Episode 115 | April 29, 2024

Thrive in UX by adding survey mastery to your skill set

In this week’s Insights Unlocked, Jennifer Romano unpacks the complexities of the UX industry with UserTesting’s Lija Hogan. They look at the current challenges facing UX professionals, the additional skill sets needed to be marketable (surveys), and AI's role in UX.

Thrive in UX by adding survey mastery to your skill set

Despite recent challenges, Jen Romano believes there is enormous growth potential within the UX field.

"UX is still so new, and when you tell people your job, many still ask, 'What's UX?' There are so many opportunities for growth in our field," she said. This lack of familiarity represents not just a challenge but an opportunity for UX professionals to define their value and expand their influence, she said. 

In this week’s Insights Unlocked, Jen unpacks the complexities of the UX industry with UserTesting’s Lija Hogan. Jen is a UX veteran with extensive experience at companies like Google, Facebook, and Instagram. She offers a candid look at the current challenges facing UX professionals, including a competitive job market and the impact of economic cutbacks.

Graphic for the UserTesting guide to Proving the ROI of UX research

The current state of the UX job market

Despite these challenges, Jen identifies a silver lining: a recent increase in job postings she is seeing on LinkedIn suggests a rebound in Q2, signaling potential new opportunities for UX practitioners.

"It's a little rocky right now with a lot of layoffs and fewer roles than people available, but we're seeing a change as companies tighten their belts and then start to hire again," she said. 

The evolving field of UX

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Jen emphasizes the importance of versatility in UX roles, urging professionals to embrace more than the traditional research methods, specifically surveys. “Learning how to ask questions correctly and design surveys correctly, people take that for granted and think, ‘Oh, anybody can create a survey,’ but it is a skill,” she said. 

"If you want to be marketable, getting skilled at survey design and conducting surveys is the next logical step for UX researchers," Jen said.


The discussion also covers essential skills for the modern UX professional, including the integration of quantitative and qualitative research to provide more comprehensive insights into user behaviors and needs. "We're moving beyond just doing interviews and usability tests; it's about adding more tools to your UX toolkit, like diary studies and surveys," she said.

The role of AI in UX

Jen reassures listeners that AI will not replace UX researchers but will serve as a powerful tool to enhance efficiency and effectiveness. "AI is going to help us be more efficient, much like how a calculator helps accountants. It’s not going to take over our jobs, but rather enhance our capabilities in UX," she said. 

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This episode is packed with valuable insights for anyone in the UX field looking to understand current trends and prepare for future developments. Whether you're a seasoned practitioner or a newcomer, Jen’s perspectives provide a roadmap for navigating the evolving landscape of UX.

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