Advice for UX Juniors

Posted By Debbie on January 11, 2018

I’ve read some online posts in 2017 offering advice to UX juniors… and I disagreed with some of it. One article written by a hiring manager actually said that one thing he looks for when hiring juniors is if they’re getting promoted every 2-3 years. He wants to see that drive to move up… and get the promotion.

Well then they’re not juniors, are they.

How about some real advice for people in their first or second entry level job? This isn’t all my advice but it’s a few tidbits for now!

I use Lorem Ipsum

Or if I have a client or project with a good sense of humour, Startup Ipsum or Bacon Ipsum. But I have a technique for using it that I want to share. Let’s say I need to show that a paragraph of roughly a certain size will be in a certain spot. I use Lorem Ipsum but I combine it with the intention of the copy. I’m not (usually) the copy writer but as a UX chick, I can convey what it’s shooting for.

This helps the rest of my team, the client, everybody. Yes it’s not final. Yes it’s a little generic. But showing the intention helps a lot. Here are examples.

Lorem Ipsum section headline about juniors getting promotions but staying juniors

Lorem Ipsum if you had been getting promotions, you wouldn’t be a junior so how can someone expect juniors to have been getting promotions. Bacon ipsum dolor amet chicken cupim rump drumstick pork loin meatball cow burgdoggen prosciutto tenderloin pork chop tri-tip brisket. Tri-tip biltong meatball chuck, flank pork loin sausage bacon hamburger chicken brisket prosciutto shankle venison ham.

Stay Away From “I”

I’ve seen advice for juniors like “know your biases.” That’s hard for most people in any job at any age. There’s another way to aim for that: Stop saying I. Don’t say, “I think…” or “I want this to….” You’re probably not designing for you. If you are in the target audience, you should still present everything as being user-centered. The user… the customer… our target audience… our persona(s)…

Stay away from I or me. If you make it about you, someone else on the team can make it about them and then it’s a bad wrestling match… what you like vs what that other teammate likes. Keep everybody focused on the customer.

  • Which of our customers’ problems does this solve?
  • Do you have data or research that shows user behaviour, user problems, user feedback, etc…?

It’s OK to Validate a Crappy Idea

Validate lightly! People want to feel heard and understood. This is where neutral language can really help you. These all sound better than, “No,” or “Your idea sucks.”

  • That’s an interesting idea. I’ll make a note of it and consider it when designing.
  • I see what you mean about that button but we shouldn’t remove things customers are used to seeing and using.
  • OK so you’re saying that you like how Competitor A does (feature). Can you tell me more about how doing it that way works for our customers?

These statements are good because they don’t give away your power. You let people know you are listening and considering them. And you’re open to being convinced (OK, sometimes we’re not but when we are, use something like the third one above). Maybe someone knows something you don’t so sure, tell me more about how that works for our type of customer.