Legal style balance scale in front of library books
Legal style balance scale in front of library books

One of the first steps I take when I come into an organization with low UX Maturity, is to establish user research as a regular part of the design & development process. At this stage, the goal is to start designing with user feedback in some form on a regular basis. Typically this involves creating a user research panel and introducing the team to the value created by observing and speaking with customers. This demonstrates the value of user-driven design and helps the entire company rally around customer needs.

However, at some point, organizations need to move past user interviews and usability testing. Yet many never do. It amazes me how difficult it is to find even UX Designers (even at a senior level) who have experience with more than just user interviews or usability testing. There are MANY different types of research. …

Hiring manager looking at resume with a candidate present.
Hiring manager looking at resume with a candidate present.
© memyjo / https://stock.adobe.com

Since my first job more than 25 years ago, I have been fascinated with resumes. It is one area in which there’s no shortage of opinions. It can be difficult to wade through all that advice. Here is just some of the advice I’ve been given over the years:

  • Multi-page (be complete, don’t hide experience)
  • No photo (avoid prejudice in the screening process)
  • Add a photo (be more personal and memorable)
  • Customize resume & cover letter before every application
  • Optimize for “keywords” to get through Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS)
  • Showcase your visual design skills (for designers)
  • Don’t get creative, make it purely…

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It’s necessary for leaders to not only be focused on what is happening right now, but planning for the future as well. I worked with an executive once who always compared leadership to altitude. He said that a front-line manager needs to live at the 5,000-foot view, a director at the 15,000-foot view, and an executive at the 30,000-foot view. He correlated this to how far ahead each leader should be looking. There are 2 leadership analogies most of us will recognize that fit right in with this concept.

Swoop and Poop

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Most of us have experienced executive “swoop and poop” sometime in our careers. An executive or other leader in the organization swoops in to get “caught up” on what designers are working on, and then proceeds — seemingly without context — to give us a list of changes to the design that need to be made. They come down from their altitude to drop their poop, then they’re gone, until the next time they swoop in. …


Jeremy Bird

People-focused UX leader, designer, mentor, & problem-solver.

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