One of my friends is a UI engineer and he asked me one day—”Can you teach me UX design?”
It made me think of what I should teach him. If I ever plan to run a coaching program for beginners to help them learn what is UX design, will I teach them user research, or designing wireframes, or information architecture, or the design tools? Will I teach them form design practices too? And writing error messages?
What do I need to teach them so that they feel confident and capable enough to start practicing UX design? I thought, and then I tweeted my thoughts.
Journalism—teaches interviewing which is so important to ask the right questions at the right time to the right person.
Art—doing sketches, doodles, shapes, interface, models, journey steps such as for the checkout, and to absorb the color pressure.
Politics—every UX designer knows what it means, to work with policy makers, compliance, policy framing, and finding ways when the windows are closed. Scott Berkun wrote something on why designers do not love politics.
UX is easy to begin with but it gets complicated as we advance in our career. This is because we learn with experience how our early stage design knowledge was so limited and there are tons of variables that we never considered—inclusion, compliance, society-centricity, working with other functional leaders, leadership, and product sense. There are challenges even if we enjoy these.
Sometimes they do not give you the chance to do what you want to do or what you can actually do—it could be budget, compliance, education, or the system itself. Building the advocacy skills is so important as we advance in our career which means there are always some people who find it difficult to work with you.
This is why I say that design lives in the conversations, in the people and in the systems.