IA Summit 11: The Most Valuable UX Person in the World

For the closing keynote on the first day of the summit, Jared Spool gave another one of his great keynote speeches on The Most Valuable UX Person in the World.

My Notes

Think about what it means to be the most valuable at something. We have these people in many industries.

  • There is a most valuable NASCAR racer, the one who get’s paid the most, same with tennis, and even brain surgery.
  • These are the highest paid
  • Who is the most valuable UX’er
  • How do you separate the great UX professionals from the good?

There are 4 factors to the professional

  • Talent (What they are born with)
  • Skill (What they have practiced, and acquired)
  • Knowledge (Learned intrinsic, and extrinsic)
  • Experience (overtime)

“Good judgment comes from experience, experience comes from bad judgments” –

The holy grail of UX’ers is the UX professional that can also code. This is a natural progression of the role as discrete disciplines are beginning to go away, and the lines are getting fuzzier.

  • However, there are still the “specialty collections:
    • Mobile Design
    • Service Design
    • Content Strategy

How do you make the good great?

  • The best people mentor the good people. Work goes to the good people & the best people aren’t allowed to work on it, but only to mentor the good people.
  • Cross Pollination – For a full projects, have a team member take on a role that is not their normal role, on a different team. Then when the project is done they can come back and mentor the others on the team as to the unique perspective they now have on that role.
    • Not only is there knowledge value, but it also builds collaboration and relationships.

How to be spotted with the great.

  • While certifications are often scuffed at, they are a way that UX managers can identify the good. It’s a shortcut for them.
  • A good portfolio – you must talk about the decisions you made, and how you made them.
  • Become a member of professional organizations.

How to grow your own value

  • Practice
  • Sketching, moderating, gamestorming, etc.
  • Critquing
  • Learn the elements of a good critique.

Mentorship and Apprentice Models

  • Constant communication and review of progress as a mentor
  • Being humble to your position as a apprentice

Grow the design vocabulary of yourself and your team.

Build up a curriculum for your own personal training.