Experience Required How to become a UX leader regardless of your role

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2015-11-30
  • Publisher: New Riders
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For all the resources on great design, there is almost nothing on how to be a great design professional. For all the schools and classes and workshops on what constitutes a good user experience, there is not one bit of formalized education on how to earn the respect of your team and get your recommendations out the door.

Sure, they’ll teach you how to do user research and testing and interaction design. They’ll teach you about process. But where’s the book on how to convince people you’re right? On what skills will make you the most valuable? How to fend off the bad ideas and fight for the good ones? How to move from junior to senior? How to become a UX leader?

In Experience Required, veteran UX strategist Robert Hoekman Jr reveals the following and much more:
• the pros and cons of generalists, specialists, and “unicorns”
• the art and imperative of forming a good argument
• why communication may be your biggest obstacle
• the qualities and actions of effective design leaders
• why being unreasonable might be the key to your success

Whatever your role, Experience Required teaches you to become the UX leader you’ve always wanted to be.

Take charge of your next project starting right now.

Author Biography

Robert Hoekman Jr is a prolific writer and veteran UX strategy consultant. He has written hundreds of articles and several books on design topics, including Designing the Obvious, Designing the Moment, and Web Anatomy (with Jared Spool). Robert has spoken to packed rooms at web conferences all over the world. He lives in downtown Phoenix, Arizona. Learn more about him at www.rhjr.net.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction
1.1. Who You Are and Why You’re Reading This
1.2. Inside: The Things No One Tells You
1.3. Not Inside: How to Design
1.4. Key Terms
1.4.1. UX
1.4.2. Design

2. Semantics and Situations
2.1. Types of Designers and What They (Should) Do
2.1.1. The Nebulous “Web Designer” The moving target of “designer” Potentially good, not likely great What specialism buys you
2.1.2. UX Strategist Research Strategy definition UX review and analysis
2.1.3. User Researcher Research, obviously Data analysis
2.1.4. UX Designer Wireframing Prototyping
2.1.5. Graphic Designer The value and role of graphic design Why it isn’t UX
2.1.6. Front-End Designer
2.1.7. Usability Analyst Usability tests Data analysis UX review Recommendations
2.1.8. Purple Squirrels (and Why They’re Irrelevant)
2.1.9. T-Shaped People
2.1.10. On Youth and Inexperience What to expect What to do
2.2. Design Situations
2.2.1. UX Soloist
2.2.2. UX Team
2.2.3. The In-House Team Pros and cons
2.2.4. The Remote Team Pros and cons
2.3. Design Leaders
2.3.1. The Shape of Leadership UX team member UX director Non-UX stakeholders in charge of a designer or team

3. The Interview Table
3.1. Evaluating a Designer
3.1.1. What They Talk About
3.1.2. How They Talk About It
3.1.3. Who they should meet
3.1.4. What to find out
3.1.5. Who recommended them
3.2. Evaluating a Potential Employer or Client
3.2.1. What they say, what they mean, and how to know the difference
3.3. Aiming for An Educated Risk
3.3.1. Research
3.3.2. Beware of spin Human Resources spin The consultant’s marketing spin Merit over marketing
3.4. Interview Tactics
3.4.1. Presentation with Q&A
3.4.2. What it should achieve
3.4.3. The all-day pressure-fest
3.4.4. Contract as interview

4. Habits of Effective Designers
4.1. Question Everything (status quo, best practices, whims, etc)
4.2. Rationalize
4.3. Educate
4.4. Convince
4.5. Stay Calm
4.6. Never Mind the Bollocks
4.7. Speak Up
4.8. Take Criticism Well
4.9. Invite, Include, Consider
4.10. Influence at Every Turn
4.11. Always Talk Psychology
4.12. Give Credit Away
4.13. Be Unreasonable
4.14. When Evidence Fails

5. Habits of Effective Design Leaders
5.1. The Very Little Difference Between Designers and Design Leaders
5.2. Who Works for Whom (Seth Godin on what it means to be the boss)
5.3. The One Who Does It Better and Makes It Better (mentorship)
5.4. Create Context (consistently map their roles to the overriding vision)
5.5. Do What You Ask
5.6. Hire Well
5.7. Teach Them to Teach
5.8. Clear Paths (what gets managed vs. what should get managed)
5.9. Let Them Improve (let them do the harder work they're passionate about)
5.10. Create Context (always communicate the vision and map roles and actions to it)

6. Habits of Effective Design Teams
6.1. Tools, Not Processes
6.1.1. Agile
6.1.2. Lean
6.1.3. What Happens in Real Life
6.1.4. Why None of It Matters
6.1.5. How a Successful Team Looks
6.2. Celebrating Each Other, Not Yourselves
6.3. Team Agendas and Strategies
6.4. Team Structures
6.4.1. Silos and Why They Suck
6.4.2. Hub and Spoke
6.4.3. Central Design

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