It’s been only a little over two months since I announced that I’d be starting on a new journey writing a book about UX careers – in fact, the first book that comprehensively covers the broad umbrella that makes up this hot career field since, well, ever.
Thank you so much for all the support!
In that time, I’ve been blown away by the amount of support that I’ve received from the UX community, including well over 100 offers to help in some way and a lot of additional supportive emails and conversations. For that, I want to say thank you in advance to an ever growing set of colleagues – while writing a book could become an effort of solitude, this journey certainly is not. And that makes it all the more exciting.
While I’ve been tweaking the book outline just about weekly, at the highest level, the structure that I proposed initially to the publisher has remained the same. The entire first half of the book will be devoted to the commonalities that unite all UX careers, while the second half of the book will look at the unique career pathways that are often associated with UX and which can stand as careers by themselves, or often in the real world, are mixed and matched.
In order to devote the necessary time to the book, I waited until the December 31 end of my term as UXPA International president to start writing. I added working on the book to my Lebsontech time tracking system to see how much time this effort has actually been taking.
With nearly 100 hours of (mostly enjoyable) time spent on this effort, inclusive of tons of telephone and Skype conversations, I’ve managed to produce draft text for half of the first half of the book. I’ve also lined up a number of content contributors with interesting stories, lessons and knowledge gained from their own UX-oriented careers. I expect to add only one or two additional stories.
Meanwhile for the second half of the book, which is at this moment inclusive of 16 career pathways, I’ve written drafts for two of those pathways myself, and have lined up contributors to represent each of 11 more career pathways. I still have 3 career pathway contributors left to identify.
Meet contributors and partners (so far!)
If you’re interested, you can meet the first batch of contributors. (Thank you so much everyone for being part of this effort!) On that same page, you can also find a list of partners that are helping me to see the profession not just through my own lens, but through additional perspectives as well. (And please let me know if your organization is interested in being a partner on this effort too!)
Offers to help and what is still needed
While I haven’t yet gotten back in touch with everyone who has offered to help, I have gone through my entire list of offers to try to match career experience with book needs. When I have found a match, I have contacted the appropriate person. For the few remaining matches I have yet to make, the experiences I’m looking for are a bit harder to identify. I’m going to do some web searches to see if I can make these matches, and if not, I’ll be posting the need on social media – stay tuned!
I am also going to need validators. Validators are those with expertise and extensive knowledge of a specific career pathway who are willing to help assure that contributed content is as generalizable to others in that career pathway as it can possibly be. I’m not quite ready to post a final list of career pathways, but expect that in the coming months.
While my work history, and that of many of the contributors, is framed in US-based career experiences, I’m also looking for individuals who are not US-based, have multi-national UX career expertise, and who would be willing to review chunks of content in those areas that I am most concerned could be too US-centric.
In addition to finding those last few contributors and continuing to write the first draft of the remaining half of the first half, there is still plenty more going on: editing towards a cohesive story (my own work and that of contributors as their content rolls in); continued rejiggering as more of the story that needs to be told falls into place and demands some modifications to present a more fluid overall read; and continued conversations with partners, contributors and those working in a variety of different UX areas. Insights from these conversations have been and will continue to be so valuable in making this book as good as it can be.
Thanks again everyone for your support, enthusiasm and efforts!
Book Image: orensila / Bigstock.com
Hourglass Image: Sheko.ru / Bigstock.com