A One Man Wolf Pack

Are you the only person doing UX in your organization?

For the better part of my career, I’ve had the privilege of working in UX departments alongside others who do what I do. I’ve also had the privilege of leading a large, international team of UXers for 7+ years. But at the moment, it’s down to just me. The lone UXer in the company. Or as I jokingly refer to myself, “A one man wolf pack“. (Yes, in reference to the movie The Hangover.)

Being a team of one comes with some serious challenges, bandwidth being the biggest and most obvious. But in my case, its also helped bring into focus some of the most important aspects of the job. I won’t claim to be an expert at this just yet. But I would like to share a few thoughts on being an effective solo UXer. Here it goes, fwiw:

10 Thoughts on being an Effective Solo UXer

1. Don’t wait around for projects to come to you.

2. Beware the squeaky wheel.

3. Develop your sixth sense of customer value.

4. Prioritize your work based on the BUSINESS impact.

5. Be creative in your engagements with Dev teams, Product Management, etc.

6. Don’t be afraid to let others drive design with you.

7. Know when it’s essential to be directly involved in a project.

8. Connect with UX associations like the IxDA, UXPA, etc. to stay grounded.

9. Stay cool, be friendly, keep positive, take a deep breath.

10. Always create value.

I could write a few paragraphs explaining each one of these in detail, but glancing over the concise list above – I think the main messages come through. If there’s one theme that weaves them all together, it’s being proactive in the work that you do. Inserting yourself into situations where you can add the most value to the project and the business is what it’s all about.

Oh, and by the way… I won’t be a one man wolf pack for much longer. Believe it or not, the guy in the middle of the picture below is joining the UX team this week to help out. No joke!

 

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Alan, Allan, and Alan.

Over and out.

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