A colleague recently wrote a post, describing her experience of blank expressions and puzzled looks when telling friends about her job. Having had a similar experience, I thought I’d follow her lead and describe what it is exactly a user experience professional does in their average day.
Typically, I’d start by outlining what’s expected of me in my role; my key responsibilities, who I might work alongside and the types of work I do…well, that’s easier said than done. The user experience role can and will change on a daily basis, meaning no strategy, deliverable, or day, is ever the same, and is probably one of the reasons why I enjoy it so much.
I’ll emphasis this by highlighting some of the services we provide:
So, what exactly is user experience?
As a user experience (UX) professional, my role is to understand the way people interact with products, systems and services and ensure that the ‘experience’ they receive meets or exceeds their specific needs and expectations.
Typically, we will develop an appreciation of the business model and processes that our clients use, expand our understanding of the larger context in which their users operate, and discover what part our client’s products and services play in the lives of their users. To be able to do this we also need to have a clear awareness of the technology used to deploy the digital systems we will ultimately design.
By pulling these things together we can then create solutions that meet the needs of the client, the user, and work within the bounds of the technological platform. However, the deliverables and creative assets are simply the tools we use to convey thoughts and move projects forward, the most important aspects of my role are the relationships I develop with clients and activities we undertake in the team to grow our business.
Who do I work with?
It’s important to explain the broad spectrum of people we work alongside on a daily basis from; clients, customers, developers, media specialists, analysts… the list goes on. It is vital that the type of person doing my role is good at switching constantly between working solo on projects, to working as part of a team and has excellent people management skills as I work with people at all levels within the business with varying knowledge.
What kind of deliverables do I produce?
The variety of deliverables is certainly another factor that keeps things interesting, nothing is ever monotonous or repetitive in my role. Deliverables range from scamping (basic outlines and illustrations), wireframes, site structures, performance reports, heuristic evaluations and test plans to name but a few. All of these deliverables require an understanding of the different tools/programs we use such as Illustrator or Axure for wireframing or analytics packages such as Omniture or Google Analytics.
What I like best about my role
For me, it’s the variety of things we do that keeps me interested in my role. On one side, I get to show my creative flare one moment, and then the next I will be strategizing either within a team or solo to develop new mission statements or prepare proposals for new business.
Alongside that, meeting new people from different disciplines is always interesting and helps to develop my own knowledge of other areas within the business.
If what you’ve read has accurately described your own unique abilities and you feel you would like to join our team of creative minds (with perfectionist tendencies), we have a vacancy and would be delighted to hear from you.