Archives for the month of: February, 2013

Recently I attended a “speed-dating for your resume” event specific to my industry. At the event, I presented my resume to 5 recruiters/hiring managers who gave their feedback within quick, 2-minute timed sessions before a gong/buzzer sounded moving us along to the next station. All of the reviewers at the event specialize in UX recruiting. Needless to say, I took lots of notes.

In the playful spirit of usability testing, I thought I’d summarize my qualitative feedback from the 5 reviewers in table form:


Four out of five (80%) reviewers actually disliked or disagreed with my current title of “Usability Engineer”. Two of the five (40%) thought the “Skills” section should appear at the end of the resume, one (20%) thought it was fine near the top under the summary, and two (40%) did not comment on skills at all. About the “Executive Summary” section at the top, four out of five (80%) thought mine was too wordy and had too much text. One (20%) of the reviewers additionally wanted me to add links to work samples within the resume.

Based on these results, I will definitely modify the job title and shorten the summary. The feedback about the skills section seemed a bit subjective (reviewer’s personal preference), so I may or may not change that. And I’m not sure about the links to work samples. Seems like a functional idea, but only one reviewer mentioned it…I suppose it can’t hurt.

I’ve been doing quite a bit of usability testing lately, and what I really enjoy about it is how different each person/participant is. It keeps it interesting, because people never react to questions or complete a task in the same way, so I learn something new about the product (and about people) from every test.

Then I came across this post on the ThoughtWorks Studios blog, and I thought, yes! We should be designing for activities, because no two people are ever the same, even if they share the same demographics or career tracks or opinions. The only commonality is in activities and behavior, even if the individual reasons behind the action are distinct.

I also attended a lecture at the NYPL with John Irving the other night, and he shared (sort of) a similar view about writing. He was discussing how he was shaped at a young age by reading Dickens’ David Copperfield and how it questioned why adulthood was boring and dull and nothing to look forward to, and that one of the reasons he was drawn to writing (and I’m paraphrasing here) was that “people never said or showed or revealed enough.”

In a way it’s similar to user research. The people I interview never reveal enough. There could always be more, one more tidbit to explain their perspective, their experience. I’m fascinated by how they think and act and then explain those thoughts and actions to me during a test session, because the answer — what varies (the variable y!) — is never what I expect.

Maybe that’s why I like writing, too. I just want to know “why” (y).

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