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Career Paths of User Experience

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Originally presented at the Future of Web Design in San Francisco, Patrick Neeman talks about the different stages of the User Experience career path and where the opportunities lie for designers to grow and succeed.

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Career Paths of User Experience

  1. 1. Patrick Neeman, Director of Product Design, Apptio @usabilitycounts #fowd | www.usabilitycounts.com The Career Paths of User Experience How do I get in? How do I move around? How do I get out? {
  2. 2. @usabilitycounts #fowd About Me Patrick Neeman has 20 years of UX and Web Experience Runs UsabilityCounts.com and UXDrinkingGame.com Built several UX teams
  3. 3. @usabilitycounts #fowd My Career Path McDonalds Shift Manager Caterer Educational Recruiter Graphic Designer Technical Documentation Designer Newspaper Editor Print Designer Art Director Creative Director Web Producer New Media Specialist Director of Development Program Manager Product Manager User Experience Consultant Vice President, Marketing Creative Director Practice Manager, User Experience Recruiter Director of User Experience Director of Product Design NorthAmerican.com Oliver North’s Website Web career starts here
  4. 4. @usabilitycounts #fowd So how do I become a 
 UX Professional?
  5. 5. @usabilitycounts #fowd Be A Unicorn! Thank you!
  6. 6. @usabilitycounts #fowd User Experience
 is a big, big field.
  7. 7. @usabilitycounts #fowd The competencies of UX, Fisher Priced (Because we’ve done an awful job explaining it to others) User Research
 and Analytics Understanding the users through observations and data Content 
 Strategy Planning for the creation, delivery and governance of usable content Information Architecture Organizing information in a product or website in a usable way Interaction
 Design Designing interactive behaviors with a specific focus on their use Visual
 Design Designing the visual qualities in an aesthetically 
 pleasing way Front End Development Building the interactive behaviors to be used by the end user Give credit to Nick Finck (@nickf): http://www.nickfinck.com/blog/entry/ux_career_progression_finding_a_niche_building_a_personal_brand/
  8. 8. @usabilitycounts #fowd How much time and money can you invest? Some Online Programs Certificate Programs General Assembly Lots Carnegie Mellon University of Washington Indiana University A bit Read books and blogs Startup Weekends Build your own stuff
  9. 9. @usabilitycounts #fowd I’m working in another field. What would I be good at?
  10. 10. @usabilitycounts #fowd T-Shaped Skill Set They have a principal skill that describes the vertical leg of the T — they’re mechanical engineers or industrial designers. But they are so empathetic that they can branch out into other skills, such as anthropology, and do them as well.” Tim Brown, IDEO CEO “
  11. 11. @usabilitycounts #fowd Web Designer. Print Designer. Product Manager. Marketing Specialist. Salesperson. Architect. Geotechnical Engineer. Recruiter. Psychologist. Surf Shop Manager. Program Manager. Project Manager. Programmer. Director of Engineering. Director of Marketing. 
 Security Guard. Customer Service Representative. Psychiatrist. Construction Worker. Welder. Engineer. Technical Writer. Lawyer. Programmer. Development. Industrial Designer. Musician. Anthropologist. Sociologist. Used Car Salesman. Baseball Player. Journalist. Translator. Instructional Designer. Photographer. Teacher. Creative Director. Hot Dog Factory Worker. Operational Analyst. Business Analyst. Waitress. Mechanical Design Engineer. Quality Assurance Engineer. Librarian. Illustrator. Actress. Theater Designer. Filmmaker. Copy Editor. Radio Station Manager. Industrial Designer. Who’s made the shift?
  12. 12. @usabilitycounts #fowd Web Designer. Print Designer. Product Manager. Marketing Specialist. Salesperson. Architect. Geotechnical Engineer. Recruiter. Psychologist. Surf Shop Manager. Program Manager. Project Manager. Programmer. Director of Engineering. Director of Marketing. 
 Security Guard. Customer Service Representative. Psychiatrist. Construction Worker. Welder. Engineer. Technical Writer. Lawyer. Programmer. Development. Industrial Designer. Musician. Anthropologist. Sociologist. Used Car Salesman. Baseball Player. Journalist. Translator. Instructional Designer. Photographer. Teacher. Creative Director. Hot Dog Factory Worker. Operational Analyst. Business Analyst. Waitress. Mechanical Design Engineer. Quality Assurance Engineer. Librarian. Illustrator. Actress. Theater Designer. Filmmaker. Copy Editor. Radio Station Manager. Industrial Designer. Who’s made the shift?
  13. 13. @usabilitycounts #fowd I’m a Print Designer… Patrick Neeman Director of Product Design Apptio User Research
 and Analytics Content 
 Strategy Information Architecture Interaction
 Design Visual
 Design Front End Development
  14. 14. @usabilitycounts #fowd I’m a Developer… Rebecca Destello Director of User Research IvySoftworks User Research
 and Analytics Content 
 Strategy Information Architecture Interaction
 Design Visual
 Design Front End Development
  15. 15. @usabilitycounts #fowd I’m a Recruiter… Meri Gulyan VP, Experience Strategy XIVIC User Research
 and Analytics Content 
 Strategy Information Architecture Interaction
 Design Visual
 Design Front End Development
  16. 16. @usabilitycounts #fowd I’m a Psychologist… David Hogue, PhD UX Design Manager Google User Research
 and Analytics Content 
 Strategy Information Architecture Interaction
 Design Visual
 Design Front End Development
  17. 17. @usabilitycounts #fowd I’m a Geotechnical Engineer… Troy Parke Associate Director of UX, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts User Research
 and Analytics Content 
 Strategy Information Architecture Interaction
 Design Visual
 Design Front End Development
  18. 18. @usabilitycounts #fowd I’m in and want to stay here!
 How do I expand my hard skills?
  19. 19. @usabilitycounts #fowd What’s your superpower?
  20. 20. @usabilitycounts #fowd Research Content 
 Strategy Information Architecture Interaction Design Interaction Design Visual Design Front End Development User Research
 and Analytics Content 
 Strategy Information Architecture Writing Spatial {Superpowers to leverage
  21. 21. @usabilitycounts #fowd I’m a Front End Developer User Research
 and Analytics Content 
 Strategy Information Architecture Interaction
 Design Visual
 Design Front End Development
  22. 22. @usabilitycounts #fowd I’m a Visual Designer User Research
 and Analytics Content 
 Strategy Information Architecture Interaction
 Design Visual
 Design Front End Development
  23. 23. @usabilitycounts #fowd I’m a Technical Writer User Research
 and Analytics Content 
 Strategy Information Architecture Interaction
 Design Visual
 Design Front End Development
  24. 24. @usabilitycounts #fowd My new skill set… Patrick Neeman Director of Product Design Apptio User Research
 and Analytics Content 
 Strategy Information Architecture Interaction
 Design Visual
 Design Front End Development
  25. 25. @usabilitycounts #fowd I’m in and want to stay here!
 What about my career path?
  26. 26. @usabilitycounts #fowd Do you want to design or manage? Individual Contributor Designing a product Direct control over design Focus more on craft Manager Designing a culture Trust others with vision Focus more on the business
  27. 27. @usabilitycounts #fowd {Which way? Design Management Product Management EntrepreneurManager Generalist Specialist Consultant Individual Contributor
  28. 28. @usabilitycounts #fowd Ask the hard questions • Why did you get into user experience? • Do you want to manage teams or be an individual contributor? • Do you want to be in the spotlight or in the background? • How much attention do you pay to the craft of design? • Are you more interested in business?
  29. 29. @usabilitycounts #fowd Are you self aware? Myers Briggs Personality Test http://www.myersbriggs.org ENFJ INFJ INTJ ENTJ ENFP INFP INTP ENTP ESFP ISFP ISTP ESTP ESFJ ISFJ ISTJ ESTJ
  30. 30. @usabilitycounts #fowd Being a manager • Get a mentor who isn’t your boss • Learn the language of business • Manage small teams first • Get an executive coach • Read a lot of books
  31. 31. @usabilitycounts #fowd Being a specialist • Get a mentor who isn’t your boss • Become an authority in your craft • Learn to evangelize with respect • Learn to lead without authority • Read a lot of books
  32. 32. @usabilitycounts #fowd Leadership is about influence, not title
  33. 33. @usabilitycounts #fowd I’m in and want to stay here!
 How do I get a chance?
  34. 34. @usabilitycounts #fowd Develop a plan.
  35. 35. @usabilitycounts #fowd Internal Opportunities External Opportunities Startups
  36. 36. @usabilitycounts #fowd Internal Opportunities External Opportunities Startups
  37. 37. @usabilitycounts #fowd Internal Opportunities External Opportunities Startups
  38. 38. @usabilitycounts #fowd No more wireframes or prototypes! 
 Where do I go from here?
  39. 39. @usabilitycounts #fowd Christian Manzella VP of Design, Moz Leadership Teaching Product Management Marketing Startup Founder
  40. 40. @usabilitycounts #fowd Leadership Teaching Product Management Marketing Startup Founder Liz Sanocki, PhD Sr. Lecturer at University of Washington
  41. 41. @usabilitycounts #fowd Leadership Teaching Product Management Marketing Startup Founder Kristen Johansen Group Product Manager, Sonos
  42. 42. @usabilitycounts #fowd Leadership Teaching Product Management Marketing Startup Founder Lynn Teo VP of Digital Marketing, Computer Associates
  43. 43. @usabilitycounts #fowd Leadership Teaching Product Management Marketing Startup Founder Credit: www.designerfund.com
  44. 44. @usabilitycounts #fowd Now what?
  45. 45. @usabilitycounts #fowd You are responsible for your career. Take charge of it.
  46. 46. @usabilitycounts #fowd Further Reading UX Career Guide http://www.usabilitycounts.com/2011/10/18/how-to-get-started-in-user-experience-seven-tips/
 How to Get Started in User Experience http://www.usabilitycounts.com/2011/10/18/how-to-get-started-in-user-experience-seven-tips/ Creating Career Paths for UX Professionals http://www.slideshare.net/kristenjohansen/creating-career-paths-for-ux-professionals A Model for UX Career Growth http://adaptivepath.org/ideas/a-model-for-ux-career-growth/
  47. 47. Patrick Neeman, Director of Product Design, Apptio @usabilitycounts #fowd | www.usabilitycounts.com Thank you!

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