In January I had the privilege to participate in two design-related events in the DC metro area. The first was a group ideation session around how technology is changing how we work, and the second a panel discussion about transitioning into a career in user experience design.
Exploring the Future of Work with NASA
Participants were divided into groups, each assigned a different theme – economics, politics, technology, etc. – and presented with background information and data from NASA. Each group then talked through and organized high-level ideas for how we as designers could help facilitate these changes, and mitigate the inevitable challenges associated with transitions in how we work.
Imagine if your job now has you working alongside a robot, or an artificial intelligence program. Some part of what you used to do is now performed by your computerized counterpart. How does your job change? What kind of retraining or skill-building would you need to help work through that transition?
What if teams could be freely constructed by freelance talent, located anywhere in the world but collaborating as needed using advanced video conferencing and augmented reality interfaces? How might that work? What does that mean for how we build such teams? How they get paid?
These and many other ideas were presented and discussed over the course of a fun and inspiring evening, and the results shared with NASA to help inform their ongoing research in this field.
Hiring for UX
- Shifting of roles and expectations around UX design as a multi-faceted skillset, including visual design, branding, research, prototyping, and coding
- The shift from “waterfall”, multi-stage, and siloed design processes to those that are more agile, iterative, and collaborative – and what means for team dynamics
- Where design leaders find candidates, what we look for, and how we evaluate potential additions to our teams
- Tips and tricks for successful resumes, cover letters, and portfolios
- How design can play a more strategic role in an organization, and how to get there
After the discussion the panelists and attendees participated in a rapid-fire speed networking exercise. For five minutes at a time pairs of participants introduced themselves, described their work, and if looking to hire or be hired, pitch themselves and their experience. It was a fun way to make new connections and say hello to some old friends.