutter guide collaborate Knowledge is contextual & ethical • Quest for evidence • Gain personal experience • Respectful debate • Ability to reference evidence • Evaluate new info in a 
 nuanced way • Apply, adapt & create new 
 models of thinking Knowledge can & must be evaluated with evidence BeliefsBehaviors teach elicit Knowledge = amassing 
 piles of “right” facts • Avoid ambiguity • Focus on “right” answer Knowledge = personal 
 perspective on facts • Opinionated discussion • Search for “best” answer • Acceptance of complexity Duality Relativism Commitment simplistic sophisticated Multiplicity Partner’sRole How fast can we get here? via Perry, Belenky, Baxter-Magolda with some Rutter viz interpretationLearning Stages
  38. 38. UX Lisbon 2019 | Escaping the Stagnation Sandpit | @katerutter Partner’sRole guide collaborate Knowledge is contextual & ethical • Quest for evidence • Gain personal experience • Respectful debate • Ability to reference evidence • Evaluate new info in a 
 nuanced way • Apply, adapt & create new 
 models of thinking Knowledge can & must be evaluated with evidence BeliefsBehaviors teach elicit Knowledge = amassing 
 piles of “right” facts • Avoid ambiguity • Focus on “right” answer Knowledge = personal 
 perspective on facts • Opinionated discussion • Search for “best” answer • Acceptance of complexity Duality Relativism Commitment Learning Stages via Perry, Belenky, Baxter-Magolda with some Rutter viz interpretation simplistic sophisticated Multiplicity LISTEN & EXPLORE PERSPECTIVES ASK “WHY” & MAKE THINGS TURN EVIDENCE INTO EXPERIENCE REFLECT, EVALUATE & SHARE
  39. 39. UX Lisbon 2019 | Escaping the Stagnation Sandpit | @katerutter Du-Mu-Rel-Com: Beliefs, behaviors & roles Framework
  40. 40. UX Lisbon 2019 | Escaping the Stagnation Sandpit | @katerutter simple actions
 we can start today Practice
  41. 41. UX Lisbon 2019 | Escaping the Stagnation Sandpit | @katerutter 3 steps to action Set an intention1 Start simple2 Share progress3
  42. 42. UX Lisbon 2019 | Escaping the Stagnation Sandpit | @katerutter Learn List Written list of learning topics to pursue in 6 months-year. The more specific the better. ✓ 2-4 concrete, specific things you want to learn… ✓ …that will benefit you 
 and your organization ✓ Generate solo; 
 Share communally ✓ It’s so simple
 it’s stupid 1] Set an intention
  43. 43. UX Lisbon 2019 | Escaping the Stagnation Sandpit | @katerutter Learn List Written list of learning topics to pursue in 6 months-year. The more specific the better. ✓ 2-4 concrete, specific things you want to learn… ✓ …that will benefit you 
 and your organization ✓ Generate solo; 
 Share communally ✓ It’s so simple
 it’s stupid 1] Set an intention wsd
  44. 44. UX Lisbon 2019 | Escaping the Stagnation Sandpit | @katerutter OKRs (Objectives & Key Results)
 written to provide measurable progress from deliberate practice. ✓ Periodic, quantitative measures of progress ✓ Personal vs Individual vs team ✓ Set stretch goals ✓ Routinize achieving objectives 1] Set an intention
  45. 45. UX Lisbon 2019 | Escaping the Stagnation Sandpit | @katerutter “ I think of my personal OKR set as a lucky rock in my pocket. 
 I touch it over and over again, to remind myself of my dreams. But instead of wishing, I plan. And I act. ~ Christina Wodtke Author of Radical Focus
  46. 46. UX Lisbon 2019 | Escaping the Stagnation Sandpit | @katerutter ✓ Visualize the concepts & connections ✓ Generate solo;
 Use communally ✓ Iterate & enhance as you learn ✓ Challenging!
 but oh so interesting Knowledge Map A hand-drawn map or concept diagram of your current knowledge in a focused area. 2] Start simple
  47. 47. UX Lisbon 2019 | Escaping the Stagnation Sandpit | @katerutter Knowledge Map Practices Teresa Brazen @teresabrazen
  48. 48. UX Lisbon 2019 | Escaping the Stagnation Sandpit | @katerutter Knowledge Map Practices Teresa Brazen @teresabrazen
  49. 49. UX Lisbon 2019 | Escaping the Stagnation Sandpit | @katerutter Knowledge Map Practices Teresa Brazen @teresabrazen
  50. 50. UX Lisbon 2019 | Escaping the Stagnation Sandpit | @katerutter Deliberate Practice Dedicated time…1 hour a week…or as close as you can get, for focused, goal-oriented practice. ✓ Focus on specific techniques or topics (chunks) ✓ Daily (!) practice 
 ~1 hour a week ✓ Get continuous feedback 2] Start simple
  51. 51. UX Lisbon 2019 | Escaping the Stagnation Sandpit | @katerutter “ It’s not just a matter of accumulating hours. If you’re doing your job, and you’re just doing more and more of the same, you’re not actually going to get better. ~ Anders Ericsson Author of Peak
  52. 52. UX Lisbon 2019 | Escaping the Stagnation Sandpit | @katerutter ✓ 5-7 minute presentations, held frequently ✓ New contributors share expertise ✓ Whole team learns something together ✓ Celebrate progress Short talks about an idea, insight or body of evidence. Routinizes packaging and sharing ideas. Present 3] Share progress
  53. 53. UX Lisbon 2019 | Escaping the Stagnation Sandpit | @katerutter ✓ 5-7 minute presentations, held frequently ✓ New contributors share expertise ✓ Whole team learns something together ✓ Celebrate progress Short talks about an idea, insight or body of evidence. Routinizes packaging and sharing ideas. Present 3] Share progress
  54. 54. UX Lisbon 2019 | Escaping the Stagnation Sandpit | @katerutter https://www2.deloitte.com/content/dam/Deloitte/global/Documents/HumanCapital/gx-cons-hc-learning-solutions-placemat.pdf Googler-to-Googler Karen May on how Googlers teach and learn https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nhD-rojP11M
  55. 55. UX Lisbon 2019 | Escaping the Stagnation Sandpit | @katerutter ✓ 1 hour over lunch ✓ Share what we’ve learned ✓ Hear from others outside the company ✓ Exposure to new ideas Brown Bags
  56. 56. UX Lisbon 2019 | Escaping the Stagnation Sandpit | @katerutter Publish Articles, posts & talks on what was learned and the path to get there. ✓ Summarize learning in
 a reflective way ✓ Publish early,
 publish often ✓ 
 Internal blogs
 LinkedIn 3] Share progress
  57. 57. UX Lisbon 2019 | Escaping the Stagnation Sandpit | @katerutter
  58. 58. UX Lisbon 2019 | Escaping the Stagnation Sandpit | @katerutter v v
  59. 59. UX Lisbon 2019 | Escaping the Stagnation Sandpit | @katerutter Learn List Knowledge Map OKRs Deliberate Practice Publish Present
  60. 60. UX Lisbon 2019 | Escaping the Stagnation Sandpit | @katerutter How can you use these tools for continuous learning?
  61. 61. 1) Write down 2-4 things… 2) …that benefit your career and your company. The more concrete the better. 3) Share it with someone at the break! In the next 6 months… What do you want to learn?
  62. 62. UX Lisbon 2019 | Escaping the Stagnation Sandpit | @katerutter
  63. 63. UX Lisbon 2019 | Escaping the Stagnation Sandpit | @katerutter Kate Rutter @katerutter http://intelleto.com Thanks! Swearing, drinking & UX…give it a listen! http://bit.ly/whatiswrongwithux
  64. 64. References Sand Image: https://www.flickr.com/photos/azarius/237129691/ (creative commons license) Tradecraft: http://tradecraft.com/ Mindset - The New Psychology of Success, by Carol Dweck : 
 https://www.amazon.com/Mindset-Psychology-Carol-S-Dweck/dp/0345472322 Four Stages of Competence: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Four_stages_of_competence Dreyfus Model of Skills Acquisition: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dreyfus_model_of_skill_acquisition How Learning Works
 https://www.amazon.com/How-Learning-Works-Research-Based-Principles/dp/0470484101 Tools and Methods to Learn, Navigate, & Make a Name for Yourself in the User Experience Design Landscape by Teresa Brazen: 
 https://www.slideshare.net/teresabrazen/tools-methods-to-learn-the-ux-landscape Peak - Secrets from the New Science of Expertise: 
 https://www.amazon.com/Peak-Secrets-New-Science-Expertise/dp/1531864880 Deliberate Practice: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Practice_(learning_method)#Deliberate_practice Radical Focus by Christina Wodtke: http://eleganthack.com/radical-focus-is-here/ OKRs: http://felipecastro.com/en/okr/what-is-okr/
 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OKR
 https://www.atiim.com/google-okr-objectives-key-results-video-transcript/ The Texting Tea Pot by Dan Saffer: https://medium.com/@odannyboy/the-texting-tea-pot-5b33d2c9f726
  65. 65. Resources Continuous Learning https://www.getadministrate.com/blog/how-to-help-employees-embrace-continuous-learning/ Learning Models & Theory How Learning Works - 7 Research-based Principles for Smart Teaching 
 by Susan A. Ambrose, Michael W. Bridges, Michele DiPietro, Marsha C. Lovett, Marie K. Norman Pragmatic Thinking and Learning - Refactor Your Wetware by Andy Hunt OKRs Radical Focus by Christina Wodtke: http://eleganthack.com/the-art-of-the-okr/ https://medium.com/@cwodtke/personal-okrs-three-years-later-7616e60574a4 Deliberate Practice Peak by Anders Ericsson and Robert Pool https://medium.com/the-crossover-cast/deliberate-practice-learn-like-an-expert-cc3114b8a10e Other interesting things The Startup of You by Reid Hoffman and Ben Casnova

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