Self-Assessment: How to Break Down the Categories?


I’ve been reading Getting Started in UX and am working on the Self-Assessment graph, but I’m having a problem: I’m having to assess my levels of skill in categories that aren’t necessarily well-defined in the book.

What resources would you recommend to help assess our knowledge in the different categories? I’m including the resources I’m familiar with for each topic, and bolding the topics where I’m least sure and would appreciate resources.

  • Human Factors
    Introduction to Human Factors by Chris Wickens (Trust me on this one)
  • Usability Engineering
  • Design Research
  • Information Architecture
  • Interaction Design
    About Face 2.0: The Essentials of Interaction Design
  • Industrial Design
    The Industrial Design Reference + Specification Book
  • Service Design
  • Information Design
  • Visual Design
  • Branding
  • Technical Communication
  • Content Management


Hey Trey,
Just acknowledging your post – I’ll call in @Lukcha who is probably best placed to respond.


Great question.

As a start, the books in our Recommended UX Books list are categorised by topic, some of which match with Elizabeth Bacon’s sundial in our Get Started in UX book.

In the meantime here’s UX Mastery’s take on the best resources for assessing your depth and breadth of knowledge in your bolded categories:

Information Architecture:

  1. A Practical Guide to Information Architecture
  2. Information Architecture for the World Wide Web

Service Design:

  1. Service Design for Business
  2. This is Service Design Thinking

Information Design:

  1. Designing Information: Human Factors and Common Sense in Information Design
  2. Information Design (MIT Press)


  1. Designing Brand Identity
  2. The Brand Bible

Content Management:

  1. Letting Go of the Words
  2. The Elements of Content Strategy


Thanks! That’s exactly what I was looking for.
If you’re doing a new edition of Getting Started, later, this would be a really useful addition. Sometimes it’s hard to know what you don’t know :slight_smile:


Some of the wisest words ever, of all time.


Glad to hear it! We’re hoping to publish a second edition at some point… I’ve added your suggestion to the notes for when we do. :slight_smile:


Another idea: you might want to consider a small quiz. If you have particular areas and descriptions and give people a range of skills then it’s a lot easier to establish where effort is needed for improvement.


That’s a great idea. UX skills in general don’t easily lend themselves to checklists, but that won’t stop us going back over content covered in the book, or with a descriptive self-assessment quiz. We’ve been working on an interactive tool for UX skills that we’re hoping to launch on the main site soon.

In the meantime, have you checked out the version of Elizabeth Bacon’s UX Sundial by @thomasyung?


That’s really neat! In true academic fashion, I just used PowerPoint at first. Then I tried to do something similar with R’s ggplot2 package, but couldn’t quite get the aesthetics right.

After I finish up my Adobe crash course, I’ll likely give myself abother point in visual design and redo it in photoshop


@treyroady @Lukcha Im exactly going through this and stuck right now! I’m a newbie and have just reached the milestone of getting into my first ux fulltime job. It is hard for me to know what I dont know. I’m looking for a list of items to track my progress and validate my gap so that I can work on improving on those specific areas. What Im doing right now is trying to make a list of the skills and move on to grade myself. I’d be really happy to see what other things I might be missing so that I can improve. Anyone who has worked on this type of list before?


@Lukcha I was just trying to complete my trello board and found out that UX Sundial by @thomasyung is shwoing a 404. Did we take it down or something? :worried:


Aha, thanks for letting us know - I’ve fixed this and it’s now up and working again.


I like your Trello board!

Just a general FYI for people doing assessments, there is a difference between the deliverables and the concept.
So what is a sitemap and how would you use one (under IA) is different than actually creating a sitemap.

Hope that’s helpful!