“Happiness never decreases by being shared.” ~ Buddha
Recently I had a chance to speak on a UX Panel for AIGA Central PA focused on what good UX is, how it impacts the products we use every day, and how sharing and learning from other UX folks is essential to career growth. After the event, I started to think about some of the different ways I connect and share with peers, colleagues, and professionals I admire.
One of the things I enjoy most about a career in UX is that I’ll never stop learning. New information, research, tools, and ways of working are all changing and morphing at warp speed. It’s important to rely on others to develop and refine how you work. After all, that’s kinda what we do already.
I’ve had jobs in many different sectors and served in many capacities. I’ve been a cook, a musician, a recordist, a researcher, and a designer. (I was house painter once too ?). These occupations helped shape who I am, and each has had some exceptional mentors and cohorts that helped cultivate my skills and my way of looking at things.
In my experience, professionals in these sectors have a genuine sense of community and collaboration. They find satisfaction in discussing their craft and sharing information. What do they have in common? Perhaps it’s the creative gene. Maybe it’s an innate curiosity?
Take this quote from chef Jamie Oliver:
“What I’ve enjoyed most, though, is meeting people who have a real interest in food and sharing ideas with them. Good food is a global thing and I find that there is always something new and amazing to learn — I love it!” ~ Jamie Oliver
It’s clear Chef Oliver truly loves what he does and finds immense satisfaction in sharing it with others. The art of cooking inspires him to inspire others. His motivation: Using his creativity to communicate something meaningful, teachable, and encouraging to others.
User Experience professionals are much the same. They give their time, knowledge, and tips to the greater UX community. They write articles, answer questions, and lead workshops. I encourage all User Experience professionals — at any level — to participate in the the larger UX community. Below are just a few of the ways I connect.
Reading (and writing) Articles
Here are just a few of favorite spots for reading and/or publishing articles on user experience:
- designerhangout.co (my new favorite spot! Real time discussion and feedback)
- Product Hunt (great updates on all things digital)
- Twitter (yea… I tailor my feed to show only UX and design related tweets — many linking to articles. It acts as a newsfeed and a social tool at once)
Conferences and Meetups
- https://www.meetup.com (check your local area for UX or design meetups)
- http://www.thesodaacademy.com (Amazing group of people to connect with and learn from!)
- UXPA Conference