Give yourself permission to practice UX every day
Progress takes practice. You have to work at it every single day.
Regardless of your circumstances, when you practice UX every day, you:
- Build empathy with your colleagues
- Better meet your customers’ needs
- Become more strategic in your approach
- Make more informed design decisions
- Resolve conflicts with greater ease
- Love your work and value your contribution
This is not just about knowing more stuff; this is about doing more, doing better, being prouder of what you do, bringing more value to your company, clients and colleagues.
It can start today with a single commitment to yourself: understand your Why. Some people try to do this through self-reflection alone. I believe in building empathy with the people you serve. It starts on your home turf.
Give yourself permission to do your best work
How well do you really understand the wants and needs of your key decision makers? Beyond the list of requirements they’ve given you, what do you really know about their objectives and concerns, their hopes and expectations? How deeply have you connected with them on a human level? Made them know you care? Demonstrate your support by committing to do your very best?
Key decision makers vary by company and by project. If you’re in-house, this may be your product owner or department head. At an agency, this may be your client contacts or your director. If you’re independent, this may be your client stakeholders. And for executives, this may be your board of directors. First, know who makes the decisions. Then make them your friends.
I’ll guide the way
I have a standard set of questions I ask all key decision makers on every project I do. I’ve asked these questions for 10 years, and they’ve worked brilliantly every time. The questions are both broad and deep, and will undoubtedly reshape the way you approach your work.
Sometimes there’s only one person to ask. Sometimes there are a few. It’s up to you to determine who the best people are to connect with, and convince them to put you on their calendar. You’ll have to give yourself permission to even ask. But once you do, you’ll be surprised how doors open up for you.
Once you’ve asked the questions and captured the answers, you’ll need to synthesize what you learned. This is key. Not only will the synthesis help you uncover new insights and identify discrepancies in decision makers’ points of view, you’ll have a full report to share back with them for mutual benefit. I can’t even tell you how many times my stakeholder research findings have changed the entire product strategy or helped to scrap unnecessary projects altogether — it happens a lot!
We practice stakeholder interviews and synthesis early on in Learn the Ropes, your 8-week UX project. To give you a taste of what to expect, I’m giving away my stakeholder interview questions and synthesis categories [FREE to newsletter subscribers only].
>>> Click here for your one-page stakeholder research guide <<<
Join a safe and supportive learning laboratory
When you Learn the Ropes, we go through the details of how to pull this off successfully and squeeze every drop of opportunity out of the experience. Many of you have never given yourselves permission to even talk to stakeholders before, so I walk through it step by step, answering all your questions along the way. Then I review all your work and give you feedback on how to improve next time. And that’s just one out of eight total sessions! We’re going to do a heck of a lot more together.
- An 8-week team project to actually practice UX
- Weekly 2-hour sessions via web conference
- Self-reflection exercises and lively group discussions
- Between-session exercises for you to move our project forward
- Between-session readings & videos
- An invite-only team forum on Slack
- Weekly office hours
- In-depth portfolio review
- Private 1-on-1 coaching sessions
- Way more details I don’t have room to include here
Are you in?
Our next round of Learn the Ropes starts October 21. Registration opens Monday, October 5. Sign up for info sessions and special deals at https://whitneyhess.com/learn
I can’t wait to practice with you!
Leave a Reply