I have attended the IA Summit every year since 2008. This year’s event takes place in my new home of San Diego, so naturally I’ll be there. It’s hard to believe it will be my 7th consecutive year when I still feel like a newbie. I love this community, I love this conference, and I love being a part of it in any small way I can.
In 2009 in Memphis, I spoke on a panel with Sarah Rice, Jenn Anderson and Chris Fahey titled The Courage to Quit: Starting, Growing and Maintaining Your Own UX Business. The same day, I gave my very first conference presentation titled Evangelizing Yourself: You Can’t Change the World if No One Knows Your Name. To my total surprise, the talk was a hit and now has almost 140,000 views on Slideshare. I get emails about it to this day.
The next year, the IA Summit organizers invited me to give the closing plenary at the 2010 conference in Phoenix. I was floored and deeply honored. It is a coveted responsibility of a member of the community to define where we collectively are in our evolution and make a rallying cry for where we need to go next. My talk titled Transcending Our Tribe was a call for inclusion, personal accountability, acceptance of fear and cultivation of love in everything that we do.
I haven’t spoken at an IA Summit since. I have been privileged and humbled to attend every year as an audience member, a learner, a mentor and a friend. I have gained so much from every interaction and left each year inspired to give more to my work and to the community I love so much.
This year I submitted a brand new talk, but sadly it was not accepted. With 400 submissions and only 51 available slots, the 12% acceptance rate just wasn’t on my side. I received beautiful feedback from peer reviewers and feel encouraged to continue to pursue it, either at other venues this year or perhaps submitting it to the IA Summit again next year.
I would love to receive more feedback on it, to strengthen the proposal or get ideas for content to include. Thank you for taking the time to read it and offering your thoughts.
And see you in San Diego for what promises to be another amazing year!
The UX Career Path: From Wireframes to Coaching
When I was three years out of college and unclear what was next for me, I asked my manager at the time about the UX career path. “I don’t know,” he said, “but don’t follow mine.”
It was then that I became involved in the UX community, looking for guidance and inspiration. By observing the careers of others and asking a lot of questions, I began to map out my own desired trajectory.
Six years later, I’ve gone from a full-time wireframer to a certified professional coach, from designing interfaces to designing companies. In this talk, I’ll share the stages of my professional evolution — how I decided what each step would be, how I made it happen, and what is coming next — as I strive to expand the role of User Experience within leading organizations and in our own community.
Stage 1: to make digital products easier and more pleasurable to use
Stage 2: to make digital products that meet customer needs
Stage 3: to make digital products that meet customer needs and business goals
Stage 4: to help product teams establish a user experience practice
Stage 5: to coach senior leaders and product teams on cultivating compassion for customers and colleagues
Future stage?: to coach senior leaders on cultivating greater self-awareness and practicing better self-care
- A potential path for their own careers
- Figuring out what your next step should be
- How to define your own path
- The expanding role of User Experience within organizations and what that means for practitioners
- A better understanding of coaching and how it applies to UX
- The Evolution of User Experience July 29, 2013 | 28 comments
- Holy crap…I gave the closing plenary at IA Summit 2010 May 10, 2010 | 2 comments
- I’ll be speaking at IA Summit 2009 in Memphis February 4, 2009 | 3 comments
- Reaching outside the UX tribe at STC’s Technical Communication Summit May 10, 2010 | 3 comments
- IA Summit 2009: The Courage to Quit March 29, 2009 | 1 comments