User Experience is by far the best career choice I have made in my life. Sure, I am only 30 and sure, there is a big buzz around it, but is it all that bad? I mean, I see a lot of things around the digital product sphere that make me go meh(!) but there are some exceptional services out there. We could say that this could be the real web 2.0 huh?
With those thoughts in mind, I want to share a few skills that I like to use, and to me, is what makes my job enjoyable, and drives my motivation to get always better and learn more.
1. Using Whiteboards
Getting handy with your design thinking is a great asset. It is a far more interactive process than just sitting on your computer using a software. It is also a cheap solution; you need a whiteboard marker and maybe some sticky notes.
Whiteboards provide 3 great advantages in my opinion. First, you can see macro details, a specific piece of information at hand and expand its characteristics. Second, you can zoom out, take a few steps back and see the big picture of the whole process you are drawing. And third, you can involve your team as it can be a fun way to get the ideas flowing.
Designers often head workshops. We test products with people. We get all the ideas around us from people. Interpersonal skills, empathy, leadership and business intelligence are skills that make us important members of every team.
Being a designer equals being a people’s person. Yes, I am not afraid to admit it! Being able to see the critical values of your team is invaluable and a rather acquired skill. The correct term here could be facilitation.
Sometimes this is a dreaded tool. But for the love of whatever design god you are following, DOCUMENT your processes. I have learned this the hard way when I had to make my portfolio for the first times seriously. I have had projects that I did not have any evidence I have worked on them with any logical process in mind.
Nowadays, I design wireframes, I draw on whiteboards, I design on Sketch and I create lists of tasks to do. All of those things are documented, with pictures and words, written down in case studies or small articles. The value for my future projects and my own sanity, and the ability to revisit my steps, see my mistakes etc, are tools that I see as must-have.
We need to stop worrying about proving the value of design and just focus on outcomes that provide value.
— Denis Weil