Account Director at Aquent Melbourne Michael Rummery started in the IT sector in London more than 10 years ago. For the last four he’s been helping Australia’s leading corporations find the amazing UX talent they so desperately need to keep up with the fast pace of the digital world.
He’d written this fantastically well-shared article for our Firebrand site that we felt was too good not to pass along!
We all know User Experience is an ever-evolving beast. In the last few years, the digital landscape has meant that UX has changed enormously and you have to keep up.User Experience today is already very different to UX a couple of years ago. We can see the larger corporates relying more on data and analysis to guide their interaction design. The proliferation of wearables and the Internet of Things means the skills of a UX designer has also had to change.Particularly with the Internet of Things, where devices ranging from fridges to buildings are not only online but also communicating with each other to make our lives easier. Soon almost every appliance in the home will be talking to each other, and the fact that they may not even HAVE an interface means that as a UX Designer, more than ever, you need to keep your skills on the cutting edge to stay ahead in today’s market.Recently we completed a survey of working professionals which showed that 49% of people feel they don’t get sufficient training in the workplace and 51% feared that their skills won’t be relevant in the future.
SO WHAT CAN YOU BE DOING NOW TO STAY AHEAD OF THIS EVOLVING MARKET AND KEEP YOUR SKILLS RELEVANT?
Well, the good news it is all down to you!
1. Read, read, read
From books to blogs, there is a huge amount of knowledge out there and with a bit of dedication you can keep learning and keep up to date with trends.
- Start asking questions on sites like Quora where you can connect with influencers and learn about future developments.
- Register with trend tracking websites such as Trend Watching to keep an eye on emerging ideas and technologies.
- Keep up to date with the evolution of design through sites such as UI Movement which is a great resource for design, or UXPin which has a huge library of ebooks.
2. Get closer to the community
As mentioned in a previous post, the UX community are a friendly bunch and love to share information.I am sure there will be a UX or Design Innovation Meetup in your area or get along to a General Assembly campus if you are you are lucky enough to have one nearby. These are invaluable as they bring the community together to share ideas and network. If you aren’t too comfortable with making connections, have a read of this article on the subject for some great tips.There are also some fantastic groups on LinkedIn you can join and start asking questions.
3. Identify a thought leader and start following on social media
Get on twitter and start following the UX thought leaders who are constantly sharing information on a range of UX topics.A few who, if you are aren’t already, you really should be following include Andy Budd, Aarron Walter, and Jared Spool who often share content about new innovation and design whilst engaging in conversations about future trends. I also recommend checking out this list compiled by CreativeBloq the UX ‘who’s who’ on Twitter.
4. (Most importantly) Step up and take control
Your development is down to you. There is a huge amount of knowledge out there, so get involved with Hackathons and other UX community events where you can learn new skills.
It’s up to you to engage with it and take control of your own career. Only you can take the first step on that journey.
The great thing about being in the world of UX is that the community want to develop, are happy to share ideas and push each other.
Just ask them!