My User Experience Skills

1. UX Research. I can identify target users, create user personas, and gather data to make informed design decisions. The latter requires user testing and involves:
    Create wireframes and prototypes
    Carry out user interviews
    Create user personas
    Create functional use cases
    Build information architecture
    Conduct card sorting sessions
    Create user evaluation scripts
    Conduct usability testing

2. Collaboration. Collaborating with subject matter experts, product managers, and product owners is an opportunity to work in other areas with different people to help ensure that the resulting product meets both business goals and user expectations.

3. Wireframing and UI prototyping. The importance of prototyping is that it allows me to determine whether or not the design I am designing for a client will work the way it is intended—before they’re out in the world and the hands of users. Creating a digital prototype and testing it on real users before handing it to developers is necessary to ensure the user-friendliness of a user interface and its functionalities. Wireframing and prototyping are no-brainers when designing, as they help catch mistakes before things go wrong or the client will have a lot of expensive coding to fix.

4. UX writing. Content design and copywriting are more complex and involved than many assume or appreciate. They often need to be more timely and understood in product development. Quality content speaks clearly to people, builds trust, and compels action toward organizational goals. As a technical writer, I acknowledge this gap and always find means to remedy it.

5. Visual communication. In design, visual communication covers everything from white space visual hierarchy to making elements look clickable and minimizing the need for written instructions. My vast experience creating websites and web applications from scratch allows me to utilize the lessons I learned for my client’s successes. I use the most current industry UX design practices and libraries, from typography and color schemes to iconography and layout, to create a visually appealing and cohesive experience for the user.

6. User empathy. I feel the importance of putting myself in someone else’s shoes, which means understanding their problems better. When someone’s problems are defined, I’m more equipped to find a solution to them. Empathy is vital in UX design, for when one is detached from their end users, they fail to design for their needs and feelings, which leads to a terrible user experience. I try to avoid this trap and put processes in place to eliminate them. Gathering qualitative data through user interviews and quantitative data through user testing methods helps put me in perspective in the users’ shoes.

7. Interaction design. Interactive prototypes are great tools to use when iterating interactions. Interaction design concerns how a user interacts with a product or service. I ensure that I get a good picture of the user requirements during design inception to gain insights into their mental models, thus creating good interactive prototypes to bring to actual users for testing and iteration purposes.

8. Coding. As a front-end developer, I possess coding languages necessary for front-end development. Languages such as HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and jQuery help me understand what’s possible from a technological perspective and help ease the transition between design and developer handoff. I also use HTML to create high-definition prototypes. Flat interactive prototypes using Figma, Adobe XD, Visio, InVision, Sketch, etc., are good mid-fidelity prototyping tools. Still, they can never replace a good HTML prototype for a realistic functional feel and experience during demos and usability evaluations.

9. Analytics. Understanding statistical numbers, percentages, and ratios is a real must when I want to get my head around the performance of my design. Applying analytical information to my design helps me iterate better designs backed by real numbers. One way to perfect my design is to have a real foundation of data. Good analytics can also help me better understand the relationship between the product and the user.

10. Communication skills. Writing an evaluation report and communicating it to the team for feedback and collaboration is integral to product design and development. Making stakeholders, subject matter experts, product owners, product managers, and leadership buy into the design iteration development recommendations is a challenge that is a vital part of the user-centered design process. Getting the sign-off from leadership on how to proceed with the design process is as important as the research spent on getting the necessary user research data.

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