When I think of the core tenets of UX design, I think of these:
And in theory, this makes sense and is very empowering. Question everything, test things systematically, there are no right answers. But over time, I’ve seen things change. With the rise of specialists and experts in various UX fields, it seems there are right answers — and therefore wrong ones. And when it comes to your career, the stakes steadily increase as you proclaim specialty.
This results in the dark side of these tenets. You’re not the user — so I’ll research or LinkedIn stalk others to see what they’ve done. If you’re too close, ask someone or take a break — well I’m incredibly close to myself and my career, the closest in fact. So I’ll ask everyone and their mother what I should do or... decide that if it’s truly for me, an opportunity will fall in my lap or my boss will recognize me as the perfect person to take it on. When in doubt, test it — but how? And what? And I’m not qualified and I don’t want to say I’m a Researcher and then hate it and then have to change my title and go backwards. And get labeled as a taker-backer or something.
As you can imagine, none of this will actually help you get to where you want to be. And I believe the main reason for this is that the go-to rallying cry of UX Design actually has no business being applied to your career. You ARE the user of your career, business, life. In fact, YOU are the only user that matters at all.
When I get stuck in a fixed mindset spiral, I remember that UX is a process. It’s not meant to have all the answers. It really is about the journey rather than the destination. And that you find the destination THROUGH the journey.
So here’s how I’m taking action with this. Speak from my heart. Keep doing what feels good (like writing these blog posts in the morning). And re-learn what makes me happy. Try something new and a little exciting every day and just test it out.
When I first worked on my portfolio at General Assembly, my goal was to get a job. And that was it. My portfolio was a means to an end — showcase that I could in fact design some interfaces, a prototype, using some sort of UX process.
So you’ve been hearing about UX design for a little bit now and you’re wondering if it’s time for you to make the career switch. You’ve got all the bootcamps pinned in your browser, you’ve heard about some local (or virtual) UX Meetups but haven’t mustered up the courage to go, and you just discovered the magical (overwhelming) world of Medium.
I’ve been feeling STUCK. 2020 really threw me for a loop, and while I know I’m not alone in that, it feels pretty lonely in quarantine with Netflix and my dog.
I remember waking up on Monday morning, January 2017, and dreading getting out of bed. Gradually over the course of the 2 years I stopped traveling for work, my start time pushed later and later. I told myself it was because my clients were on the West Coast or because I wasn’t on call until 10:30am anyway... but really... I knew.
Last week I received the surprising news that I would no longer be working at PGi. And while I’m grateful for the way they handled it and the timeline they’ve given me, it’s kind of like that break-up that you sort of saw coming and wish you had gotten to it first (except not really because #severance).