We have to admit it. Whether we re talking about UX Strategy (opportunity side) or UX Design (solution side), user experience is a great career. Helping people experience the feelings and emotions they want to have is a wonderful way to spend one’s time. We have had the pleasure of learning many things from helping organizations recruit and build their UX teams. In other posts we have discussed the common mistakes in building a UX team, offered advice on how to get your next UX hire right as well as advice on helping you carefully select your next UX role. In this post we illuminate three core skills you must develop in order to have a successful UX career. Those three skills are evangelizing, educating, and influencing.
Getting an organization interested and truly invested in UX is not for the faint of heart. A UX superstar knows how to prosper user experience through an organization by selling benefits. The more value and return on investment leadership sees, the easier your job becomes. Being able to eloquently discuss benefits like increased productivity, decreased training, decreased support, increased sales, and increased customer satisfaction will greatly benefit your career.
While evangelism is more about organizational buy-in, education is more about your client’s (internal or external) buy-in. Clients often have ideas on how things should look and feel that in no way reflect best practices or take valuable research into consideration. Being able to effectively educate your clients on why you are making the recommendations you are making will give you a huge advantage in your career.
Dictionary.com defines influence as
the capacity or power of persons or things to be a compelling force on or produce effects on the actions, behavior, opinions, etc., of others.
At the end of it all, UX pros cannot just evangelize and educate. UX pros have to influence. Building influence means you are purposeful in establishing relationships and nurturing necessary relationships. This means understanding the corporate culture, the political landscape, how decisions are made, and the personalities involved.
Hope this provides value to you in some way. We would love to hear your thoughts on the core skills important to every UX career.
Are you a UX professional looking to land your next role? Read about the four key questions to help you find a position that is a great fit here.
Are you a hiring manager looking for a great UX hire? Read about the four questions you must consider when hiring a UX professional here.
Mark Whitman is the founder and CEO of TeamBuilder Search, a dynamic recruiting firm that specializes in digital marketing, digital transformation, and emerging technology. He is an energetic and fearless adventurer who loves working with other innovative, entrepreneurial-minded professionals. He also happens to be a Sport Jujitsu national champion who literally broke his face in competing for the gold medal in the world championship. To discuss your toughest hiring challenges with Mark, contact him here.