Here’s my big tip of the week … if you want to learn about UX then create your own product.
Yes, I know many of you work on other people’s products — maybe you’re at a big company or, maybe you’re at an emerging startup. And yes, I’m sure you put a lot of careful thought into what you do. But I honestly believe it’s totally different when you are working on your product.
I’m on a roll launching my own products / projects right now:
- In November, I launched my first physical product, a pocket-sized UX Notebook
- In January I launched my YouTube Channel
- And now, I’m launching my first course, User Research Fundamentals
Here’s what I’ve learned from launching my own stuff …
Without a doubt, launching your own product forces you to realize that UX is not just about what happens on the screen. You have to think through everything. I spent most of the day writing emails, testing links, previewing videos, and figuring out how to use software that I’ve never used before. Let’s just say, making a course is really, really complicated!! And because the course is about user experience, I have a high bar and want to make sure things are very seamless.
However, I will say that this whole process has forced me to learn the art of compromise. If I find I’ve spent more than 15 minutes trying to figure something out, I stop and figure out if there’s a different approach. Or, I decide that whatever it is, simply isn’t worth the time. The art of compromise is really hard … especially for us UX designers!
So my challenge to you is to think about one project or product you could focus on for yourself. Maybe it’s your own newsletter. Maybe it’s developing your Twitter presence. Maybe it’s your UX portfolio. Maybe it’s something totally unrelated to UX. But, I promise that if you want to put your UX skills to the test, make your own product!