A Typical UX Team of One Job Description

Jared Spool

September 21st, 2016

This week, we revisit Leah Buley’s book, The User Experience Team of One – A Research and Design Survival Guide.

Here’s an excerpt from the article:

If you happen to be in the job market, it can be helpful to know how to spot a UX team-of-one situation. Few UX jobs are advertised as a team-of-one gig, but there are usually telltale signs that give them away. This job description shows an employer who is looking for someone who can drastically improve the quality of the user experience. The product will be “elegant,” reduced to the “bare essentials,” and “beautiful.” People may not say it directly, but there’s usually an expectation that having someone who will focus on UX will result in changes to the product that will immediately wow everyone. This can be a tricky expectation to manage, since design improvements often happen gradually, over time. The design methods in Chapter 7 show you how you can improve the quality of the product and bring people along with you in the process.

Read the article: A Typical UX Team of One Job Description

Leah presents Strategic Storytelling at the September 22 UX Virtual Symposium: Storytelling in Design.

How have you identified Team of One jobs? Let us know below.

UIE Article: Building Products with Story

Jared Spool

September 14th, 2016

This week, we present an excerpt from Donna Lichaw’s book, The User’s Journey, published by Rosenfeld Media on using story as a framework to create heroes for your product.

Here’s an taste of what we serve up this week:

Story is not only a tool your brain uses to understand what you see, it’s a tool your brain uses to understand what you experience. In other words, the same brain function that you use to understand what you see in a photograph is the same brain function you would use if you were one of those grandparents using FaceTime. Life is a story. And in that story, you are the hero.

What’s great about story and its underlying structure is that it provides you with a framework—a formula, if you will—for turning your customers into heroes. Plot points, high points, and all. Story is one of the oldest and most powerful tools you have to create heroes. And as I’ve seen and will show you in this book, what works for books and movies will work for your customers, too.

Read the article: Building Products with Story

How do you use storytelling as a tool? Tell us about it below.

Keep Some Cash When You Register Now

Jared Spool

September 12th, 2016

The 9/16 Rate Increase is Coming Fast. Register Today and Save Your Money

Register today for the User Interface 21 Conference, October 31 – November 2, 2016, in Boston. Don’t wait because the lowest rate of $1,975 disappears on Friday, September 16.

Choose from these full-day workshops:

Save your spot, guarantee your workshops, and get the lowest price when you sign up before September 16.

Register Now

UIE Article: Measure Customer Experience Design And Make It Accountable

Jared Spool

September 7th, 2016

This week, we have an article from Jeffrey Eisenberg on making buyer legends measurable and accountable.

Here’s an excerpt from the article:

Buyer Legends are measurable and accountable by design. That is one of the important elements that distinguish Buyer Legends from any other business-storytelling and customer experience methodologies. A Buyer Legend is not a feel good story; it’s about business, and if your story doesn’t improve on your business goals, then what is the point?

Your Buyer Legend should describe in significant detail what actions you expect your customer to take, many of which are measurable. Pages viewed, transactions, subscriptions, store visits, phone calls, conversions to lead, and even social media engagement are all measurable.

Read the article: Measure Customer Experience Design And Make It Accountable

How do you measure customer experience design? Tell us about it below.

UIE Article: Teaching UX Designers to Always Be Learning

Jared Spool

September 1st, 2016

This week, I examine the ways UX designers develop their craft and the importance of self-learning.

Here’s an excerpt from the article:

Conventional educational programs use a Sage on the Stage approach, where a smart person stands in front of a classroom pouring facts and raw knowledge into students’ brains. Despite considerable evidence that this approach rarely works, schools still try to teach new skills this way. This is part of the reason why fresh graduates we hire aren’t prepared for the work ahead of them.

People learn best when they take charge of their education. Some people learn well by reading a comprehensive book. For others, books don’t work at all, but they learn when they hear someone explain the concepts and techniques. Everyone has their own way of learning. A good school needs to adapt its learning options for each individual student.

Read the article: Teaching UX Designers to Always Be Learning

How do you learn best? Tell us about it below.

Jumpstart Your Design Projects With An Effective Discovery Process

Jared Spool

August 25th, 2016

Before your team can identify innovative solutions, they need to truly understand the problems they’re solving. The discovery process—gathering information, processing information, exploring ideas, and focusing on a plan—will get your team ready.

You’ll want to spend the day with Dan in his workshop to see how to do these critical skills and more:

  • Frame the design with problem statements and project objectives
  • Explore opportunities through collaborative sketching
  • Focus your insights and ideas with a solid project plan

Image of Dan Brown: UI21 Workshop Leader

Dan Brown

When companies need to ensure their design process will handle the big challenges, they call on Dan Brown. Through his work at EightShapes, he’s become a leading expert on how teams can repeatedly produce delightfully fantastic products. He’s stepped back from formulaic approaches to create a foundational understanding of what happens in successful and unsuccessful projects.

Get More on Dan’s workshop

UIE Article: Signaling a Process Change with a Discovery Phase

Jared Spool

August 24th, 2016

This week, I address the benefits of using a Discovery Phase to drive process change within an organization.

Here’s an excerpt from the article:

It’s easy to find people frustrated with their current product design and delivery process. They’ll list any number of maladies, from missing their customers’ true needs to forcing a buildout of unwanted features. Much of the time, many of their co–workers share that frustration.

A thoughtfully–crafted, well–executed discovery phase can set an organization on a completely different path. More importantly, the discovery phase signals to the organization that, this time, the process truly will be different. And it does it with little fanfare and pomp. In fact, it’s often most effective when done in a bit of stealth mode, when only the direct participants are seeing the process.

Read the article: Signaling a Process Change with a Discovery Phase

How will you incorporate a Discovery Phase in your next project? Tell us about it below.

UIE Article: Mapping Experiences: Five Key Questions to Get Started

Jared Spool

August 17th, 2016

This week, we have an article from Jim Kalbach on mapping experiences and how your product or service looks at each phase in its lifecycle.

Here’s an excerpt from the article:

Kicking off a mapping project and don’t know where to begin? You’re not alone. I’m often asked how to get started.

Here’s the problem: “experience” defies precise definition. It’s a broad and fuzzy concept. You need to first untangle it and figure out what’s most appropriate.

Ultimately it’s a matter of selection. Maps are purposefully created. As the mapmaker, it’s up to you to decide which aspects to include and which to leave out.

Read the article: Mapping Experiences: Five Key Questions to Get Started

How will you use map making with your next project? Tell us about it below.

The Right Way to Train the Wrong Way to Research – UI Conference Podcast

Sean Carmichael

August 12th, 2016

Play

[ Transcript Available ]

UI Conference Podcast

When we’re training teams on our design methods, what we perceive as ‘proper’ may in fact become a hindrance. Our dogmatic approach to our processes may prevent people from ever employing the techniques. Is it better to do it the right way, or to teach a wrong way that will get the job done?

Cyd Harrell encountered one such situation, while working with a government design team. They would’ve never conducted user research if she’d taught them the proper way to do it. By breaking “the rules,” she empowered the team to embrace good design and improve the life of their citizens.

Cyd has a wealth of great techniques for successfully teaching guerilla user research. You can learn them all in her full-day workshop at the UI21 conference October 31 – November 2, 2016, in Boston, MA. For more information about Cyd’s and the seven other workshops, visit uiconf.com.

Recorded: August, 2016
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Don’t Blow It – Register Now at the Lowest Rate for UI21

Jared Spool

August 10th, 2016

Register for UI21 before the 8/12 Rate Increase and Save Your Money

Save money and guarantee a spot in the workshops of your choice. Register today for the User Interface 21 Conference, October 31 – November 2, 2016, in Boston. Don’t wait because the lowest rate of $1,675 disappears on Friday, August 12.

Choose from these full-day workshops:

Save your spot, guarantee your workshops, and get the lowest price when you sign up by August 12.

Register Now