Looking for a UX Research Mentor or Advice


#1

Hello the room,

Like many a wise person before me, I’m looking for a mentor in UX Research.

My own story:

I’m 29, from Boston and want to transition into UX research. I’ve done bits and pieces of UX work in most of my roles. I have an undergrad degree in creative writing and masters from in management. My first role was with a startup in product management where I learned wireframing, some user testing, and how to track metrics. Various succeeding roles were as a digital and technical project manager for website and app development.

For the longest time, I pursued product management, which led me to go back for a second Masters in Marketing and Business Analysis. While doing the masters, I fell in love with research during my dissertation and participated in hackathons. I currently do user training and support for a SaaS company, but I’m tired of helping customers work around a product. I want to be a part of understanding a user’s story and building a better product.

I’m now deciding what the best approach is for moving forward that doesn’t involve going back to school. I have worked on projects that I may be able to frame as studies. I’m also working on David Travis’ Udemy course User Experience (UX): The Ultimate Guide to Usability and UX. I’ve had a few recruiters reach out about UX research-oriented PM roles.

I’m looking for a mentor or some advice on next best steps and on whether my current experience could be framed as potential case studies.

I would appreciate any and all advice I can get. I look forward to the day I can pay it forward.


#2

Calling all @UX_Researchers


#3

Hi,

You can check out http://designed.org/. Also, UX Mastery has a Slack channel where you can find a mentor. If you are in Boston, you can check Ladies That UX and Hexagon UX. I think they both offer mentor programs.


#4

Learning by doing is the best way to go.

You mentioned next steps and case studies - if your immediate goal is to get a UX job so you can gain that practical experience, I think pulling together some examples of your work is a logical next step.

Be sure to make that portfolio work highly relevant to roles you’re pursuing, I can’t emphasize this enough. On the difficulty scale of “possible -> easy -> obvious,” it has to be obvious how your work experience and case study examples apply to the position you are trying to land.

If you have trouble matching that past work up with the roles you want, then consider doing some personal projects or speculative user research about some domain you care about. Blockchain? GMOs? Video games? Air quality? Find opportunities to ask and unpack interesting, relevant questions and capture that effort in a way that demonstrates focus.

Good luck!


#5

I agree with you here. This is the area I’m stuck in. I’ve talked with people in UX roles who’ve told me my past experience is relevant and could work as case studies. However, I definitely need someone to brainstorm with as to how. That’s where my current creative block sits.


#6

I’ll take a look at ladies who UX. Unfortunately, Hexagon doesn’t have a local chapter, but I am waiting to hear back from designed.org