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A Letter to an aspiring UXer

Photo credit: @mantashesthaven

Being a ‘Successful’ anything is all mindset & lifestyle. Obsess over your passion. For UXers, our passion is the intersect of psychology and creativity. UX Design is about how to logically solve a product problem that enhances the experience of people.

Here are 10 UX morals and ethics to go by:

1. The audience analysis

Tapping into the psyche of the target audience is about analysis. You need to dig. For example; if your demographic are fitness freaks based in NSW. Gather data by asking things like; Who do they exercise with?; What food types are in their diet? etc. Answer with factual evidence to discover metrics that develop a deeper understanding of your target audience, and their background. For authentic data, use social media to find influencers.

2. The elements & principles

Understanding the elements & principles of UX/ UI justifies your design decisions. Composition is a good example. If you are designing a website that targets the western world, should you use a left-to-right Z-Pattern or F-Pattern? Your product needs to be Usable/ Useful/ Accessible/ Valuable/ Findable/ Credible/ Desirable.

3. The online presence

Deep and meaningful design is about thought process. Ensure your website/ social media profiles are specific in how you think. Explain how you solve complex problems in a simplistic manner. Emphasise on adaptable process; user research, information architecture, wireframing, prototyping, GAP/ SWOT analysis, user journeys/ flows/ personas & archetypes. This is UX.

4. The everyday things

UX is life. Think like a UXer, in all walks of life. Take a step back and think about your user experience when using house-hold tech – how would you improve on the experience/ design? Do you agree that each aspect adds product value? This mindset will crossover into your work life.

5. The literature

When you can’t travel, understand different cultures and ways of life by reading. When you understand the world, you understand the needs of people without physically travelling. Explore new topics. By embarking on learning expeditions, you never know what outside source could inspire your next big project.

6. The language

Listen and absorb the language of UX/ Design/ Psychology from interactions, podcasts, videos & the like. Then communicate your understanding. You will build trust with your clients/ customers/ coworkers. If you can explain it in a stakeholder meeting, then you have succeeded.

7. The pro inspiration

Inspiration is everywhere. You can be inspired by a person, place or thing, whatever works for you. My core influences are Massimo Vignelli – for grids, Don Norman – for psyche, Paula Scher – for branding, Stefan Sagmeister – for thinking, Clay Agency – for process & Apple – for usability. Draw in suitable techniques & methods to enhance your own.

8. Interviewing

If you are attending interviews, and have hit a wall, use each failed interview as a learning opportunity to solve the problem as to why. Try different tactics in each interaction. Fine tune your conversation and keep your contacts on file.

9. Speak up

Never be afraid to voice your professional opinion. If you are emphatically convinced that your suggestion adds positivity to the end user, just do it. Stick your neck out for UX. It won’t go unnoticed.

10. Daily improvement

Reflect on your day, ask yourself what you learned, and hone your skill by improving just 1% each day. Then when you exceed your own expectations, set the bar higher.

Nothing will ever beat hard work to improve your career, but more importantly, you improve yourself. Stay consistent with your processes, methods and techniques. If you fail, use failure as your fuel for proactivity. Shift your mindset to a winners mentality, and put in the extra hours to take your skill set to the next level, and conquer your career.

A Letter to an aspiring UXer was originally published in UX Planet on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.