Hiring UX professional help – a #UXChat round-up Industry blogger Jake Pryzslak and our UX community discuss the different approaches to hiring for UX

for hire

I am relatively new to market research and user experience so when asked to take the reins of #UXChat I thought it would be a superb opportunity to share ideas and collaborate with others.

The following opinions are an accumulation of my own thoughts and of others who joined the conversation.

Just in case you’re new to UXChat, here’s a little background to our weekly UX conversation where you can rub virtual shoulders with some of the most knowledgeable ‘UXperts’ on the planet, every Thursday at 4pm.

Hiring professional UX help

Hiring user experience staff can be costly. You look at someone’s CV, maybe interview them once or twice and then make a decision whether you want to let someone take the reins and develop your user experience, something that could make or break your business… scary or what!?

Especially if you are a start-up or an organisation that has job-shared user experience across the team.

Here’s some advice from the UX community:

Do we always need to gather opinions and thoughts in silos or from internal staff? You could argue that yes we do, because then decisions and opinions are acted on quickly and communication is clear. However, what about a combination of both internal and external UX help from key experts and influencers in the field? To test hypotheses, deliver new user research or to even help to run through new ideas?

Where do you go in a competitive industry where one organisation is trying to get the better of another, but at the same time, the user experience is very similar?

I also think the demand for senior UX designers or junior UX designers with some sort of relevant experience is actually outweighed by what is available in the talent pool.

If companies have budget, they would jump straight on the bandwagon for a senior UX designer but this is not always the case because:

  • There is a limited talent pool of senior UX designers who simply haven’t been trained enough or don’t have time/experience in the workplace. As issue that will exist for years if this growing issue is not addressed.
  • Many organisations who hire a new UX designer are start-ups and don’t have the funds to throw at a senior UX designer.

There are similarities in positions, but there are a number of key differences between a junior and a senior UX designer:

  • Junior UX designers: students leaving a reputable UX design training course or university have learned the theories and have practiced the fundamental tools in a UX designer’s tool box. Some will have new and swanky toys, but many will have only just unpackaged those tools – meaning their experience has only been concentrated on courses and modules. But they will be buzzing with enthusiasm!
  • Senior UX designers: There are a large number of senior UX designers who may also have different titles but their particular interests are underpinned by UX. This could be controversial, but I would estimate many individuals who are looking for jobs, may put UX next to their title or previous roles. To some degree I don’t blame them, but they do not actually have any relevant experience and often lack the full knowledge of a fully-fledged UX designer. I am sure once interviewed, this would be pulled apart.

However, let’s not forget that both roles would have to:

  • Conduct customer research
  • Believe in customer-led thinking
  • Test concepts and ideas with target groups
  • Collaborate and communicate well with the team and other departments

There are so many skills I could mention that a UX designer requires even if they are junior or senior from research, collaboration, design, coding, analytics and communication. But the most important skill to have is empathy.

When you are able to wear your customer’s shoes this can be powerful and constructive. When you become detached from the individuals who are going to use your design, you fail to design for the needs of your customers.

Thanks so much for everyone who took part in #UXchat this week. Please follow us and tune into Twitter every Thursday at 4pm for more insightful UX based discussion.

Our UX blog is on the move...

We're now publishing all of our brand new content on the UserZoom UX blog. All of our previously published articles will also be migrating to UserZoom over the coming months.

Don't worry, we'll still be just as accessible, interesting, helpful and entertaning as ever. We just have a different name and an owl instead of a question mark for a logo.

Come say hello!

Main image by Clem Onojeghuo

Jake Pryszlak

Jake is a senior researcher based in the United Kingdom. Whilst having a hands on role in the sector, Jake is the founder of Research Geek. A market research blog where he shares his own opinions on hot market research topics. He also guest blogs and writes articles and white papers for international organisations. A jack of all trades, from researcher, blogger to speaker.

Leave a Reply