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Here are the areas a UX designer can improve
If you're anything like me, you like to define or outline things so that you know you've got a good grasp on them.
In 2010, Nick Finck outlined the six areas of UX design, which you can see on Flickr here.
If you're reading this in the future and Flickr has met its unfortunate end, here they are in text:
- User Research
- Content Strategy
- Information Architecture
- Interaction Design
- Visual Design
- Usability Evaluation
I think this is quite a neat outline of UX design, and it gives new designers a way to focus on improving areas of their skillset. If you've never read a book about Information Architecture, like I hadn't until recently, then that might prompt you to go and read one, and make sure you're not missing out, like I did recently.
There's somethign missing from Nick's diagram, though, and that's the practical side of finding, keeping, and improving during a design job. I wanted to outline UX design for myself, in terms of "areas you can improve in". This is a first draft, but I want to get it out into the world rather than keeping it in my iCloud notes.
- Getting a job
- Finding work/experience to demonstrate your skills - for your portfolio
- Creating and structuring your portfolio
- Being a part of the community
- Being effective at your job
- Being a designer in a business, including understanding and communicating the value design adds
- Representing yourself/your team well, and managing up and down
- Presenting your work
- Understanding common/popular design process frameworks, like the double diamond
- Finding research participants
- Interviewing participants
- Heuristic evaluation
- "Hard" research analysis, such as top task analysis, search analysis, analytics analysis, etc.
- "Soft" research analysis, such as getting insights from interview results
- Information architecture
- Coming up with ideas
- How to run workshops with designers and non-designers
- Early visual
- Sketching skills
- Layout and wireframing
- Late visual
- Graphic design
- High fidelity design/mockups
- Visual polish/aesthetic techniques
- Evaluating ideas
- Usability testing
- Measuring success of design results
Current problesm with this list:
- It doesn't cover content, like Nick Finck's outline does.
- The "pre/early/late visual" structure bothers me because it anchors UX design around visual output.
This list might change over time, since I doubt I've thought of everything. Hopefully it can help you to realise if you haven't focused on a particular area of improvement. Maybe it can also help you to realise that you want to focus on one particular area.
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