ANNOUNCEMENTS FROM THE UXBEGINNER BLOG
Thanks a TON to everyone who filled out last week’s UX Career Survey. I’m silently rebuilding UXBeginner and UX School from the ground up, and these responses are truly helping me shape the next wave of resources to come.
The process of creating this survey came as a surprise to me. There were things I was already familiar with, like getting people to fill out your surveys.
But at a friend’s recommendation, I read The Ask Method, which proposes a rrigorous approach to survey analysis. While it’s a book for entrepreneurs to create products people actually want, I found the concepts like buckets (user personas) and creating themes (synthesizing research) to mirror exactly what happens in user research. Neat to see design thinking happen outside of just the UX world.
DECIDING TO PAY FOR A UX COURSE (OR NOT)
I updated one of my most popular articles, Should You Pay for a UX Design Course? with an analysis of each of the 4 options: free vs paid, online vs offline.
- Highlight: MOOC (massive online courses) completion rates are as low as 7.6%. Sometimes, investing money in a course increases commitment, motivation & completion rates.
LEVERAGING YOUR PAST TO GET INTO UX
I also wrote about a common phenomenon working with UX students – the natural inclination to toss away previous experiences. I argue that To Transition into UX, Don’t Ignore Your Past.
- Highlight: “If you have affected someone’s experience IN ANY way, you’ve affected the user experience.” When you truly understand the UX fundamentals, you’ll be able to connect the dots between previous experiences to a new UX career.
NN/G TURNS 20!
Nielsen Norman, one of my favorite sources of new UX research & trends, just turned 20. Along other UX luminaries & companies like UIE, they’ve done a lot of the upfront heavy lifting in legitimizing our now thriving industry.
- Highlight: The entire article is highlight-able, because it’s a greatest hits of the best NN/G articles & resources made over yeras, starting from 1998. My favorite is the “blast to the past” Top 10 Web Design Mistakes of 1999 (many of which are still applicable today)
A UX StackExchange question posed: Is it necessary to have both male and female personas? There is not right answer, but the ensuing discussion sure is interesting to think about.
- Highlight: “You should develop a persona for the minority group of users, just as you need an edge case or extreme user.” Let’s say that you’re building a product that has a 9:1 male to female ratio. How would you approach your personas?
ARE DESIGNERS NOT ASKING THE HARD QUESTIONS ANYMORE?
Khoi Vinh’s recent article is a cross-examination of the current design culture alongside UX Collective’s piece about designer self promotion. I found this to be a fascinating read and found myself nodding along (and guilty) of the articles’ conclusions.
- Highlight: “While designers tend to be skeptical of magic formulas—we’re decidedly suspicious of self-help gurus, magic diets, or miraculous career advice—we have a surprisingly high tolerance for formulaic solutions when it comes to design.”
WHAT IS A SERVICE EXACTLY?
More than that, what is government service? A fascinating read from Gov.uk’s own UX team on their journey of defining a service using good ol’ user research.
- Highlight: Three definitions of service: 1) Service as one or a set of public-facing transactions, whether online, face-to-face or over the phone 2) Service as an end-to-end service, including all the online and offline steps a user needs to go through to do a specific thing 3) A whole service: this is everything the user needs to do to achieve a goal, includi