UX Design Practice Verticals

By Nathaniel Davis Published: August 4, 2014 “The UX Design Practice Verticals [offer] a snapshot of the activities that are necessary to architect and design human-computer interactions….” Have you ever wondered how you’ll ever wrap your head around what seems to be a never-ending list of UX design skills? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. All information architects and UX designers question this once or twice in their career. In this column, I’ll describe a powerful model that I’ve developed as part of my research for the DSIA Research Initiative: the UX Design Practice Verticals. This has been a useful model for me and thousands of other UX professionals because it offers a snapshot of the activities that are necessary to architect and design human-computer interactions (HCI). Since their creation in 2011, the UX Design Practice Verticals have rendered many valuable insights—I’ll summarize a few of them here—and provided an indispensable reference...

UX STRAT 2014: Focusing on UX Strategy

By Paul Bryan Published: July 21, 2014 “Early-bird registration ends on July 31, 2014, so register now to save.” The field of UX strategy has been growing rapidly over the past couple of years, as a specialty within the broader field of user experience. In the past year, postings of jobs that specify UX strategy as a key competency and specialized UX Strategist roles have become increasingly frequent. Events, workshops, and classes whose focus is the topic of UX strategy have been springing up to meet the growing need for education and professional growth in this area. In just a few short years, the UX Strategy and Planning group on LinkedIn has grown to over 12,000 members, providing an active forum for discussions about UX strategy and, more broadly, experience strategy. UX design and management professionals around the world are participating in the dialogue. UXmatters has dedicated a significant amount of space to publishing articles about UX strategy—including my column UX Strategy, which I began in January 2012, as well as UX STRAT 2013–speaker Ronnie Battista’s new Strategy Matters column—altogether, 190 articles on UX strategy topics by many thought leaders within the realm of UX...

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...

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:...

Don’t Just Manage, Transform! Part 1

By Baruch Sachs Published: May 19, 2014 “Simply managing anything seems to be just taking care of the basics. When you merely manage something, more often than not you are treading water. Transforming something is the real way to progress.” Here is a confession: I have never been a real fan of anything with the word management in it. Why? Well, because simply managing anything seems to be just taking care of the basics. When you merely manage something, more often than not you are treading water. Transforming something is the real way to progress. Transforming, growing, shaping—these are the fun and most challenging parts of leadership. This idea is not applicable just to what we might think of as conventional people management; it has a wide range of applications and is definitely part of user experience. No one ever embarks on a redesign by stating that their primary goal is to better manage the user experience. Almost always, the word that is associated with a big project has something to do with transformation. If you had the chance to transform a series of disparate systems and user interfaces into a single, elegant, omnichannel user experience, why would you settle for just managing that? Sadly, it’s what many enterprise software projects end up...