Performing a UX Self Assessment


Today I was reading through an excerpt from our [I]Get Started in UX[/I] book (I’m slowly making my way through it so that I can figure out what makes you guys tick) about reflecting on why you want a career in UX. Matt asks what it is about UX that you are drawn to and suggests taking a moment to think on it.

Why do you want to become a UX designer?


Hawk may be feeling a little deflated at not getting any response to this question yet (everyone give her big hugs :slight_smile: ) but I think I understand why. Knowing your “why” is a) very difficult to identify and articulate, so can take a long time, and b) often quite personal.

Luke and I were helping to facilitate a workshop today, actually, and one of the activities for the participants was to write down the purpose of their business. We asked a couple of people if they were comfortable sharing, and some did, but others preferred to keep it to themselves, which is totally fine and understandable.

I will say this though: if you can identify and articulate your “why”, it can be extraordinarily helpful when it comes to making decisions down the track. Understanding your purpose means that you can ask things like: “Is saying yes to this particular opportunity in alignment with my purpose?”

So yeah, if anyone wants to share, awesome. And if not, completely cool. But you should still go through the difficult task of writing it down—it’s for you, after all!


I’m one of those people that shares everything, so sometimes I need reminding that not everyone feels that way. :stuck_out_tongue:


I saw this but couldn’t think of an answer, because I think it’s a tough one to answer. If there were a few things I want to be more than anything, to be honest, it’s a writer or actor, BUT!!! I feel that I’m good at this UX thing and can do that too, limited experience that I have with it (and the pay seems to be a bit better!). It puts me in interesting positions trying to figure out how people use things. I’ve always been predisposed towards wanting to make things people not only enjoy using, but are efficient at what they do. Lately I’ve been interested in UX as it pertains to game design. As a kid, I always had video game mags around, and was obsessed with the maps of the levels in them (this is back in the day when things were 2D), and I would always have notebooks filled with my own designs. I would do what I could to make levels that were challenging but possible, getting my hypothetical players more acclimated to the gameplay through progressive difficulty and effective. I still had my own biases, I wanted to make something I would enjoy as well, but the entire time I kept the user in mind, I was all like “If someone else were to play this, would this be fun to them?” It was crude, but what’s a kid in rural Illinois going to do?

Not sure if that really answers the question, just that I’ve been bitten by that design bug from an early age.

As an aside: I try to take part when I can here on the forums, it IS a great resource, but sometimes the RL gets in the way.


Some interesting comments above.
For me, I think it boils down to the people. I like what I call “people watching”. I see people walk past me and my brain jumps to all the reasons why they may be looking happy or sad, why they might dress in a certain fashion etc. Stemming from this, I really want to make a difference. My partner studied ecology and used to come home with all of these depressing facts he learned about our world, and I would think to myself, how can I use what I know, or my skills to help. I also really like technology, so mixing people and technology, I got UX.

I like the opportunity to try something different, while trying to create something better for the user. To see what makes them tick.
So to me, the “wanting to make a difference” was a big factor :).