How to level up your UX Career

As careers in UX continue to gain popularity, AJSmart’s Brittni Bowering shows how can you set yourself apart

Whereby
Whereby
Jun 13 · 3 min read

UX design as a career path has gained a lot of popularity in recent years which means that the competition within the industry is growing right along with it. On one hand, this is a great opportunity! There’s more investment in the industry, more jobs popping up and more opportunity for career growth. However, it’s worth noting that it’s also easier than ever to create a “good” product. At this point, junior designers have access to all the tools and patterns they need to easily create products that look and feel professional.

The point is, if you’re looking for sustainable career growth in UX design, you might have to look outside of your technical skillset. A product designer who can contribute to a company’s strategic vision will fare far better than one who can make things look nice.

Get a Seat at the Executive Table

As the UX industry gets more saturated with able designers, relying on your design skills isn’t what’s going to get you ahead. Businesses will need people who can find the connection between business strategy and product development. That’s where the Design Sprint comes in. The Design Sprint allows for cross functional teams to come together, share information, align on a challenge, come up with a variety of solutions and ultimately make decisions faster than ever before. The process is a cold, systemized set of exercises that guides teams from a state of ambiguity to a clear concise direction. If you are able to solve big business challenges and build products and services that are in line with the growth trajectory of your company, you’ll quickly earn yourself a seat at the executive table.

So, what is a Design Sprint?

A Design Sprint is a process where you go from a basic idea or challenge to a user tested prototype in just 1 week. The process involves bringing cross-functional teams together to work through a challenge by going through a series of very specific exercises. You begin by aligning the team on the challenge, ideating and producing solutions, making a high-fidelity prototype and testing it with real users. The process was developed by former Google Ventures partner, Jake Knapp in an attempt to assess a startup’s idea as quickly as possible. The Design Sprint allowed their team to decide if an idea was worth their investment, in only a week. It’s no wonder the process caught on so quickly.

How can you get started?

At AJ&Smart, we’ve run hundreds of Design Sprints, and we’ve also trained thousands of people on how to run them themselves. So we know getting started can definitely be a bit overwhelming. Luckily, there’s a lot of information out there to help you out! The following are the three videos we’d recommend that you watch if you’re interested in jumping into the land of Design Sprints!

This video gives you a full break down of the Design Sprint process!

This video walks you through the 5 essential tools you’ll need to run design sprints!

This video describes when you should run a design sprint and on what kinds of challenges!

If you’d like to learn more about how you can boost your career in UX, you should subscribe to the AJ&Smart Youtube channel!

If you want to attend our free web-class on how to run and sell design sprints, check that out here!

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