Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Feel proud to be a UX'er...

Usability Experience Specialist is considered as Top30 careers for 2009
Overview: This profession has a hard time agreeing on a name for itself. It's called, for example, user experience specialist, interface designer, information architect, usability practitioner, user-centered design specialist, and usability manager.

Whatever you call them, their job is to help ensure that products, especially technical ones, are easy and pleasurable to use. How? First, they observe and interview potential users to identify their needs and preferences. They may conduct a task analysis to break down the user experience of a product to its component parts and make suggestions for each. After a prototype is developed, they may watch and interview potential users again and suggest revisions. Usability specialists may work, for example, on voting machines, the next generation iPhone, a medical imaging machine, an athletic shoe production line, a shopping website, or a bricks-and-mortar store.

A potential downside of this career is that shortsighted companies believe they can make products without a specifically trained usability expert, so you may have to spend considerable time justifying your service's value. Another drawback is that you may need to make efforts to avoid being typecast as someone who can help design only one kind of product.
Those concerns are usually dwarfed by the ongoing creativity and the good feeling of continually creating products that are a pleasure to use.

A Day in the Life. Because you're the only usability specialist in your company, you're involved in all stages of the product development process. You might actually never get to participate in all aspects in one day, but here, we'll suspend that bit of reality so you can get a better idea of what the career is like.

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