Jeremy Johnson
customer experience leader

past-blog

User Experience? You've picked the right profession!

User Experience? You've picked the right profession! Not that I knew it at the time, but going into User Experience turned out to be a great career move. I've always thought there would be job security with the number of new technologies and devices that will need designing - think of everything that will have a "screen" in the future. Who's designing for these screens? Who's creating the interactions, workflows, graphics? That would be us!

I often use an example of an interactive cereal box. What other aisle in the grocery store tries to communicate with you more! Let's mix up a couple new technologies - like e-paper, RFID, and wireless power - and you have a talking, interactive cereal box. "Thanks for choosing Kellogg's Frosted Flakes, did you know we're the #1 cereal for vitamin A?", "Touch here to learn more". We're all set for years!

One of my first jobs was at an Ad Agency that had been around since the 1970's and at one time had 70+ people working for it. WIth production conveniences, like desktop publishing, digital photography, etc… the number of people needed had been cut over the years. You didn't need someone to run to the photo studio to check out the day's photo shoot. You didn't need multiple people hand setting an ad, etc...

I wonder if these jobs are now starting to come back. Not the same jobs obviously, but the number of jobs in the Design space. Where everything is getting an interface of some kind. Phones are more advanced, kiosks are more prevalent, having a screen is cheaper than having actual hardware buttons in some cases, and with that there is more work today for User Experience professionals then there has been in a long time.

UPA just released the 2009 salary survey - and the average salary of a UX professional is $85k, and it's steadily climbing. These are people doing things like user research, heuristic reviews, interaction design, creating prototypes, usability testing, etc… There are many things that go into today's interfaces. It's not just a developer adding some fields and buttons on a screen anymore. People are taking User Experience seriously - and that means following the processes, doing the leg work, and going further than we've gone in the past.

Speaking of jobs ;-) - the company I work for currently has nine open UX related positions right now. And that says a lot, they've been very conservative about hiring in this economic climate, but they understand the need for User Experience across our organization.

If you're interesting in working with me, or at the $largecompany I work for - let me know, here's what they currently have posted:

User Experience Designer / Information Architect US-TX-Dallas Ft Worth - Southlake Job Posting:Aug 28, 2009-Job Number 0071X https://sabre.taleo.net/careersection/2/jobdetail.ftl?lang=en&job=130840

User Experience Developer / Front-End Developer US-TX-Dallas Ft Worth - Southlake Job Posting:Aug 28, 2009-Job Number 0071Z https://sabre.taleo.net/careersection/2/jobdetail.ftl?lang=en&job=130841

Web Design Team Lead US-TX-Dallas Ft Worth - Southlake Job Posting:Sep 2, 2009-Job Number 0072M https://sabre.taleo.net/careersection/2/jobdetail.ftl?lang=en&job=131240

Principal GUI Developer United States Job Posting:Sep 2, 2009-Job Number 0072I https://sabre.taleo.net/careersection/2/jobdetail.ftl?lang=en&job=131180

Application Designer (User Experience)- Team Lead US-TX-Dallas Ft Worth - Southlake Job Posting:Aug 28, 2009-Job Number 006VD https://sabre.taleo.net/careersection/2/jobdetail.ftl?lang=en&job=127080

Senior IA United Kingdom Job Posting:Sep 1, 2009-Job Number 0071F https://sabre.taleo.net/careersection/2/jobdetail.ftl?lang=en&job=130560

Senior UI Developer United States Job Posting:Aug 25, 2009-Job Number 0071Q https://sabre.taleo.net/careersection/2/jobdetail.ftl?lang=en&job=130740

Web Design Senior - Senior GB-England-London Job Posting:Aug 24, 2009-Job Number 006P6 https://sabre.taleo.net/careersection/2/jobdetail.ftl?lang=en&job=123120

Web Developer US-MD-Bethesda Job Posting:Aug 5, 2009-Job Number 006J1 https://sabre.taleo.net/careersection/2/jobdetail.ftl?lang=en&job=119000

And if my company isn't for you, check out my older post on "Hiring on the Fringe" where you can find a list of sites that post UX type jobs.

(Above infographic by: http://www.good.is/)