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Going Solo: Insights on UX Consulting

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They say the third time’s the charm — and indeed as I embark upon my third outing as an indie UX consultant, I’d like to share what it’s really like while trying to build a virtuous cycle of speaking, teaching, and advising. Turns out, there are some volatile emotions paired with tactical challenges. Plenty of firsthand lessons and insights are offered for those seeking to expand their repertoire into the realm of UX consulting.

Going Solo: Insights on UX Consulting

  1. 1. Photo credit: Unsplash Going Solo: Insights on UX Consulting Uday Gajendar / @udanium Big Design 2018 V3
  2. 2. ? value “Design is one of the most powerful forces in our lives and also one of the most misunderstood.” - Alice Rawsthorn Photo credit: Unsplash @udanium #BigD18
  3. 3. Complexity Ambiguity Value Thrown into a situation Image: Eames Foundation @udanium #BigD18
  4. 4. Setup Action Insights Passion Expertise Growth Going Solo - UX Consulting Act I Act II Act III V3 @udanium #BigD18
  5. 5. ACT I Setup Translating passion into intention to succeed.
  6. 6. Finding my own sweet spot. Setup Image: Eames Foundation @udanium #BigD18 Expertise Passion Growth
  7. 7. Speaking Consulting Teaching Spinning up my own virtuous cycle. “You are the product of your own narrative.” - Sarah Khoury / O’Reilly Design - 2017 Setup Finding my own sweet spot. FORCE MULTIPLIER Photo credit: Unsplash @udanium #BigD18
  8. 8. Consulting What’s my focus? How to position myself? Intention > Value > Outcomes @udanium #BigD18 Setup
  9. 9. Setup Constant comms are key! Always be networking. You gotta want this. Be authentic to yourself. Be true. Have a goal in mind. Not just “chat”. What are you trying to get out of it. Next steps. Set a date. Follow up. Commit and follow thru. Be proactive. Be polite. Be confident. Keep a spreadsheet. Track contacts. Status and next steps. (basically your own CRM) “Building relationships matters.” - John Maeda Photo credit: Unsplash @udanium #BigD18
  10. 10. The boring stuff. Taxes, expenses, apps, tools, contracts, legal stuff, insurance, pay rates, starting a business for real. But it’s super important!Setup @udanium #BigD18
  11. 11. ACT II Action Applying your expertise to enable client success
  12. 12. Action Yay! I’ve landed some gigs. Real money, too. Whew :-) Setup Insights Constant juggling of keeping doors and windows open. While focused on current gig. FOMO / Bills to pay! Context-switching! Finally. @udanium #BigD18
  13. 13. Evangelist Design Excellence Catalyst Innovation @udanium #BigD18 Design Leader
  14. 14. Philosopher Interpreter Therapist Design Leader Deep Questions WorkshopsArtifacts Statecraft Stagecraft Tradecraft Triangulation of Roles UX Consulting Playbook @udanium #BigD18
  15. 15. Empower a Maker Culture Photo credit: Unsplash Interpreter + Artifacts @udanium #BigD18
  16. 16. See Problems Differently Photo credit: Unsplash Therapist + Workshops @udanium #BigD18
  17. 17. “The deeper purpose of design is to create the possibility of true experience in our lives.” - Richard Buchanan Just Useful Pleasurable Good Authentic, genuine, resonant, meaningful. @udanium #BigD18Photo credit: Unsplash
  18. 18. ACT III Insights WTF happened? Self-reflection for personal growth.
  19. 19. Insights You are a guest in their house. Respectfully guide and support. Be a sponge - absorb, interpret, reflect. Create a “design brief” - clarify intent and goals. Be diligent with language: process vs discipline, like vs work, etc. Options, opinions, opportunities - what’s really being debated? Questions drive better solutions, and successful clients. @udanium #BigD18
  20. 20. Insights Pick & choose battles. Help the client be successful. What’s really driving you and them…and us? @udanium #BigD18
  21. 21. Insights *Remember: There’s only so much you can do. It’s a job. Depart gracefully if need to. Sometimes not a fit. Passion Expertise Growth @udanium #BigD18
  22. 22. Keep your sanity. Burnout risk is HIGH. Check yourself, before you wreck yourself. SO you can truly enjoy the sweet spot you’re pursuing. Photo credit: Unsplash @udanium #BigD18 Insights
  23. 23. ? value “Design is one of the most powerful forces in our lives and also one of the most misunderstood.” - Alice Rawsthorn Photo credit: Unsplash @udanium #BigD18
  24. 24. Create something meaningful Not just service- oriented, but also mission-driven. @udanium #BigD18
  25. 25. Photo credit: Unsplash Thank you. @udanium #BigD18
  • jose_coronado

    Sep. 24, 2018
  • letterpress.se

    Sep. 23, 2018
  • rtkrum

    Sep. 23, 2018

They say the third time’s the charm — and indeed as I embark upon my third outing as an indie UX consultant, I’d like to share what it’s really like while trying to build a virtuous cycle of speaking, teaching, and advising. Turns out, there are some volatile emotions paired with tactical challenges. Plenty of firsthand lessons and insights are offered for those seeking to expand their repertoire into the realm of UX consulting.

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