UX-tinguish: How to defend user-centered design, put out fires, and avoid burnout in the workplace.
Book in progress.
Release date: 2020
I enjoy mentoring junior to senior-level designers and researchers. One thing I have noticed is their surprise when they encounter push-back, obstacles and their lack of preparation to combat the UX status quo once they settle into their new roles. This epidemic goes all the way to the extent of some designers losing their flame, and getting burned out.
The particular status quo I am referring to involves product owners/stakeholders disregarding UX entirely, or restricting UX methodology due to speed-to-market, budget, tech limitations etc.
There is definitely a lot of work to be done educating companies and executives to embrace UX and its importance to company success but my focus mainly is to equip designers on how to navigate these waters from the inside out.
Upcoming featured article via Medium in UX Collective: One of the largest UX online publications with over 400k readers worldwide.
In this article, I share practical tips on design articulation, process, etiquette and best practices from my experience and accomplishment as a junior designer at a multi-billion dollar corporation.
Head of Product
I hired, managed and worked with William at BoomWriter working on a complete platform redesign. This wasn’t a simple design and reskin, rather it was a complete rethink of the user experience. William did an amazing job at this, first working with me side by side digging into user research, and user interviews, William gained not only insights to make the product better, but a deep empathy for the user that served him throughout the redesign. I was impressed with William’s passion to get it right. I was very impressed with him. When some designers would just throw up a pretty design, William made certain to dig deep to understand not only the business, industry, and user needs, but he also dug deeper watching user sessions and creating multiple designs and passing them by me and the rest of the team to see what we thought.
William was such a pleasure to work with, bringing well-thought-out ideas, that I gave him autonomy and the ability even to overrule me, with data. Every iteration of William’s was more amazing than the previous and he is always striving to improve himself. Often William would come with an idea that completely rethought an aspect of the product that simplified, made it look better, and would take less time to develop. It was moments like these where William really shined.
In summary, William is amazing! He’s an amazing person who is so easy to work with. He’s one amazing designer and certainly one of the best ones I have worked with, which are many. If he ever decides to leave BoomWriter (we hope not!), I highly recommend anyone looking for a top-notch designer to snatch him up.
Head of Marketing
William joined our team at Zurvita during a hectic four-month total rebrand of the company. His diverse background was a huge plus to the team as we worked through developing a targeted user experience from brand through product designs through multiple print and digital marketing venues including a new web site, which Will spearheaded.
After initial competitive analysis and user research, he developed multiple front-end design iterations, then streamlined the prototypes to optimize communication with our two primary personas. He produced an effective and impactful end product in a very short amount of time. In addition to bringing great input to the UX analysis, Will consistently encouraged other members of the team with his positive can-do attitude.
The quality of the work we produced was clear when the company increased gross revenue by 25% by the end of that year. Thank you, Will! I’d love to work with you again if the opportunity comes up.
Director, Public Relations
Farouk Systems Inc.
I hired William to be part of a new team/department responsible for all digital marketing, content production, website development, etc. I hired him to oversee the web development agency, and within a few weeks he let them go and took on the project himself. He’s tenacious, goal-oriented and resourceful.
He’s creative, has a good eye, but also proved to be very strategic and analytical, making him the ideal addition to our bootstrapped team. He also brought a great energy to the team– always smiling, never complaining.
Will is an amazing product leader and manager! When I joined Pledgr as Lead Developer, I didn’t know what to expect. Yet, Will’s attention to detail, dedication to team building, and expertise in defining product roadmap (epic, stories etc), architecture and User Experience produced a nourishing collaborative environment among the team. Will created a culture that included those of us who were remote across the world. He is very passionate, agile and never loses focus on business objectives. From a development standpoint, feature updates were tailored to user needs backed by extensive research data which made our process effective and efficient. It is every developer’s dream when you get to build features that matter the first time and iterate, rather than building outside of scope and never going to market. The MVP v3.1 made it to Forbes 30 Under 30 Startup hub in 2018 and we also made it to Shark Tank!
As much as I recommend Will, I really do hope to work with you again.
Farouk Systems Inc.
I had the privilege of working with William at Farouk Systems. Williams is proactive, result oriented, responsible and always ready to put all his energy and time to get the job done. He has an exceptional troubleshooting and web designs skills.
Texas Dept. of Insurance
William is one of the most awesome people I’ve had the pleasure o working with. He’s VERY smart, ethical, trustworthy, and the guy who gets hints done. We’ve worked together on several projects and it was a pleasure to work with him. His ideas are truly ingenious and I see nothing but amazing things for him in the future!
Head of Product
I have worked with Will on three web development & IT related projects. He is the best I’ve worked with and if i have the chance I use will for all my web development needs. Will’s expertise, quality of work, timing and attention to detail have always hit the mark. He’s great at user-interface design, optimization and back-end infrastructure. If there’s a question, he’ll figure out the answer if he doesn’t know. In a world of things that work, and things that don’t, this man makes it work!
Principal & Managing Director
Kofi Group LLC
Ignite UX Michigan 2020
May 12th, 2020 at 6pm-9pm
Ann Arbor, Michigan
Title of my talk:
Storytelling: How to defend your UX solutions in the workplace.
Virtual Tech Talk:
University of Texas Austin Bootcamp
McCombs School of Business
June 16th, 2020 at 12:30pm – 1:45pm
Title of panel discussion:
Corporate vs. Startup.
Awarded by Houston City Attorney Dr. Benjamin L. Hall – Houston, TX
Awarded by Young Texans Against Cancer Organization & Black Finn – Houston, TX
Awarded by Lone Star College – Houston, TX
Awarded by Future Business Leaders of America – Washington, DC