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Is it worth obtaining the Certified User Experience Analyst (CXA) qualification from Human Factors International, if I am already a Certified Usability Analyst (CUA)?

Hi, I am a UX designer with 8 years of experience. I did CUA in Oct 2010 and it helped me get a good job, good pay and perform better.

Recently, I heard about the new CXA certification from HFI. It seems to be a very new launch in India and I would like to know if anybody has taken this certification or has any idea about how well it is recognised.

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closed as primarily opinion-based by Michael Lai, Bart Gijssens, Evil Closet Monkey, Joshua Barron, Code Maverick Jul 28 '14 at 14:20

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

So, you want me to figure out what these acronyms are and then make you a carrier suggestion? If you want to be hired by bosses who want you to have the CXA, you should get one, right? – Dirk May 29 '13 at 7:55
As this questions stands, it's too localized. You should reformulate the question and make it more general. Explain the topics they have in the CXA certification and the difference from the CUA course. – Jørn E. Angeltveit May 29 '13 at 12:57
In general: It's never wrong to learn new stuff :-) – Jørn E. Angeltveit May 29 '13 at 12:58

I've only undertaken the CXA course but need to take the CUA exam in order to take the CXA exam which is frustrating.

The one thing I wish I knew is who the course is aimed at. Personally, I find the CXA course very outdated and antiquated. Examples, genuinely from 1992 or earlier. Amazon was barely born. And the slides have not been updated. Of the (6 I believe?) courses I went on, I came out of 4 feeling deflated and 2 feeling elated.

In addition, I'll bat the question back to you: what do you do? I'm a UX Strategist and involved in purely web design where interviews and persona definition is just a small part of my job role. Wireframing, usability, persuasion is 90% of my job role as an example. Of every 20 pieces of information there is probably 1 piece of information that is worthwhile knowing/learning/adhering to for my job role. I do not believe this course was suited for my particular job.

There is also an ROI question here. So in my personal opinion will you directly get the money back you paid for the course and exams? By direct I mean potential wage increase / being favoured by new employers? I would argue yes as the market is saturated with "wannabe" UXers. This is a proven (and one of the only ones!) qualification.

Will you indirectly get your money back from a knowledge perspective? No. You would genuinely do more good if you read 10 articles a day and wrote a blog. Which is, ironically, what I do...!

Hope this helps. the guys at HFI are brilliant by the way - really helpful.

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Thanks David for sharing your views. It will help me take a known decision. By the way, when did you do your CXA! I am curious to know how old is this programm, as it will be launched in India in July for the first time. – Mira Bhatt Jun 3 '13 at 3:21

CUA is for usability, CXA - for user experience, so if you work as UX guy, it's definitely worth to pass.

I'm a CXA and I've passed it from second try, but without any courses or additional preparation. In my opinion, it is not very helpful for my career or knowledge, but it nice to have and as Jørn E. Angeltveit wrote it's never wrong to learn new stuff.

The program is divided by 4 topics:

PET Design™

How to Design for Persuasion, Emotion and Trust (PET Design™) – Advanced techniques to motivate users to explore, discover, interact, and return to an organization's website

PET design™ is rooted in social psychology, and based on Fogg (Persuasive Technology: Using Computers to Change What We Think and Do, 2002), Caldini (Influence: Science and practice, 4th ed., 2001), Weinschenk (Neuro Web Design: What Makes Them Click?, 2009), Norman (Emotional Design: Why We Love (or Hate) Everyday Things, 2005) and other researchers. As you see these books are quite old, but in general, they are classical and, in my opinion, must to read if you're UXer. Basically, you would pass this part if you understand slide below (sorry for bad quality).


Question example:

When an advertisement tells us why a certain product or service is good, it is trying to create an impression using which of the following persuasion principles?

  1. Correlation
  2. Expectation
  3. Framing
  4. Conditioning

The PET Architect

The PET Architect – Engineering persuasion and engagement into strategies, innovations, and online applications

Similar like previous topic, it was about persuasion method and tools, but more from practical side.

Question example:

When users form an automatic response to a particular stimulus, such as always using FedEx for their package delivery service needs, this is called an:

  1. Reinforcement
  2. Habit
  3. Schema
  4. Immersion

How to Design for The Big

How to Design for The Big – User-Centric Innovation and Strategy – Learn to contribute to your organization's strategic planning and thinking on user-centric strategies and product innovation.

In this topic, questions were from business strategy, international & global marketing, organization's management and strategic planning.

Question example:

You are serving as a Certified User Experience Analyst within an organization that is considering several new service ideas for development. You believe that one of the ideas has the best opportunity for rapid growth and healthy profit. So you advocate for a blue ocean strategy. This type of strategy means that the service will be launched into which of the following?

  1. An uncontested market space, making the competition irrelevant
  2. An uncontested market space, making the barriers to entry irrelevant
  3. An uncontested market space, making the competition relevant
  4. An uncontested market space, making the differentiation irrelevant

How to Support Institutionalization of a Mature UX Practice

How to Support Institutionalization of a Mature UX Practice – Culture change, industrial strength practices, and knowledge management

As I understand, this topic is based on Institutionalization of Usability: A Step-by-Step Guide by Eric Schaffer. It was hardest part for me. There were questions from marketing, organization management, medicine (e.g. medical devices for UX/usability testings) and other.

Question example:

As a Certified User Experience Analyst, you noticed that your organization's approach to screen design is still fairly ad hoc, and the designers do not leverage reusable components. You determine it would be more productive if your organization developed a:

  1. User interface structure
  2. High-fidelity simulation
  3. Pattern library
  4. Methodology
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