Our local UX community asked this question many times. What skills do they need if they want to go into the CX/UX career? To answer it, we invited 50 or more design professionals and enthusiasts together in one of our events.
What do you do?
First we gave out sticky notes. Those who had official “UX/CX” job titles had yellow & orange colored paper while everyone else had pink ones. We had them write what specific recurring tasks they do at work.
Affinity Map Your Sticky Notes
We did an affinity-mapping exercise with the participants. They took their sticky notes and posted it on a huge wall. Together, we grouped tasks that seemed the similar or related.
Label the groups
We then asked participants how they would label each of the main groups.
A number of participants where doing usability testing, user interviews, and surveys. Most of those who posted here had the UX label in their job description.
Another group that was formed included things like front-end coding, managing/updating websites, and content generation. We labeled this the “technical stuff”.
A smaller chunk of notes (that some participants thought was worth labeling) were business-related tasks which included business analysis & relating key performance indicators (KPIs) with the design work.
A huge chunk of post-it notes fell under (what we thought would be) on visual design. These included wireframing, user interface generation, and even prototyping.
Organization & Communications
Another group of tasks included collaboration with other people, managing expectations, design reviews, teaching UX and related tasks.
Spectrum of Design Roles
The output of the exercise reminded me of an article by Jasper Stephenson I read a few months back.
What I thought was missing in Jasper’s article were tasks that related design back to the business. In our affinity mapping exercise, this would be under “Biz Stuff.”
Perhaps this particular set of tasks needed more maturity on the design role. An ability to sell the design process to higher management and relate it to the company’s objectives.
I would think it’s a small but critical role for a designer.
An additional exercise we did in our event was to answer a brief Kano Model type survey individually. We had a pattern where we asked:
- How would you feel doing tasks under [insert affinity map group result]?
The choices were: I like it, I expect it, I’m neutral, I can live with it, I dislike it.
- If you were to conduct research like usability testing or user interviews, how would you feel? (like it, expect it, netural, live with it, dislike it)
This was more for their self reflection than anything else (and a brief intro to the kano model). Hopefully, the participants would see if they really want to take on the UX/CX career path based on whether they liked/disliked the tasks they’ll likely encounter.
What do you think?
So the UX/CX roles these days seem to fall into:
- Visual Design
- Organization & Communication
- Technical Related Work
- Business Related Work
Do you agree with the results? Do you think there is a better way to organize the different design roles or tasks?