People Skills For UX 2015 Part 2: Human Interactions Throughout Implementation

You may remember my previous post about how UX has been impacting my personal life. Now I’m back to share more insights on how UX has not just impacted my personal life, but work life too, through the Dale Carnegie Leadership Training and People Skills for UX Conference.

As a Sr. User Experience Architect, one of the core lessons I have learned lately is the importance of human interactions throughout implementation—the same care and attention we pay to the end users of our products needs to be applied to the relationships we manage as UX Architects on a daily basis. Let’s dig into this a bit.

One of the core relationships in the UX field is the relationship between UX Architects and Web Developers. Because developers build on my work, I try to always remember to:

  • Keep my communications broad enough that any front end developer or engineer can pick up in the middle of work and understand the project
  • Require the perspective of how someone will actually build what I design

Dale Carnegie Leadership Training

With this said, I am always looking to grow in my relationship building. In 2014, I completed Dale Carnegie Leadership Training, which teaches professionals how to sharpen skills and improve their performance. Some of my favorite takeaways from the class were:

  • Smile
  • Give honest, sincere appreciation
  • Talk in terms of another person’s interests

I have been using the skills I learned in this training every day to improve my communication skills and relate to family members and co-workers. Having the background from Dale Carnegie enabled me to more clearly focus on things like:

  • Making a conscious effort to understand how efficiencies can be gained
  • Identifying how I can better communicate with team members on specific challenges that seem to arise across projects
  • Applying these skills to client relationships by seeking understanding first

After completing the Dale Carnegie course, I found remaining disconnects in the way that team members were interacting with me. I could sense frustration and co-workers feeling separated from projects I was working on. So I decided to utilize the lesson I had learned to make a conscious effort to understand how efficiencies can be gained and scheduled meetings with some of the teams. My approach was to identify what I could do to improve my communication. The meetings went well and I have been working hard to continue to grow, but like before, I was eager to learn more.

People Skills for UX Conference

More recently, I attended the People Skills for UX conference hosted by Rosenfeld Media Group. Our team at Hanson often attends these conferences, and this year’s theme really resonated with me because the timing could not have been better. The speakers reinforced the notion that our job as UX Architects continues to push us to communicate, collaborate, and discover new ways to solve complex problems.

Some of the key takeaways that stood out from this conference were:

  • The importance of listening
  • The importance of asking questions to gain understanding and enabling us to talk in terms of the other person’s interests

Throughout my interactions with clients and my teammates, I’m now trying to take an approach of listening for understanding before reacting, taking the time to evaluate a teammate’s concerns, not being afraid to completely start over, and seeing things from the developer’s perspective.

As technology evolves, we can’t forget to nurture the human relations that play such an important role in building quality digital experiences for all audiences.

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