Looking back over the last five years, we can reflect on how far the U.S. has come and how the field continues to evolve. It’s an exciting time to work in U x. And just as important as looking back, we must also look ahead to the future. And though we don’t have a crystal ball, we think the future of U. X looks pretty bright. Here at the U.S. conference in Las Vegas, we asked conference attendees to share where they see you in five years.
Here’s what they said. You said five years. It looks like it looks like us. It looks like people. It looks like users. It looks like the way people think that things should look because really good design people notice they’re like, wow, that is so fantastic. It’s slick. It looks good. You X good. You X good. SCIEX nobody notices it. Nobody goes home. Wow. That’s really good. You know the old adage you x only you actually notice is when it goes wrong. So you x looks like us, you x looks like everything around us but done really well. It gets out of the way and when we stop noticing it is when we’re doing a really, really good job in terms of where it’s going to be in five years.
It depends. It’s going to depend a lot, I think, on the X practitioners. I think the opportunities there now, it’s how we realize it.
I think there’s a lot of emerging technologies like I augmented reality, virtual reality, all these different new emerging technologies that us as UK’s practitioners are going to have to find different ways to approach, find new patterns that work much in the same way that when iPhone first came out, we didn’t necessarily know what the heck to do or how best to design for it. And now we very much do. So I think that’s going to be the same with some of these emerging technologies coming forward.
UKCS, I think is going to impact many facets of the industry I think is going to take off in a very big way.
Well, I do not see it fading away or somehow being realized that it’s not valuable. I think the only way from here is up for you. So that’s that’s a good thing everywhere.
I hope I have so many products that I use these days that I can tell a lot of UX has gone into them and that makes me really happy.
I hope to see that in everything, everything that I use, I think we are already seeing a wide adoption of you and it’s going to get even more exciting. And I think the emphasis will be more towards health care and many different industries. I think the focus on people will always be there and that’s not going to change.
I see continued focus on shifting those mindsets from a focus on interface to a focus on humans and human centered design and investing in the resources and the tools to to do that deeper research and to and engage those principles and practices and execute on them usability, testing, user interviews, all those things are just so core to what we do.
I don’t see those going away any time soon. The user isn’t going away. So we’re not going to go away in our interactions with the user and how we get the data that’s going to make their lives easier.
The UX Maturity Model
During our Q&A session, the June virtual UKCS conference attendee asked Jacob Nielsen about U.S. maturity, is it still true that it can take 20 years to reach the highest level of U.S. maturity? Is that highest level even attainable? Here’s what Jacob had to say.
The basic U.S. maturity model, which is described on our website, is is still really true. But that said, we’re actually working on some kind of refinements and extensions to it. And so stay tuned for new articles that they’ll describe that course. We’re still doing kind of alpha test on these new ideas, but that’s, generally speaking, just adding more facets, a more aspect to be considered so that the general lessons are still the same. And I think some of the general lessons from even from the 15 years ago work were, first of all, that there is a progression of stages. That’s the first thing that’s important. And if you’re in a given state, that’s where you are and you can’t just say, well, we’re going to go from here, we go up there just overnight, that’s just impossible because there’s a lot of different things that all have to kind of track in parallel and including, you know, a lot of organizational resistance and lot of skill development among the team, both the team and the Nonu people as well. So and budgets and very many, many, many things anyway, that all need to move up. And you can’t just go from one to the other because that’s that’s the kind of the maturity thing is you’re just not ready for that super fancy way of doing things. If you have been to all that, everything is is made for doing it down here instead. So that’s a lesson that that definitely still holds. This is even more things to consider now as the world has evolved, we have that kind of highest level, which with the user centered, a user driven corporation, which is kind of rare, not that many companies are there. And one of the kind of insights we’ve been getting is that it’s not always just a linear progression of an ever better known, but there’s also a regression as well. It can sometimes it can be hard for a company as they expand and grow to stay at this very, very highest level of U.S. engagement. So sometimes because they just hire thousands or hundreds of thousands of people and sometimes that can cause like a regression. But again, not like from the highest, the lowest in over a week. Right. But it’s not only up. That’s just kind of a lesson there. Also, it’s still something that takes a long time because of the many things you had to move along. And that’s why you can move from when you move from one state to the next, you’re going to be there for a while and let that simmer or evolve and kind of permeate the organization and upscale everybody. And that just takes time. So if you are really aggressive and you have great management support now, you can you can expedite, accelerate the step movement. And if you have a lot of resistance is going to be more slow moving. But in any case, it’s not going to go from many, many, many steps in one year. That just cannot be done.
If you’re new to the field of user experience, creating a portfolio can be intimidating as a new grad or as a career changer, you may wonder what exactly you should put in your portfolio. My advice is to take a user centered approach to building a portfolio here. Your user is a hiring manager. What does that hiring manager need to know about you and about your work? Keep your user in mind when deciding what types of project to include and what types of research deliverable to feature in your portfolio. What types of projects should you include? If you’re a student or a recent graduate, then class and group projects can show off many of the skills that you’ll need at work. Focus on your research process, focus on your learning and focus on how you worked with others. If you do some UX related work now but are looking to move into a new role, write about how you introduce best practices into your existing work. If you can show projects in your portfolio where you brought elements of user centered design into what you worked on in a pastoral, then you’ll show off your initiative and your adaptability. You’ll need both of those as you grow as a professional. If your current job has nothing to do with the field of UX and there’s no way to fit research into your day to day duties, consider taking on volunteer projects. Working with a nonprofit or with a cause that you care about can be a great way to gain experience and to hone your unique skills. Personal projects can also be a great addition to your portfolio. What types of research deliverable should you feature whenever possible? Show deliverables directly from your research if you made a study plan as part of a class project show, excerpts from that plan include some of the tasks that you see testing participants to carry out sketches, early concepts and wire frames are also helpful. Strong portfolios tell a story. For this reason, it’s also helpful to include deliverables that summarize your research findings. If you made a presentation about what you learned include highlights from that presentation in your portfolio, quotes from study participants are extremely valuable in a portfolio, and they support the story that you’re telling. It can be tough to get your start in the field of user experience, but a strong portfolio helps you land that first role in building a portfolio with well-chosen projects and compelling research. Deliverables is a step towards beginning your career in this growing and exciting field.