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LavaCon: Hunting Unicorns - What Makes an Effective UX Professional

The hard skills and soft skills that are needed to be an Effective UX Professional. The six competencies of User Experience: Information Architecture, User Research, Visual Design, Web Development and Content Strategy are covered.

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@usabilitycounts #LavaCon 
Hunting Unicorns 
What makes an effective UX Professional 
Patrick Neeman, Director of Product Design, Apptio 
@usabilitycounts 
www.usabilitycounts.com
@usabilitycounts 
Who’s Patrick Neeman? 
Almost 20 years of UX and Web Experience 
Runs UsabilityCounts.com and UXDrinkingGame.com 
Built several UX teams 
Drinks Whiskey
What makes an effective 
UX Professional? 
@usabilitycounts
@usabilitycounts 
Be A Unicorn 
Thank You!
Why am I even thinking about this? 
@usabilitycounts
@usabilitycounts 
I have to build teams
Ad

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LavaCon: Hunting Unicorns - What Makes an Effective UX Professional

  • 1. @usabilitycounts #LavaCon Hunting Unicorns What makes an effective UX Professional Patrick Neeman, Director of Product Design, Apptio @usabilitycounts www.usabilitycounts.com
  • 2. @usabilitycounts Who’s Patrick Neeman? Almost 20 years of UX and Web Experience Runs UsabilityCounts.com and UXDrinkingGame.com Built several UX teams Drinks Whiskey
  • 3. What makes an effective UX Professional? @usabilitycounts
  • 4. @usabilitycounts Be A Unicorn Thank You!
  • 5. Why am I even thinking about this? @usabilitycounts
  • 6. @usabilitycounts I have to build teams
  • 7. Patron Saint of Lost Designers @usabilitycounts
  • 8. Some Articles I Found… ! Nine Essential Characteristics of Good UX Designers http://userexperience.evantageconsulting.com/2009/07/ characteristics-good-ux-designers/ ! And about nine other articles linking to Fred Beecher’s article… ! Essential and Desirable Skills for a UX Designer http://uxmatters.com/mt/archives/2010/12/essential-and-desirable- skills-for-a-ux-designer.php ! Which a laundry list of skills that is unachievable… ! And a bunch of short articles. @usabilitycounts Fred Beecher
  • 9. Why is it hard to define what an effective UX Professional is? @usabilitycounts
  • 10. There is no front door to UX… @usabilitycounts That’s part of the problem
  • 11. @usabilitycounts For example… Troy Parke MSCE Civil Engineering Good looking Great public speaker Drinks Diet Coke (Boo) Patrick Neeman Three Time Dropout Print Design Background Has a great goatee and hair Presentation has funny photos Sophisticated Whiskey Drinker
  • 12. “When I grow up, I want to be a UX Designer.” @usabilitycounts Lion Tamer, Print Designer, Web Designer, Creative Director, Program Manager, Product Manager, and Director of Development
  • 13. @usabilitycounts “ 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
  • 14. @usabilitycounts “ A compartmentalist isolates themselves from the other disciplines around them, not really learning what they do or how they do it.” Jared Spool Ideal UX Team http://www.uie.com/articles/Ideal_UX_team/
  • 15. @usabilitycounts They want us to be unicorns… …dammit.
  • 16. What are the hard skills? @usabilitycounts
  • 17. The Competencies of User Experience User Research and Analytics Understanding the users through observations and @usabilitycounts 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 http://www.nickfinck.com/blog/entry/ux_career_progression_finding_a_niche_building_a_personal_brand/
  • 18. @usabilitycounts Interaction Designer User Research and Analytics Content Strategy Information Architecture Interaction Design Visual Design Front End Development
  • 19. @usabilitycounts Visual Designer User Research and Analytics Content Strategy Information Architecture Interaction Design Visual Design Front End Development
  • 20. @usabilitycounts Content Strategist User Research and Analytics Content Strategy Information Architecture Interaction Design Visual Design Front End Development
  • 21. @usabilitycounts Design Technologist User Research and Analytics Content Strategy Information Architecture Interaction Design Visual Design Front End Development
  • 22. @usabilitycounts The Core Apptio Team of Five User Research and Analytics Content Strategy Information Architecture Interaction Design Visual Design Front End Development
  • 23. @usabilitycounts Every Project Is Like A Different Lego Set Teams need multifaceted players — their skills fit each other and fit project needs
  • 24. @usabilitycounts But… Is it really about the hard skills?
  • 25. What are the soft skills? @usabilitycounts
  • 26. So what are those soft skills? Empathy Curiosity Methodical Fearless Self Aware Articulate @usabilitycounts Pragmatic Passionate
  • 27. @usabilitycounts Empathy Curiosity Systematic Pragmatic Fearless Self-Aware Articulate Passionate
  • 28. @usabilitycounts Empathy Curiosity Systematic Pragmatic Fearless Self-Aware Articulate Passionate
  • 29. @usabilitycounts Empathy Curiosity Systematic Pragmatic Fearless Self-Aware Articulate Passionate
  • 30. Empathy Curiosity Systematic Pragmatic @usabilitycounts Fearless Self-Aware Articulate Passionate
  • 31. @usabilitycounts Empathy Curiosity Systematic Pragmatic Fearless Self-Aware Articulate Passionate
  • 32. Empathy Curiosity Systematic Pragmatic Fearless Self-Aware @usabilitycounts Articulate Passionate
  • 33. @usabilitycounts Empathy Curiosity Systematic Pragmatic Fearless Self-Aware Articulate Passionate
  • 34. @usabilitycounts Empathy Curiosity Systematic Pragmatic Fearless Self-Aware Articulate Passionate
  • 35. I have to convince my developer to @usabilitycounts build a feature… Empathy Curiosity Systematic Fearless Self Aware Articulate Pragmatic Passionate
  • 36. I want to understand user needs… Empathy Curiosity Systematic Fearless Self Aware Articulate @usabilitycounts Pragmatic Passionate
  • 37. I want to analyze user data… Empathy Curiosity Systematic Fearless Self Aware Articulate @usabilitycounts Pragmatic Passionate
  • 38. I want to sell design thinking within an organization… Empathy Curiosity Systematic Fearless Self Aware Articulate @usabilitycounts Pragmatic Passionate
  • 39. @usabilitycounts Context Matters Every situation demands different soft skills
  • 40. What’s the point of this presentation? @usabilitycounts
  • 41. UX needs to better define who we are so others @usabilitycounts get us
  • 42. @usabilitycounts Hard skills are table stakes http://www.uxisnotui.com/
  • 43. Soft skills turn us into superheroes @usabilitycounts
  • 44. Further Reading ! The Unicorn Designer Dilemma, and How to Avoid It http://www.usabilitycounts.com/2013/07/24/the-unicorn-designer-dilemma-and-how-to- avoid-it/ ! Eight Organizational Challenges for UX Professionals http://www.usabilitycounts.com/2012/05/02/eight-organizational-challenges-for-ux-professionals/ ! Six Things Misunderstood About User Experience Designers http://www.usabilitycounts.com/2011/03/14/six-things-misunderstood-about-user-experience- @usabilitycounts designers/ ! How to Get Started in User Experience for People I Want to Hire http://www.usabilitycounts.com/2011/10/18/how-to-get-started-in-user-experience-seven- tips/
  • 45. Thank you! Patrick Neeman, Director of Product Design, Apptio @usabilitycounts | www.usabilitycounts.com