Anatomy of a UX Practitioner (Samantha Yuen)

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UXPA 2014 Unconference presentation from Samantha Yuen

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Anatomy of a UX Practitioner Samantha Yuen @duzkiez Jul 2014 Image: Play-Grand 2 disclosure: social anxiety disorder 5 years Samantha Yuen @duzkiez / Jul 2014 What personal traits do great UX practitioners possess? Do you really need to like people in order to design for them? 3 Samantha Yuen @duzkiez / Jul 2014 key questions 4 depth interviews Anna Himmanen Lead Consultant, APAC Cresense Raven Chai Principal Consultant UX Consulting Eva Wan Consultant, Analytics Nmbl Consulting Shah Widjaja Consultant, UX Nmbl Consulting Koh Wei Eng Senior Design Ethnographer Joanna Cockle UX Recruiter Xpand Group Michael Ong Senior Product Manager bellabox Manisha Dikshit Qualitative Research Specialist Consumer Faces Shamil Zainuddin Ethnographer Hong Khai Seng Principal Consultant Foolproof Allan Caeg Product Manager mig33 Samantha Yuen @duzkiez / Jul 2014 7 years 6 years 5 years 3 years 8 years 10 years 2 years 7 years 12 years 24 years 1.5 years Nov 2013 5 David Travis Managing Director Userfocus Alvin Chai Co-founder & UX Consultant NetizenTesting.com Luke Chambers Co-founder UX Mastery Chiew Soon Aik UX Consultant NetizenTesting.com Sam Lorraine Chan UI/UX Designer Tripid Philippines Samantha Yuen @duzkiez / Jul 2014 24 year s 4 year s 3 mths 1.5 year s 10 year s United Kingdom Malaysia & Philippines Australia depth interviews Nov 2013 6 Samantha Yuen @duzkiez / Jul 2014 UXPA survey 24 people 1 1 3 6 13 Other Startup Client side Digital agency Consultancy 4 1 3 3 4 3 3 3 Not a practitioner Less than 6 months 6-12 months 1-3 years 3-6 years 6-9 years 9-12 years More than 12 years 7 Samantha Yuen @duzkiez / Jul 2014 Image: Wikihow 8 Samantha Yuen @duzkiez / Jul 2014 top personal traits {68%} Empathetic {64%} Curious {64%} Thinker/Analytical {60%} Communicates well {56%} Open-minded {45%} Observant {37%} Willingness to change {32%} Humble {28%} People person {25%} Honest depth interviews {88%} Good listener {88%} Observant {83%} Open-minded {79%} Thinker/Analytical {75%} Communicates well {73%} Works well with others {71%} Curious {67%} Empathetic {63%} Adaptable {63%} Patient {63%} Willingness to learn UXPA survey 9 Samantha Yuen @duzkiez / Jul 2014 why these traits? At the end of the day, what we are doing is about human beings and for human beings. Methods can be learnt but not how to read people. I trust my ability to read people when hiring someone. We have to deconstruct everyday things, look at processes, deal with different situations and make the unfamiliar, familiar. depth interviews These are traits I have observed in successful practitioners / would value most on a project. Empathy, understanding and collaboration are key elements to deliver valuable and meaningful results. Its important to leave yourself out of the room and be open to what others have to say or do. UXPA survey 10 Samantha Yuen @duzkiez / Jul 2014 someone who doesnt like people anti-social, unfriendly not outgoing very introverted cant communicate well prefers dogs to people despises people causes tension not team player oxymoron two-face not genuine depth interviews not liking people not the same as disliking them its separate from the job dont have to like people to understand them curious and likes solving puzzles emotional distance can help to rise above stereotypes not liking the people you interview close-minded no empathy cant communicate well territorial about his/her designs UXPA survey 11 Samantha Yuen @duzkiez / Jul 2014 do you have to like people? yes 38% no 31% maybe 31% depth interviews UXPA survey yes 12% no 71% maybe 17% 12 Samantha Yuen @duzkiez / Jul 2014 yes, you need to Its arrogance I know whats best for users so they should shut up and accept my design. Users need to know they can trust you and you have to enjoy spending time with people. UX is user experience. If you dont like people, how can you immerse in their lives and understand them? depth interviews Without empathy, youre just an X, not a UX person. Designing for people you dont connect with causes misunderstanding and lowers engagement. UXPA survey 13 Samantha Yuen @duzkiez / Jul 2014 maybe Your work might be good enough but not awesome. But maybe you can care about people and yet not like them. They could bring different perspectives but because they dont trust, fundamentals are not there. If you dont like people, you can get the job done but wont go the extra mile. depth interviews Not 100% sure you can be empathetic while hating users. Empathy is not sympathy. Too often, UX-ers become narcissists by projecting their values and logic into the work. Sometimes designers tend to be emotional if biased towards the target group. Best designers are neutral towards all things. UXPA survey 14 Samantha Yuen @duzkiez / Jul 2014 no, its not necessary You can be interested in human behaviour but dont have to like them. Empathy is not liking people but being able to understand them. Not all chefs have to love eating. As long as you appreciate people. UX is still centred around problem solving. depth interviews You dont have to like someone to understand them. You need to be able to understand your users and be open to their perspectives and past experiences, but you dont have to like them. It could even be helpful to have slight negative feelings towards them, this has been used for concepts such as the anti-persona. UXPA survey 15 Samantha Yuen @duzkiez / Jul 2014 Image: Scientific American Bronislaw Malinowski Founder of social anthropology Most famous for study of natives on Trobriand Islands, Melanesia Study praised for being even-handed without condemnation or condescension 16 Samantha Yuen @duzkiez / Jul 2014 Image: Scientific American On the whole my feelings toward the natives are decidedly tending to Exterminate the brutes. Hatred and contempt Lust for native women Obsessive suspicions of others Image: Good Reads 17 Samantha Yuen @duzkiez / Jul 2014 Image: Wikihow Be objective open-minded & self-aware 18 Samantha Yuen @duzkiez / Jul 2014 thank you. @duzkiez

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