The Hidden Challenges and Rewards of Managing a UX Team by Rachel Jackson (Thomson Reuters UK)
What’s next for you? The interaction design world is growing and changing and there is an increasing number of opportunities within our profession. One option as you progress in your career is the move to management. But should you do it?
I want to share with you the 4 big lessons I learned through my experience managing a UX team. I use insight from the experts to provide a deeper understanding of what great leadership really is, while relating it back to the specific challenges of being a UX manager.
As an interaction designer you already have many of the skills needed to give you a head start in the move to management. But there is more to it than what appears on the surface. One of the most difficult parts of being a manager is building the emotional intelligence to bring self awareness, empathy and humility to the role. These traits are more important than those commonly portrayed by the ‘charismatic leaders’ of popular culture and they are things that can be learned. In my talk I will demonstrate how these come into play with examples of common issues that you might face as a UX manager.
Being a good manager takes time and effort as well as a shift in focus away from the pure practice of design. But it is in many ways its own design challenge that brings great satisfaction. And the skills you will learn are life skills, not only work skills.
I am Director of Design at Thomson Reuters, within a large in house UX team, designing extremely complex, feature rich financial software used by 130,000 financial professionals around the world.
During my 5 years at the company, I have managed various shapes and sizes of UX teams as well as working as an Interaction Designer. I currently lead a team of brilliant Interaction, Visual and Motion Graphic Designers. My goal is to create a respectful, supportive work environment that allows people to fulfill their potential and use their talent and creativity to accomplish amazing things.
Prior to moving to London, I worked for Microsoft in Silicon Valley. I am originally from Toronto, Canada.
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