Thursday, December 27, 2007

One of the best careers for 2008: User Experience Specialist

Best Careers 2008On the IxDA mailinglist, Chris Dame pointed the subscribers to a US News article on the best careers for 2008 which featured "Usability/User Experience Specialist" on the list of best careers!

The article is a bit heavy on the usability engineer side and a little light on the user experience side but to the general audience that this article was written for, it's a good description of what a lot of people in our field do.

The day in the life" sidebar got some push-back from the IxDA subscribers because it managed to leave out the design part of our job entirely (unless you consider "make recommendations for changes" a description of design activities). I mostly agree but must also say I liked the tone of the section very much. How do you feel about this description of a requirements gathering session: "While you make suggestions and raise questions, for the most part you're a listener. You leave the room with a list of musts, maybes, and questions about the prospective product."? And the last sentence is a realistic description of how I usually feel after a project: "The final product ends up incorporating only some of what you had hoped for, but you still feel a sense of pride for having helped ensure that the [product] will be more effective and pleasurable to use."

I will work to keep this job on the list of best careers in 2009!


Blogger antje said...

Thanks for pointing this one out :-)

Have you checked out USNews' description of a Systems Analyst:

"[...] interviewing users, teasing out what they need as opposed to what they want [...]"

In the past, I've had quite a few projects where system analysts handed us a bunch of use cases, often including UI specs, and asked us to "make them user friendly". In those cases it usually takes quite some patience & persuasion to establish a proper user centered design process.

In corporate IT, I'm afraid there's still a lot of convincing to be done ...

3:58 PM, January 19, 2008  

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