#16 The UX Designer

I’m delighted to welcome Clive Lavery to Hyper Island tomorrow. Clive and I first met online when I was beginning to shape the programme and it’s been great to hear his ideas throughout the process. His twitter feed is a constant source of inspiration and goodness. He is going to spend time with the students supporting them to understand the ethical issues at play in the field of Experience Design.

Here’s what he has to say….

1. What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learnt over the last year?

Not restricted to the last 12 months but what has built up over the years is me thinking time and time again: “job titles mean nothing – please just show me your work.”  Particularly in the agency world people love to make up fancy titles that might sound impressive to co-workers and headhunters but (deliberately?) confusing to customers or the man in the street.

I have had business cards reading “Concept Developer”, “Information Architect”, “Interaction Architect”, “Consultant” or the German equivalent of “UX Designer” aka “Konzepter” and essentially have been doing very similar things all the time.

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I just like to call myself a “UX Person” now since recently going freelance – if this doesn’t work there’s always the very useful UX Job Title Generator which turned me into a  “Principal Mobile User Experience Unicorn” at the click of a button.
2.What’s your burning question of the moment?

Apart from how UXers and the likes can use their skills to do something more meaningful than just making rich companies richer, I think an awful lot about the so-called “Digital Nomad” lifestyle and if it would be the right thing for me.

While “Digital Nomad” in itself might perhaps be just one of those fancy titles that I claimed to despise in question number 1, the concept of making a location independent living just sounds so tempting. Not least since travel is, next to food and records, the one thing I spend most of my money on anyway.
On the other hand I love living in Berlin and wonder if my ambitions could just turn out to be  escapism that won’t make me any happier in the long run.

3. What’s the most inspiring thing you’ve seen/ heard/ read in the last year?
While researching different takes on company culture within digital agencies I came across Big Spaceship’s manual for new employees.
Section 1 starts with “ We act like humans, we talk like humans, and we think like humans. And we call out anyone who does the opposite.” – they had me hooked straight away and crafted a manual that included so many things I have had in my head on the topic for so long. Read it here and ask for nothing less at your next job interview: http://de.slideshare.net/bigspaceship/big-spaceship-ourmanual