Enabling a Career Shift from User Experience to Service Design

By Laura Keller Published: June 23, 2014 “Services function effectively only when an organization orchestrates all elements of the service—including the people, communications, processes, time, technologies, space, objects, and information—holistically.” Having managed UX professionals at various levels for many years, I find that, after five to seven years working in user experience, they often ask, “What’s next?” in their career. Some become managers of UX groups, while others, who continue to enjoy doing the work, advance to the most senior level of their current role. But there’s one group of UX professionals whose path is less obvious. They’ve likely been working in a UX Architect or Information Architect role, doing a mix of user research and design activities. These people often reach a point where they’re feeling less challenged—and that the work they’re doing is the same, day in and day out. Even the discovery of new ideas, concepts, and methods that is part of working in user experience—for example, responsive Web design or Lean UX—and would previously have ignited their interest or presented new challenges has ceased to do so. They have likely gained strong leadership skills and, when working on projects, tend to think more broadly than the user-interface design solution currently at hand. If this sounds like you, you may be suited to a career in service...

Conference Review: UX STRAT 2013, Part 3: Day 2

By Margie Coles and Pabini Gabriel-Petit Published: June 23, 2014 “The second day of the main conference at the inaugural UX STRAT … brought another day of great content.” The second day of the main conference at the inaugural UX STRAT, on September 10, 2013, brought another day of great content. Keynote: Connected UX: From Tactics to Strategy with Data Reviewer: Pabini Gabriel-Petit Presenter: Aarron Walter Day 2 kicked off with a notable keynote presentation by Aarron Walter, Director of User Experience at MailChimp, shown in Figure 1. He told the story of an approach that his team has innovated: using Evernote to discover new connections between things and, thus, facilitate the analysis of massive amounts of data from disparate sources to inform UX strategy and...

What to Do When Your Boss Insists That You Use Pop-Up Banner Advertising?

By Janet M. Six Published: June 23, 2014 Send your questions to Ask UXmatters and get answers from some of the top professionals in UX. In this edition of Ask UXmatters, our experts discuss what to do when your boss insists that you use pop-up banner advertising. If your boss insists that you add a bad element to your good design: Ack! What do you do? Try to convince your boss that there is a better solution? Show him data that proves this particular bad design element would cause your target audience to flee in droves? Quietly say, “Okay,” then remove this project from your portfolio of design work? As UX designers, not only must we deal with the complexity of creating a strong design for users, we must also make our design work for the business—in both financial and political terms. Let’s hear what our UXmatters experts have to say about this situation that many of us have faced or will face at some point in our careers. In our monthly column Ask UXmatters, our experts provide answers to our readers’ questions about a broad range of user experience matters. To get answers to your own questions about UX strategy, design, user research, or any other topic of interest to UX professionals in an upcoming edition of Ask UXmatters, please send your questions to:...

Choosing the Right Metrics for User Experience

By Pamela Pavliscak Published: June 2, 2014 “Metrics are the signals that show whether your UX strategy is working. Using metrics is key to tracking changes over time….” Metrics are the signals that show whether your UX strategy is working. Using metrics is key to tracking changes over time, benchmarking against iterations of your own site or application or those of competitors, and setting targets. Although most organizations are tracking metrics like conversion rate or engagement time, often they do not tie these metrics back to design decisions. The reason? Their metrics are too high level. A change in your conversion rate could relate to a design change, a promotion, or something that a competitor has done. Time on site could mean...

An Overview of Expert Heuristic Evaluations

By Ritch Macefield Published: June 2, 2014 “An expert heuristic evaluation is a form of discount usability evaluation.” An expert heuristic evaluation is a form of discount usability evaluation. The essential idea is that such evaluations are, or should be, quicker and cheaper to perform than usability studies with a sample of participants that are representative of actual users. Over the last 20 years, I’ve done a fair few expert heuristic evaluations. Recently, I did one for a client who wanted me to provide a good description of this approach to usability evaluation in my report—something I’d never been asked to do before. I thought I’d be able to just do a quick Google search and steal something suitable—providing an acknowledgment and reference, of course. My search yielded lots of good stuff. My own library of usability books and journals also included lots of good information on this topic. But I didn’t find quite what I was looking for, so I decided to write something new about expert heuristic evaluations. I hope that this information will be useful to the wider UX design and usability...