User experience is a great career. Whether we’re talking about UX Strategy (opportunity side) or UX Design (solution side), helping people experience the feelings they want to have is a fulfilling way to spend one’s time. We’ve built many UX teams and we’ve learned a lot along the way. In other posts, we discuss the common mistakes in building a UX team. We offer advice on how to get your next UX hire right. We also offer advice on helping you carefully select your next UX role. That being said, here are three core skills you must develop in order to have a successful user experience career:
Firstly, develop the skill of evangelizing. It’s difficult to get an organization interested and invested in user experience. A UX professional prospers user experience throughout an organization by selling benefits. Your job becomes easier as leadership sees more value and return on their investment. Be able to eloquently discuss benefits like increased productivity, decreased training, decreased support, increased sales, and increased customer satisfaction.
Secondly, develop the skill of educating. While evangelism is about organizational buy-in, education is about your client’s buy-in. Clients have ideas on how things should look and feel, but these ideas don’t generally reflect best practices or consider valuable research. Be able to effectively educate your clients on why you make the recommendations that you make.
Influence is defined 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.” All things considered, a UX pro cannot just evangelize and educate– a UX pro also has to influence. Purposefully establish and nurture professional relationships. Understand the corporate culture, the political landscape and how decisions are made. Furthermore, become familiar with the personalities involved.
If you’re 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. If you’re a hiring manager looking for a great UX hire, read about the four questions you must consider when hiring a UX professional here.