Best Careers: Usability/User Experience Specialist

US News and World report has listed "Usability/User Experience Specialist" as one of the best careers for 2008. I couldn’t agree more!

Just a couple of notes comparing the US market to the Australian market, though:

  • First the bad news: I’m not sure the pay is quite as good here on average (at least in salaried positions).
  • Then the good news: here in Australia user experience people are much more likely to be involved in designing user experiences, rather than just doing evaluation.

One of the things I’ve always loved about this field is that it continues to attract people from a vast range of backgrounds. In my career I’ve worked with user experience people who come from technical writing, philosophy, fashion design, anthropology, graphic design, psychology, computer science, urban planning, teaching, industrial design, project management… the list goes on!

Comments (2)

  1. Richard Lee says:

    Hi Shane, I’m a web developer looking into a career change specifically UXP. Can you tell perspective job seekers like me what big businesses out there employee UXP Designers such as yourself? It seems whenever I "Seek" I tend to find a lot of job ads for UI and Web Designers but never UXP Designers

  2. Garry Trinder says:

    Hi Richard, you’ll find most of the ‘big’ websites you know and love either have internal user experience people (Sensis, Seek, Westpac…) or hire the skills in, either from freelancers or agencies). There are a few dedicated user experience / usability agencies around that provide these services. (In Melbourne they’d include The Hiser Group, Stamford Interactive, UsabilityOne, Symplicit… – hope I haven’t forgotten anyone).

    Leverage your existing web development skills: when talking to organisations about UX jobs emphasise the value in being able to ‘talk-the-talk’ with developers. Or within your existing web developement jobs, start to show a focus/interest on UX. Before you know it, you’re a user experience specialist!

    Does that help? have I pissed anyone off?