By Kelly Moran
Principal Experience Researcher
Why would a company teach its customers how to do their jobs on their own?
For several years, projekt202 has worked on training and coaching efforts -- such as helping credit union software developer PSCU build up its own UX practice, and through participation in the Dallas BarnRaise event with Capital One and AdaptivePath.org -- to provide thought leadership and guidance to organizations looking to improve their approaches to creating experience-driven software.
Why do this? Why not keep our secrets to ourselves?
We could follow the logic that better gatekeeping would ensure our continued need in the market. But we’re after a bigger win. When we work to help others improve their practices, we work to make ourselves better, too.
What happens when a group of specialists and experts refuses to “let” other people learn their trade? The conversation within the community gets repetitive. Progress stagnates. Without new voices and fresh brain power, innovation grinds to a halt. People stop pushing and things begin to stay the same. By teaching others, however, we raise the bar within that community.
The UX community is small. And smaller still is the part that goes beyond the philosophy and into true practice. We want to elicit higher levels of thinking and craft. We want to elevate the conversation. And so we need to grow our community.
Here’s where you come in. Really successful growth is non-linear; it doesn’t move from one to the next to the next. It branches out, with each piece sending shoots in new directions. The more minds we get together, the more influence we can make.
There are several ways to contribute to the expansion of experience-driven software. Here are a few:
Get involved in professional UX groups: Stay up-to-date with trends, discuss industry issues and make new friends.
Network: Make connections. Be a “node” in the UX tree diagram.
Mentor: This is huge. Help someone new to the field or support someone who needs it.
Speak at a conference or Meetup: This is an easy way to teach (and learn) new things.
Teach a workshop: Get down into the how-to's of your craft.
Volunteer your expertise: If you see a need, offer your assistance.
Go back to school (sort of): Reach out to colleges and ask if they have programs looking for guest speakers, or to clubs that would benefit from connecting with local experts.
What other ways are you involved in growing our community? Can we help?
Give us a shout in the comments or contact us today.
projekt202 is the leader in experience-driven software design and development. We are passionate about improving the experiences that people have with enterprise and consumer digital touchpoints.