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35

Start working on your 10,000 hours any way you can. That means reading up on material concerning the field, diving in and applying for a job, hacking away at something as a hobby, keeping up with industry developments, paying attention to the thought leaders (eg. Jakob Nielsen, Jared Spool, Steve Krug, etc) and asking lots of questions. So I'd expect to see ...


17

I just hired a new UX person last week, right out of school. Some highlights of my inspirational (imho) UX talk with him: Always be observing and analyzing. Why is the ceiling this tall? Who is that? Why do they do it that way? When do they decide this? How do they figure it out? Which? What? Never, ever, ever nod your head and say you got it when ...


17

Your assumption is correct, items ordered in a vertical list rather than a horizontal list or as a grid is a lot easier on the eyes to scan. The reason is quite straight forward, horizontal lists need to span a larger area and therefore the user has to move their focus larger distances which is tiring on the eyes. Same thing with grids, here the user has ...


15

I would cite real research (don't actually ask them to read it, they probably won't) that proves your point, and show them some well-known sites as examples. Also take the information from those links you mentioned and apply it to their website. Be confident in your assessments and advice. Your clients aren't totally wrong about "the fold" though. Take a ...


12

1) Be a life-long learner: Take every opportunity to add to your knowledge (workshops, books, conferences, courses) even after your official studies are done. 2) Mentoring: - Get a ux mentor: They can be an invaluable source of feedback and support for growth. Many ia/ux associations and groups can help connect mentors/protégés, e.g. IAI has an ...


10

Everything does not need to be above the fold, however the important things do. In my field, eCommerce, the fold has been very real. Putting a call to action above the fold has increased our conversion rates on average. Same thing with e-mail campaigns. I have found this simple tool from google to be very helpful in determining the fold area. ...


9

You're doing a lot of things right, and there's more you do. For example: Get hands-on experience. Is there a possibility of a practicum or co-op opportunity through school? Or volunteer opportunities? Start building, or keep building, your portfolio (samples of your work). This is easier than you might think. For example, when you get assignments that ...


9

I got my PhD in cognitive psychology, then researched and taught it (lecturer/assistant prof) for the last nine years before deciding to move into UX. You don't have to go my route ;o) but I'd say that it's a really useful subject in which to get a little experience, mainly for the following three reasons: Being able to explain to your UX team the science ...


8

The thing that makes a great UX designer is this: Look around you. What do you see? Who made those things? Why did they make them that way? Why is the ceiling that tall? Who decided on the spacing of the boards in the floor? Why is the size of your pants measured in inches? Why is an inch exactly that long? Why did you want to buy that kind of dish ...


8

Mostly agree with what Rahul said - but I'd like to especially emphasise one thing. Practice doing user experience work. Practice it a lot. Reading blogs, books, papers, and courses are all great. But knowing how to apply that knowledge is a different thing. The real learning comes when you try and apply your knowledge, make mistakes, and fix 'em. You ...


8

I agree with Rahul, some very good points there. Having a solid background as a developer helps me a lot during my work as a user experience designer (I used to develop websites, but quickly moved to UXD). You know the techniques (and their limitations) you work with. In my opinion this helps you design (technically) realistic products that are possible ...


8

The intent of modal windows is to serve situations when it’s logically impossible to proceed without completing an activity This includes things like getting the user name and password before interacting with a page or window, or confirming a dangerous action, or waiting for protracted processing that cannot be conducted in the background (e.g., ...


8

You'll want to convey the benefits of proper tagging to her. What's in it for her? Show her that, demonstrate how it works, and you'll get buy-in. Your user sounds like a scientist. She'll get it. I'm guessing that you're absolutely right about this being a mental model mismatch. She seemed to think you were looking for alt text, based on the sample you ...


6

You might find the calendar of events provided by interaction-design.org useful. It's very comprehensive and available in a number of formats. I'd also recommend attending any unconference events in your local area. I've had a fantastic time at various BarCamps. You'll probably find a local UX Book Club in your area (or you could always set up your own.)


6

A personal bête noire is the near universal misinterpretations of Miller's "The Magical Number Seven, Plus or Minus Two" paper. People keep applying it in completely inappropriate ways - like the maximum number of items in a pull down menu. Grrrr! Another would be people who don't think accessible web design isn't important for them and then wonder why the ...


6

For starters, welcome to my world :). Coming to how I normally handle similar situations at work : Identify the management who is willing to listen to you: In my experience, Most managers still consider user experience as the same as UI or content management ( I had a manager who thinks all that was to user experience was proper grammar and pretty ...


6

You should cater the input to the particular usage. In this case it is a Hangman game, so do some research around how other Hangman games work. As some extensive research shows (i.e. doing a quick Google Images search for 'Hangman Game' it shows that the far more popular route is to take an alphabetical approach. Now, this is far from a conclusive ...


5

I work with a LOT of developers. They are highly intelligent and have a certain logical mindset that makes them very good at being developers. It's easy to believe that everyone thinks like you do, which I can assure you they do not. In addition to what the others have said, I would suggest that you spend time watching users. Get inside their heads to see ...


5

At the end of the day return on investment (ROI) is key. If you can prove to your employer or client that it's worth the money you're asking them to spend, they will spend it. I've worked on both sides of the camp, as an employed UX Professional and as a consultant. as an employee I realised the the value of user experience long before it was established ...


5

We built an online game last year targeted at middle and primary school students with the goal of helping them learn maths. The idea was that they would challenge each other to answer math questions. Much of the design was inspired by StackOverflow. Some principles we used: Competition inspires collaboration. In games like New Super Mario Bros. Wii, ...


5

I think you're looking at one really good example here on ux.stackeachange.com - where players in a given space are given tools to not only add value, but to have the ranking or their value democratically monitored and adjusted by the community. Essentially there are 3 motivations in the game space that stem from the "I'm Awesome" perspective: Personal ...


5

I've always liked this idea for a quiz - which I came across years ago in hard copy format, so there are probably other versions around. The basic format is that it says at the beginning Read all the questions before starting But as users can see lots of exciting questions they generally ignore this instruction and just start doing the questions. You ...


5

This is a topic always undergoing debate. I have friends who say you can’t be both a developer and a User Experience engineer. I think this view is old school and a sign of fear not interested in or wanting to learn user experience. It’s like saying that you can’t build a house you have made the blueprints for. Others, like myself, know that it’s perfectly ...



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