Introduction + Advice on forum usage


#1

Hi there - Kim LeClair here. Glad to have found UXmastery this morning - just got the book so now to the challenge of getting anything else done today instead of just reading it …

I’m hoping that I can just ask a summary question here and then someone can point me to the right place to dig in further (i.e. which group/forum?)

I am currently signed up to take the UXDI course at General Assembly that starts in April in Chicago. But… I’m worried that somehow UX won’t be a good match for me.

I’m kind of hoping to discuss 2 things: 1) what does the day-to-day of a UX designer really look like? 2) how much detailed/follow-up type work is required in UX?

So… Hi. Thanks for having this forum. And can you help me navigate this space so I follow the conventions of the right place to post?

Thanks so much!!

Kim


#2

Hey Kim,
Welcome on board. I’ll move this post to the Careers forum, because I think it’s best suited to that.
If you have a read through a few threads in Careers, and in UX Stories, you should get a feel for what is involved.

I’m sure you’ll also get some useful responses to this thread, and if you have any more specific questions once you’ve done some reading, feel free to ask away.

PS: Don’t ever worry too much about posting in the wrong place, I’ll just move things around if need be. We’re a pretty relaxed bunch. :slight_smile:


#3

Hi Kim, welcome!
I hate to say this, but I’d be highly surprised if the answers to your questions aren’t hugely variable, as it covers such a large field. I can give you examples of things I’ve done that come under my title of UX Designer.

  1. Right, well like any other job, you do have your usual meetings and those kinds of things generally. For me at the moment, as I’m at a company who’s UX journey has only just begun, I’ve been involved in interviewing potential users so that we can then build personas for our different products, trying to create a style guideline that our devs can use for minor things such as components so that we can work more towards the overall picture and workflow etc. I’d say that ideation and wireframing is a huge area of time, but I’d also say that talking to our subject matter experts (SMEs) and with our developers is equally big. We’ve created journey maps, and worked through information architecture of current products, auditing those current products to see what could be improved upon etc.

So our days are very variable, it just depends on what the focus is as we will either be working on new things, or helping out with sprints for backlog work for our developers.

When I was working with a team that were more agency based, so were replying to RFP’s, we got given the basis of an idea, and had to quickly iterate through designs, mock them up, and go through the beginning of our process to demonstrate to the companies how we worked, and the kind of output they might expect. Those were always quite fun, although a little stressful, as each proposal was often in a different area, so it involved a lot of background research to understand the topic.

  1. I’m not too sure what you are asking here… in terms of detail we either stick with balsamiq mockups or create higher fidelity versions in illustrator, but if you are talking about after we have completed ideation and design and it is off to the developers? We try to always review work, so both what we have done, and what is being created from our mockups, because there is only so much you can demonstrate through images. We would also love to do more user testing with out products when we get to the phase that there is something for users to play around with. Theoretically we will always hopefully be iterating on our designs and products to find improvements, but again this is a little different for us as we work on internal products.

Hope this gives you some indication :).


#4

Hi Kim, lovely to have you onboard!

Here’s mine:

  1. what does the day-to-day of a UX designer really look like?

I work for a big organisation that provides essential services to the general public. I have three years experience in UX and I’m a user research and usability evaluation SME - I still have a lot to learn and I have no managerial responsibilities over other people.
No two days are ever the same. I find I’m usually flat out crazy busy or quiet enough to catch up on my professional reading and do some training/mentoring.
On a busy day I might be doing user interviews and then in between recruiting for the next round or typing up my notes from the day before. Last year I was part of a small group that interviewed over 140 people for persona development and it was also my job to write some personas and manage the recruiting and the scheduling for the interviews. There was one day where I; had 8 user interviews to conduct myself, I also had to make sure that the three people working with me made it to their interviews and knew where they had to be, I worked on the personas I was responsible for, I recruited for the next set of interviews and I was also doing research to find a contact person to ask abot conduct a contextual inquiry in a call centre. That was just one day. Some days I find myself wireframing and brainstorming, I also find myself with information design tasks from time to time and of course I have team meetings and an admin stuff like anyone else.
Yesterday was quiet. I was waiting on feedback from a client so I went to an all staff meeting and then had a performance discussion with my new manager. In the afternoon, I attended a small informal training session and found out about some mentoring opportunties I might have coming up. I also found out that I will be co-facilitating UCD training for some new staff in a few weeks so I re-read the facilitator’s guide because it’s been a year since I looked at it. Then I did some training on lynda.com. It’s fairly new to me but I like it.

  1. how much detailed/follow-up type work is required in UX?

UX is an iterative process of continous improvement, so there really isn’t an end to a piece of work. A product is developed but then it’s put out in the world and reviewed and updated. The work itself starts out high level and then you drill deeper and deeper through the layers to uncover its complexity.


#5

Welcome Kim. I made a comic about my “day in the life of a UX designer”. I hope it’s helpful …

Let us know how the GA course goes. I’ve heard good things from folks who went through it in Sydney.