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Anatomy of a UX Practitioner
Samantha Yuen @duzkiez  Jul 2014
Image: Play-Grand
2
disclosure:
social anxiety
disorder 5 years
Samantha Yuen @duzkiez / Jul 2014
What personal traits do great
UX practitioners possess?
Do you really need to like people
in order to design for them?
3
Samantha Yuen @duzkiez / Jul 2014
key questions
4
depth interviews
Anna Himmanen
Lead Consultant, APAC
Cresense
Raven Chai
Principal Consultant
UX Consulting
Eva Wan
Consultant, Analytics
Nmbl Consulting
Shah Widjaja
Consultant, UX
Nmbl Consulting
Koh Wei Eng
Senior Design
Ethnographer
Joanna Cockle
UX Recruiter
Xpand Group
Michael Ong
Senior Product Manager
bellabox
Manisha Dikshit
Qualitative Research Specialist
Consumer Faces
Shamil Zainuddin
Ethnographer
Hong Khai Seng
Principal Consultant
Foolproof
Allan Caeg
Product Manager
mig33
Samantha Yuen @duzkiez / Jul 2014
7
years
6
years
5
years
3
years
8
years
10
years
2
years
7
years
12
years
24
years
1.5
years
Nov 2013
5
David Travis
Managing Director
Userfocus
Alvin Chai
Co-founder &
UX Consultant
NetizenTesting.com
Luke Chambers
Co-founder
UX Mastery
Chiew Soon Aik
UX Consultant
NetizenTesting.com
Sam Lorraine Chan
UI/UX Designer
Tripid Philippines
Samantha Yuen @duzkiez / Jul 2014
24
year
s
4
year
s
3
mths
1.5
year
s
10
year
s
United Kingdom Malaysia & Philippines Australia
depth interviews Nov 2013
6
Samantha Yuen @duzkiez / Jul 2014
UXPA survey
24
people
1
1
3
6
13
Other
Startup
Client side
Digital agency
Consultancy
4
1
3 3
4
3 3 3
Not a
practitioner
Less than 6
months
6-12
months
1-3 years 3-6 years 6-9 years 9-12 years More than
12 years
7
Samantha Yuen @duzkiez / Jul 2014 Image: Wikihow
8
Samantha Yuen @duzkiez / Jul 2014
top personal traits
{68%} Empathetic
{64%} Curious
{64%} Thinker/Analytical
{60%} Communicates well
{56%} Open-minded
{45%} Observant
{37%} Willingness to
change
{32%} Humble
{28%} People person
{25%} Honest
depth interviews
{88%} Good listener
{88%} Observant
{83%} Open-minded
{79%} Thinker/Analytical
{75%} Communicates well
{73%} Works well with
others
{71%} Curious
{67%} Empathetic
{63%} Adaptable
{63%} Patient
{63%} Willingness to learn
UXPA survey
9
Samantha Yuen @duzkiez / Jul 2014
why these traits?
“At the end of the day, what we are
doing is about human beings and
for human beings.”
“Methods can be learnt but not how
to read people. I trust my ability to
read people when hiring someone.”
“We have to deconstruct everyday
things, look at processes, deal with
different situations and make the
unfamiliar, familiar.”
depth interviews
“These are traits I have observed in
successful practitioners / would
value most on a project.”
“Empathy, understanding and
collaboration are key elements to
deliver valuable and meaningful
results.”
“It’s important to leave yourself out
of the room and be open to what
others have to say or do.”
UXPA survey
10
Samantha Yuen @duzkiez / Jul 2014
someone who doesn’t like people
— anti-social, unfriendly
— not outgoing
— very introverted
— can’t communicate well
— prefers dogs to people
— despises people
— causes tension
— not team player
— oxymoron
— two-face
— not genuine
depth interviews
— not liking people not the same
as disliking them
— it’s separate from the job
— don’t have to like people to
understand them
— curious and likes solving
puzzles
— emotional distance can help to
rise above stereotypes
— not liking the people you
interview
— close-minded
— no empathy
— can’t communicate well
— territorial about his/her designs
UXPA survey
11
Samantha Yuen @duzkiez / Jul 2014
do you have to like people?
yes 38%
no 31%
maybe 31%
depth interviews UXPA survey
yes 12%
no 71%
maybe 17%
12
Samantha Yuen @duzkiez / Jul 2014
yes, you need to
“It’s arrogance – ‘I know what’s best
for users so they should shut up
and accept my design’.”
“Users need to know they can trust
you and you have to enjoy
spending time with people.”
“UX is user experience. If you don’t
like people, how can you immerse
in their lives and understand them?”
depth interviews
“Without empathy, you’re just an X,
not a UX person.”
“Designing for people you don’t
connect with causes
misunderstanding and lowers
engagement.”
UXPA survey
13
Samantha Yuen @duzkiez / Jul 2014
maybe
“Your work might be good enough
but not awesome. But maybe you
can care about people and yet not
like them.”
“They could bring different
perspectives but because they
don’t trust, fundamentals are not
there.”
“If you don’t like people, you can
get the job done but won’t go the
extra mile.”
depth interviews
“Not 100% sure you can be
empathetic while hating users.”
“Empathy is not sympathy. Too
often, UX-ers become narcissists
by projecting their values and logic
into the work.”
“Sometimes designers tend to be
emotional if biased towards the
target group. Best designers are
neutral towards all things.”
UXPA survey
14
Samantha Yuen @duzkiez / Jul 2014
no, it’s not necessary
“You can be interested in human
behaviour but don’t have to like
them. Empathy is not liking people
but being able to understand them.”
“Not all chefs have to love eating.”
“As long as you appreciate people.
UX is still centred around problem
solving.”
depth interviews
“You don’t have to like someone to
understand them.”
“You need to be able to understand
your users and be open to their
perspectives and past experiences,
but you don’t have to like them.”
“It could even be helpful to have
slight negative feelings towards
them, this has been used for
concepts such as the anti-persona.”
UXPA survey
15
Samantha Yuen @duzkiez / Jul 2014 Image: Scientific American
Bronislaw Malinowski
Founder of social anthropology
Most famous for study of natives on
Trobriand Islands, Melanesia
Study praised for being even-handed without
condemnation or condescension
16
Samantha Yuen @duzkiez / Jul 2014 Image: Scientific American
“On the whole my feelings toward the
natives are decidedly tending to
‘Exterminate the brutes’.”
Hatred and contempt
Lust for native women
Obsessive suspicions of others
Image: Good Reads
17
Samantha Yuen @duzkiez / Jul 2014 Image: Wikihow
Be objective open-minded & self-aware
18
Samantha Yuen @duzkiez / Jul 2014
thank you.
@duzkiez

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Anatomy of a UX Practitioner (Samantha Yuen)

  • 1. Anatomy of a UX Practitioner Samantha Yuen @duzkiez  Jul 2014 Image: Play-Grand
  • 2. 2 disclosure: social anxiety disorder 5 years Samantha Yuen @duzkiez / Jul 2014
  • 3. What personal traits do great UX practitioners possess? Do you really need to like people in order to design for them? 3 Samantha Yuen @duzkiez / Jul 2014 key questions
  • 4. 4 depth interviews Anna Himmanen Lead Consultant, APAC Cresense Raven Chai Principal Consultant UX Consulting Eva Wan Consultant, Analytics Nmbl Consulting Shah Widjaja Consultant, UX Nmbl Consulting Koh Wei Eng Senior Design Ethnographer Joanna Cockle UX Recruiter Xpand Group Michael Ong Senior Product Manager bellabox Manisha Dikshit Qualitative Research Specialist Consumer Faces Shamil Zainuddin Ethnographer Hong Khai Seng Principal Consultant Foolproof Allan Caeg Product Manager mig33 Samantha Yuen @duzkiez / Jul 2014 7 years 6 years 5 years 3 years 8 years 10 years 2 years 7 years 12 years 24 years 1.5 years Nov 2013
  • 5. 5 David Travis Managing Director Userfocus Alvin Chai Co-founder & UX Consultant NetizenTesting.com Luke Chambers Co-founder UX Mastery Chiew Soon Aik UX Consultant NetizenTesting.com Sam Lorraine Chan UI/UX Designer Tripid Philippines Samantha Yuen @duzkiez / Jul 2014 24 year s 4 year s 3 mths 1.5 year s 10 year s United Kingdom Malaysia & Philippines Australia depth interviews Nov 2013
  • 6. 6 Samantha Yuen @duzkiez / Jul 2014 UXPA survey 24 people 1 1 3 6 13 Other Startup Client side Digital agency Consultancy 4 1 3 3 4 3 3 3 Not a practitioner Less than 6 months 6-12 months 1-3 years 3-6 years 6-9 years 9-12 years More than 12 years
  • 7. 7 Samantha Yuen @duzkiez / Jul 2014 Image: Wikihow
  • 8. 8 Samantha Yuen @duzkiez / Jul 2014 top personal traits {68%} Empathetic {64%} Curious {64%} Thinker/Analytical {60%} Communicates well {56%} Open-minded {45%} Observant {37%} Willingness to change {32%} Humble {28%} People person {25%} Honest depth interviews {88%} Good listener {88%} Observant {83%} Open-minded {79%} Thinker/Analytical {75%} Communicates well {73%} Works well with others {71%} Curious {67%} Empathetic {63%} Adaptable {63%} Patient {63%} Willingness to learn UXPA survey
  • 9. 9 Samantha Yuen @duzkiez / Jul 2014 why these traits? “At the end of the day, what we are doing is about human beings and for human beings.” “Methods can be learnt but not how to read people. I trust my ability to read people when hiring someone.” “We have to deconstruct everyday things, look at processes, deal with different situations and make the unfamiliar, familiar.” depth interviews “These are traits I have observed in successful practitioners / would value most on a project.” “Empathy, understanding and collaboration are key elements to deliver valuable and meaningful results.” “It’s important to leave yourself out of the room and be open to what others have to say or do.” UXPA survey
  • 10. 10 Samantha Yuen @duzkiez / Jul 2014 someone who doesn’t like people — anti-social, unfriendly — not outgoing — very introverted — can’t communicate well — prefers dogs to people — despises people — causes tension — not team player — oxymoron — two-face — not genuine depth interviews — not liking people not the same as disliking them — it’s separate from the job — don’t have to like people to understand them — curious and likes solving puzzles — emotional distance can help to rise above stereotypes — not liking the people you interview — close-minded — no empathy — can’t communicate well — territorial about his/her designs UXPA survey
  • 11. 11 Samantha Yuen @duzkiez / Jul 2014 do you have to like people? yes 38% no 31% maybe 31% depth interviews UXPA survey yes 12% no 71% maybe 17%
  • 12. 12 Samantha Yuen @duzkiez / Jul 2014 yes, you need to “It’s arrogance – ‘I know what’s best for users so they should shut up and accept my design’.” “Users need to know they can trust you and you have to enjoy spending time with people.” “UX is user experience. If you don’t like people, how can you immerse in their lives and understand them?” depth interviews “Without empathy, you’re just an X, not a UX person.” “Designing for people you don’t connect with causes misunderstanding and lowers engagement.” UXPA survey
  • 13. 13 Samantha Yuen @duzkiez / Jul 2014 maybe “Your work might be good enough but not awesome. But maybe you can care about people and yet not like them.” “They could bring different perspectives but because they don’t trust, fundamentals are not there.” “If you don’t like people, you can get the job done but won’t go the extra mile.” depth interviews “Not 100% sure you can be empathetic while hating users.” “Empathy is not sympathy. Too often, UX-ers become narcissists by projecting their values and logic into the work.” “Sometimes designers tend to be emotional if biased towards the target group. Best designers are neutral towards all things.” UXPA survey
  • 14. 14 Samantha Yuen @duzkiez / Jul 2014 no, it’s not necessary “You can be interested in human behaviour but don’t have to like them. Empathy is not liking people but being able to understand them.” “Not all chefs have to love eating.” “As long as you appreciate people. UX is still centred around problem solving.” depth interviews “You don’t have to like someone to understand them.” “You need to be able to understand your users and be open to their perspectives and past experiences, but you don’t have to like them.” “It could even be helpful to have slight negative feelings towards them, this has been used for concepts such as the anti-persona.” UXPA survey
  • 15. 15 Samantha Yuen @duzkiez / Jul 2014 Image: Scientific American Bronislaw Malinowski Founder of social anthropology Most famous for study of natives on Trobriand Islands, Melanesia Study praised for being even-handed without condemnation or condescension
  • 16. 16 Samantha Yuen @duzkiez / Jul 2014 Image: Scientific American “On the whole my feelings toward the natives are decidedly tending to ‘Exterminate the brutes’.” Hatred and contempt Lust for native women Obsessive suspicions of others Image: Good Reads
  • 17. 17 Samantha Yuen @duzkiez / Jul 2014 Image: Wikihow Be objective open-minded & self-aware
  • 18. 18 Samantha Yuen @duzkiez / Jul 2014 thank you. @duzkiez