Follow up questions for the amazing Heather Wydeven!


If you couldn’t make it to Heather’s session today, or if we ran out of time before your question was answered, you can connect with @heather_wydeven here.

All questions welcome. :slight_smile:

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I have some other questions for @heather_wydeven .

  • Can you give an example of a problem that you solved and your process?

  • How do I become a better problem solver?

  • How do you determine what research methods to use and the amount of methods for a project? Is research the first thing for a project after the requirements or does it continue even throughout the entire process?

Thanks for your time, appreciate it!


Hello @heather_wydeven , I currently work in the Research Triangle and am in the process of transitioning to a new UX position at one of the plethora of companies located there. My question is how demonstrate design sense when I’m not a trained designer but have worked with creatives for nearly 25 years? I have all the chops for other aspects of a UX position but the question does come up during interviews and I need a way to convey that in a positive sense. Hope that makes sense.


If you’re being asked during interviews about your design experience and to give examples of that, I would think about the work you’ve done working with creatives for all those years. Is there work or projects you can point to that show your design process? Discuss how you applied design thinking to a situation with specific examples and share what you learned and how that helped to shape your design process. Even though I didn’t have any formal UX experience when I interviewed for my apprenticeship, I was able to talk about my design process and demonstrate how I had been thinking like I a UX designer by talking through a specific example where I had done this.

Does this answer your question? :slight_smile:


Thanks for the great questions @ralphc-nyc! :slight_smile:

1) Can you give an example of a problem that you solved and your process?
On a recent project I was working with a very specific set of requirements from the client about how data needed to be represented in an internal application for employees. I had presented a few design options for the client that were different from the current approach, which was a pretty basic table display. The client responded with more requirements that constrained the design options even more. After the meeting I got together with my development team and we worked out some different options together. I was able to iterate my design right away so we could see what various options would work best. As a team, we came up with a solution that met the client’s requirements but was still easy for the user to digest a lot of data at once.

2) How do I become a better problem solver?
Learn how to recognize problems and understand what they are. Sometimes it’s good to take a step back to process and think about the best way of tackling the problem. Observe how others do it and learn from them. Then practice your own approach to solving problems. Try out different methods and approaches and see what works best for you. Everyone has their own way of doing it, and your approach can change based on the problem you’re trying to solve. It can take time, but the more you see others doing it and practice it for yourself, the more experienced you become at it:)

3) How do you determine what research methods to use and the amount of methods for a project? Is research the first thing for a project after the requirements or does it continue even throughout the entire process?
I used to think there was one “right way” to approach research, but I’ve learned that it really depends on a number of factors. What things are you trying to learn? Are there specific questions you need answered? Sometimes project budgets or requirements can also determine what types of research you do. Having a good understanding of what methods you can use will help you determine what might be the best approach for your project. For example, if you want to understand how a user performs a specific task, you may want to spend time doing a contextual inquiry, an in-person observation of a user in his or her environment. Again it really depends on the project as far as when you conduct research. Sometimes it’s done early on and helps to define requirements, sometimes it’s ongoing. It’s all about what your specific project needs are and what you’ve determined you need to understand.

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Hey, thanks again for the answers. Right now I just got off a 4 month internship and got to work on some UI/UX Design projects. While I am looking for a job I am working on personal projects for my portfolio to show off. In this case what research makes sense to show off? I usually go with a competitive analysis but will that be enough?


Hello, @heather_wydeven, and thank you for the slack session the other day!

As I try to build my portfolio (from next to nothing) I’m probably going to rely on blogging a lot. Should I keep my topics focused on Web UX or is it worthwhile to go into topics from elsewhere in the Human Factors realm, such as critiquing automated phone services, talking about the thought process behind an improvement to a user manual’s format, or human considerations when putting together requirements for physical objects?

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Showcase whatever research you’ve got:) If you have examples where you’ve talked to users, discuss what you learned from that research and how you applied what you learned. How did the research inform your design? Talk about the insights you gained.


@SgiobairOg thanks for joining the session! :slight_smile:

Blogging can be a great tool for you to get more exposure within the UX community. I think hearing about a wide variety of topics would be interesting. It could give your blog more reach and also help to demonstrate your design process and how you approach various design challenges. I personally enjoy reading about a variety of topics, even ones that aren’t directly related to a UX method or a design technique. I love to read about personal experiences others have and what they’ve gained from those experiences.