I'm a UX Designer. I'm frequently asked "so what does that mean?"
I usually break it down like this:
- I design services and experiences rather than panels or screens
- I'm also partly a researcher, and partly a project manager
Over the years, I've learned some really interesting things about people.
- People are often unpredictable
- People will never accurately tell you why they do something
- Bullet point lists are easy for people to read (see what I did there?)
I've seen UX progress massively over the last few years, and become such an area of interest for so many people. I'm really glad to be a part of this fantastic industry at a time when UX is at the forefront of all modern design.
UX is about the people working on a project as much as the end users. If the project team have a shared understanding of the user goals, and everyone is working to the same targets, then the project will be a success.
Earlier in my career my focus was on speed. Getting a design "out the door" so to speak. Over time, I've learned to step back and ask "why"? Why is this project good for the user? How will their life be positively impacted by it? What can the project team learn from this project? It's vital to ask these questions.
The future is even more interesting in UX. As digital interfaces and experiences naturally become more user-centric, the opportunity space will change. Encompassing the physical world, or making the digital world more tangible, are where the most interesting work lies. In the past, elements like skeumorphic design brought these two worlds closer together, but something more fundamental is just on the horizon.
But don't let me waste any more words. Check out this video.
This isn't my work (I wish it was) but this is where I draw my inspiration from:
If you're inspired right now, here are some other people who inspire me:
- Daniel Kahneman, author of Thinking Fast and Slow, one of the best books ever written (not a quick read, though). Daniel is a Nobel Prize winning psychologist, and a man I'd very much like to meet.
- Steven Levy, author of Hackers and In The Plex. These books gave me a window into how computing and software have become the dominant forces they are today.
- DesignStudio - I was lucky enough to see a presentation by one of the founders on how they worked through the re-brand for AirBnB. It was a superbly honest presentation of how real design challenges can be met head on, with incredible results.