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UX Careers in 2015

I was asked to speak on a panel with Jennifer Romano-Bergstrom, Cory Lebson, Amanda Stockwell and Teaque Lenahan. Together we represented a variety of industry experts in the design field from in-house to consultancies. We were proposed the question: “Where is the field headed and how do you stay current?”

The event synopsis is described as: The UX field is ever changing and expanding and it can be tough to keep up with all that is going on as you advance your UX career. Is your best path to career growth going to be more often found in agency or in-house roles? Is everyone going to become a unicorn, or will the idea of a specialist persist? How do you account for things like service design, the internet of things and wearables in your practice?

Funny thing is, the answers I gave that day are the same as today. Such as; work well with others, be open minded, have a learner mindset and enhance your craft.

I remember vaguely that I believed research needed to be more strategic. Data would track product performance faster than we can observe through studies. This meant some of the studies we conducted would no longer be needed. One of the individuals mentioned they would work faster. In dismay, I mentioned that it may not be sustainable.

Can’t find the video on Vimeo, but here you can sense of the setting..

In some ways, I was right but didn’t realize how much data we would receive. About 4 months after this event, my life changed and we moved to Berlin, Germany. Data played a large role in product decisions at the startup. Our UX research team had to redefine their value and methods. Researchers had to consider different types of user studies and invest in more qualitative studies. We also began to partner with our in house strategy teams, data teams and customer success managers to create an initiative called “One Voice”. (begging for future post)

At the same time, the mass amounts of data needed to be digested and understood. This is still something I want to master! This is one of many reasons for the role shift I have today as a product manager.

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