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Experience Required: How to become a UX leader regardless of your role

Book Description

For all the resources on great design, there is almost nothing on how to be a great design professional. For all the schools and classes and workshops on what constitutes a good user experience, there is not one bit of formalized education on how to earn the respect of your team and get your recommendations out the door.

Sure, they’ll teach you how to do user research and testing and interaction design. They’ll teach you about process. But where’s the book on how to convince people you’re right? On what skills will make you the most valuable? How to fend off the bad ideas and fight for the good ones? How to move from junior to senior? How to become a UX leader?

In Experience Required, veteran UX strategist Robert Hoekman Jr reveals the following and much more:
• the pros and cons of generalists, specialists, and “unicorns”
• the art and imperative of forming a good argument
• why communication may be your biggest obstacle
• the qualities and actions of effective design leaders
• why being unreasonable might be the key to your success

Whatever your role, Experience Required teaches you to become the UX leader you’ve always wanted to be.

Take charge of your next project starting right now.

Table of Contents

  1. Title Page
  2. Copyright Page
  3. Contents
  4. Preface
    1. Who You Are and Why You’re Reading This
      1. If You’re a Designer
      2. If You’re a Student
      3. If You’re an Instructor
      4. If You’re a Hiring Manager
      5. If You’re a Design Director
      6. If You’re a Design Stakeholder
    2. Inside: The Things No One Tells You
    3. Not Inside: Design Skills or Their Definitions
    4. Acknowledgments
    5. Author Biography
    6. Other Books by Robert Hoekman Jr
  5. 1. Introduction
    1. Key Terms
      1. Design
      2. Designer
      3. User Experience (UX)
  6. 2. The Shape of a Great Designer
    1. Some Designer History
      1. The Problem with Names
      2. And Then More Showed Up
      3. The Birth of the User Experience Designer
      4. Design Is a Four-Letter Word
      5. The Rebirth of the Nebulous Job Title
    2. Unicorns: What They Are and Why You Should Be One
      1. Unicorn = Generalist
      2. Be Replaceable
      3. The Upside of Overlap
      4. Be Respectful
    3. T-Shaped People: The Case for Specialties
      1. Becoming a T-Shaped Person
      2. Masquerading as a Generalist
    4. The Depth of UX
  7. 3. Adapting
    1. Tools, Not Processes
    2. Improvising
    3. Working Quickly
      1. Strategy Document
      2. The Driver of the Bus
      3. Design Time
      4. Faster Wireframes
      5. Faster Prototypes
      6. Faster Usability Tests
  8. 4. Understanding
    1. Knowing the Psychology
      1. They’re Smarter than You Think
      2. They Have Other Things to Do
      3. They Have a “Doing Mode”
      4. They “Satisfice”
      5. They Don’t Use Your Software the Way You Intend Them To
      6. They Rely on Patterns
      7. A Million Things Are Competing for Their Attention
      8. They See What’s There
      9. They Lie
      10. They Don’t Know What’s Possible
      11. If You Improve Their Lives, They’ll Love You
      12. They Come With Questions
      13. They Blame Themselves for Mistakes When They Should Blame You
      14. Their “Experience” Is Based on Far More than Your Website
    2. Applying the Psychology
    3. Talking the Psychology
  9. 5. Questioning
    1. Questioning Everything
      1. Questioning Ideas
      2. Questioning Standards
      3. Questioning People
      4. Questioning Your Own Work
    2. Pushing the Profession Forward
      1. Tipping Sacred Cows
      2. Firing Away
      3. Always Ask the Question
  10. 6. Communicating
    1. On Clear Thinking
      1. Writing and Speaking
      2. Thinking in Frameworks
    2. On Writing Well
    3. Mapping Your Message to Their Concerns
      1. Learning to Predict the Future
      2. Reading for Comprehension
      3. Enabling Comprehension
    4. Not Just What, but How and When
      1. Do What You Can
  11. 7. Arguing
    1. Rhetoric
    2. Listening
    3. Asking
      1. Phases of Knowledge
      2. Restating
    4. Educating
    5. Presenting
      1. Explaining with Stories
      2. Leading the Room
    6. Backing It Up
  12. 8. Leading
    1. Staying Calm
    2. Ignoring Distractions
    3. Speaking Up
    4. Taking Criticism
    5. Being Collaborative
    6. Hiring Well
      1. Review the Portfolio
      2. Google
      3. Let Them Talk
      4. Contract Them
      5. Look for Unicorns
    7. Offering Solutions Instead of Complaints
    8. Giving Credit Away
    9. Teaching Them to Teach
    10. Managing Things Away from People
    11. Creating Opportunities for Others
    12. Choosing Teams Over Individuals
  13. 9. Learning
    1. How I Learned
    2. Why Learning Matters
    3. Leaving Your Ego Out of It
      1. Drown a Little Every Day
    4. Learning to Succeed, Not to Embrace Failure
      1. Prophecies Like to Be Self-Fulfilling
      2. Leaders Don’t Root for Failure
      3. Repeated Failure Gets You Nowhere
      4. What Exactly Is Success in Web Design Anyway?
    5. Aim for the Breakthrough
  14. 10. Being Unreasonable
    1. A Hard Road to Travel On
    2. The Advantage of High Standards
      1. High Standards Lead to Prowess
      2. High Standards Make You More Persuasive
      3. High Standards Lead to People
    3. Designing for Greatness
  15. Index