The UX Unicorn is Dead: Soft Skills Beat Coding Skills

September 15, 2017
1:00pm  -  1:50pm
Trinity 6-8
Why do so many internal interaction designers and user researchers feel like they have to fight to get UX research and design done? Is it because we’re not unicorns – that is, researchers, designers AND front-end developers?
No. That’s not the reason.
Here’s why: UX’ers love to explore design and solution spaces. It’s what we do. Some of us even like to code. It’s never been easier, with frameworks, libraries and so many proven patterns for web and mobile.
But we’re not so good at:
– Articulating an experience vision, aligning it with the business’s product vision, and also subtly influencing the product vision through user research dissemination.
– Keeping up the slow, steady, often frustrating work of organizational change and alignment around user needs.
So what’s the fix? UX’ers need to learn to play better with our neighboring disciplines, and learn to more effectively influence up the management chain and across to our neighboring disciplines.
That is, we need to:
  • Learn how to develop implementable strategic visions
  • Understand how tactical action plans must align with business goals
  • Internalize that 50% of our job is to be change agents
In other words, we need to develop our organizational influence skills, aka soft skills.
This presentation will explore this disconnect between what UX’ers think they need to learn, and what hiring managers and their organizations actually need them to do.
This talk will include actual data, in the form of guidance from UX hiring managers, practitioners and leaders from our neighboring disciplines in product and development.
It will also provide guidance for how practitioners can level up their soft skills and how managers can guide their contributors to improve in these areas.

Session Category :  Career Development