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[Get Hired in UX Guide] Step 5. Provide Value First.
Uncover hidden opportunities in your dream companies and figure out how you can show value to them before they even hire you 💎
1. Analyze their situation and identify problems
Identifying problems that your potential employer is facing is the first step to showing your value. Download and install their apps, browse through their websites, and try using their services to identify gaps or areas that need improvement. This will help you position yourself as the solution to their problems.
Example: if you are targeting a financial services company, install their mobile app and conduct an expert review, or even better - proper usability testing. Document your findings in a structured way - what works well, and what needs improvement, and assign priority based on the issue severity.
💡Tip: look at their customers' feedback on App stores, forums, etc. Often, you can find real insights into existing usability problems or product feature gaps.
2. Think about creative ideas
Once you have identified and prioritized usability problems, it's time to think about creative solutions. Brainstorm several different ways to address the identified gaps and think outside of the box. Consider innovative approaches, and emerging technologies, and explore successful solutions implemented by other companies in the industry.
Examples: suggest using a conversational interface to simplify the mobile app, implementing a dashboard to track spending, and developing a chatbot to answer user questions on the website.
💡Tip: think through more realistic ideas as well as thinking into the future, show them you can be innovative and keep an eye on emerging technologies.
3. Prioritize the ideas
After brainstorming, you'll likely have a lot of great ideas. However, you need to prioritize them to decide which ones to focus on first. Consider the impact each idea will have, the time and resources required, and the ease of implementation.
Example: focus on simplifying the mobile app by implementing a conversational interface first since it has the most significant impact and is the easiest to implement.
💡Tip: Use the Impact and Effort Matrix to evaluate and prioritize the ideas based on their potential impact and implementation difficulty.
4. Create a detailed plan
Once you have identified and prioritized the problems, you need to create a detailed plan on how you would address them. Your plan should include steps to execute each idea, metrics to track progress, and timelines for completion. Imagine a situation that you work at this company and you got assigned to work on this product. How would you go about it?
Example: create a project plan that follows your UX Design process (user research, wireframing, prototyping, A/B testing, etc.) for this conversational interface solution. Establish metrics to track user satisfaction and conversion rates and set a deadline for the project.
5. Execute the plan
Do the job. Follow your plan as if it was your real job today. Of course, you'll have to make a bunch of assumptions (tech, business, etc.), but do as much as you can as if you were a UX designer tasked to design this new experience. Document the process and create deliverables that will prove to that employer that you can do it. Make it easy for them to imagine what it would be like working with you.
Example: create user flows to illustrate how a user would communicate with that conversational interface, create a visual decision tree of how the system would handle incoming requests with various permutations, including edge cases, test usability with users, summarize findings, etc.
💡Tip: an interactive prototype is a much better way to articulate the vision for your proposed solution.
Remember, your plan and deliverables should not (and will not) be perfect. You will have to make a lot of assumptions and guesstimates. This is OK. The intention is to show them the initiative, knowledge of the UX design process, and creative problem-solving. They will be impressed!
Choose a company and analyze its products. Identify gaps in usability or product features. There are always areas for improvement 😉
Create the Project Plan. How would you approach the task of solving these issues?
Value Validation Projects (Cultivated Culture)
UX Analysis & Proposal for Airbnb (Cultivated Culture)
Nina4AirBnb (Business Insider)
PS you can find my list of curated resources about UX career, including tips on job search, resume, portfolio, interviewing tips, and a lot more topics in my UX Career Resources Library.
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