I have to quickly develop my UX skills because I need to be able to create great experiences for my web users. I’m probably not alone in that. You may be working with a startup that has no UX specialist. You may be working in an enterprise that has no UX specialist. You may be working alone, and you’ve learned that features don’t sell subscriptions.
I’ve recently stepped down from my project management role at one of the world’s leading Ruby on Rails web development shops to take the reins of one of its products. Going for me is the fact that the product is already profitable and is one of the most feature-rich products of its kind on the market. Also to my enourmous advantage is that the designer who created the interface is none other than Mariusz Ciesla and he did a brilliant job.
But that’s not enough. There is a lot of new competition appearing and features alone won’t continue to grow our user base. To do that, I need to learn to connect with them, understand them, and create the kind of experience that doesn’t just meet their needs, but makes their lives better. So much better that they help me to evangelize the product and re-invigorate our slagging sales growth curve.
I’m not quite starting from point zero. I did a design minor as an undergrad and I have a degree in anthropology and continued to take advanced courses in qualitative research methods during my masters studies. But that was a long time ago. I’m also good at interviewing, but my experience has been limited to journalism and what ethnographic interviewing I’ve done had more to do with “classic” ethnographic scenarios aimed at producing an ethnography, not for driving urgent business decisions.
So, if you can identify — if you need to learn design, user experience, customer development, lean startup, copywriting, and lean UX skills quickly — follow along. I’ll be doing at least one experient each week and sharing here what I read, what I did and what I learned as I set out to become the UX expert that Kanbanery needs me to be.