The last 2 weeks have seen me taking some time to look inwards and think about what I’m doing in terms of my UX career.
Change of direction
In my conversations with the Scottish Tech Army (STA), my current line manager and, I guess, with myself – I’ve started to look at things differently.
It’s clear that I am exactly where I am supposed to be.
Each of my roles capitalises on a combination of my skills and lets me get involved with project work that matters, which is great, but I keep on trying/wanting to improve my practitioner skillset.
Already been doing it
Given that I’ve been a UX designer for 5+ years at this point, it’s safe to say that I’ve been doing the work.
I’ve been using a user centred design process throughout this period, and I’ve been doing what was necessary to improve the UX of whatever product / service I was working on at the time.
Well done me!
So to try and continue to develop those skills seems, almost wasteful – that kind of development (for me) happens on the job, as I’m doing the work.
I’m not new to this anymore
Even with a number of years of experience, when starting a new job (as I am now) it’s easy to feel like a beginner.
Fortunately, in my experience, you quickly remember/realise that you’re only new to the company/team.
The years spent working with a variety of clients, across a range of industries, on all manner of projects brings with it a certain level of confidence that can only fully develop with time and experience.
Those that are just starting out
It’s become clearer to me that more and more of the people I’m working with are a bit ‘greener’ in their experience.
They are just taking their first steps in UX or UI design and they haven’t quite got that confidence in themselves and their abilities/knowledge.
This is where I now see that my development focus should be.
My progression is more likely to come from growing that aspect of my skills, coaching/mentoring junior designers to help them bring on their skills and to build their confidence levels.
Now feels like the time to concentrate more on finding other ways to help others get deeper into UX rather than trying to almost start again for myself.
And that’s the direction that I see this site going from here on.
Fortunately, the opportunity to grow some professional UCD communities is surfacing both in my fulltime role and with the STA – everything seems to have been moving in this direction without me even noticing!