Professional skills, in-demand among UX-specialists (slice 2018)
From August 29 to September ? 201? the UX SPb community (an independent community of UX-specialists from St. Petersburg) conducted a survey aimed at studying the professional skills of specialists in user interfaces. The community promised to publish the results. The promise is fulfilled :)
The survey was conducted in the thematic groups UX SPb and UXClub in social networks VK and Facebook. 109 respondents took part in the study. First, a few words about the methodology of the study. After - about the results.
The purpose of the survey is
The goal of the survey was to obtain a "cut of skills" for the UX industry specialists, and not in terms of relevance among employers (such data is easy to obtain, HH flashing), but from the point of view of the practitioners themselves, they try to acquire proficient skills, that they plan to study what skills consider their strengths.
Why do we need these data and why they are published? In the professional community there are many events of different subjects and levels. we hope that the information collected will help the organizers to conduct even more cognitive and attractive meetings for colleagues.
For this study, the remote unmoderated poll method was chosen. The reason for the selection is very simple: to get the most complete data, it was necessary to attract as many respondents as possible, and it would be impossible to do this in person (even via video, not personal) and available resources.
This study is quite simple from a technical point of view, does not imply, for example, the study of the interface, so the unmoderated poll came very well.
As a platform for conducting the survey, Google Forms service was chosen - a free and easy-to-use tool with the necessary functionality. It is important to note that Google Forms is easy to use not only for the researcher, but also for the respondents.
The survey form
The survey included 6 groups of questions aimed at solving the following problems:
Getting a professional cut of the audience - occupation and work experience;
Learning skills that are actively mastered by specialists at the moment;
Learning skills that are in the plans for development;
Learning skills that experts consider to be their strengths;
Review of ways of sharing professional knowledge;
Collection of data on the place of residence, age and about the salaries of specialists.
Of course, all the data was collected strictly anonymously. Respondents were not asked to provide their name, company name or contact information. "Raw" data do not allow to determine the identity of participants.
Accepted assumptions, simplicity of the survey
Passing a survey, even such a short one, can be difficult or uncomfortable for the respondent (we take into account access from mobile devices, work in transport, short breaks to the social network and coffee).
Therefore, when preparing the questionnaire, preference was given to closed-ended questions with a limited number of answers. Some questions involved choosing a ready-made option or entering an arbitrary response. Only two questions did not contain ready-made options, but provided for the introduction of short lines (the names of one or two skills, the name of the city).
To create a short questionnaire, some questions were intentionally made quite general. Judging by the opinions of several respondents, this created certain difficulties with the choice. On the other hand, it made it possible to get a detailed but rather curious picture.
It is also worth noting that of all respondents only a tenth took advantage of the opportunity to enter arbitrary values instead of choosing a preset option. This may indicate that the options were selected competently, and the hypothesis of the respondents being unprepared to enter the text is correct.
Nevertheless, certain mistakes were made in the questionnaire, which will be discussed below.
Evaluation of the audience
The survey is conducted within 8 days, during this time in the community on social networks VK and Facebook, two publications were made. The total audience, including reposts, can be estimated at 2?000 people. (it should be borne in mind that not all of them are practicing specialists of the UX industry).
109 respondents took part in the survey. The distribution of Rogers allows the distribution of the results to a community of approximately ?200 people. (the number of active participants who passed the survey is taken as 5% of its number). This is comparable to the number of practicing specialists in St. Petersburg with partial capture of the audience of other cities and countries (also see the distribution according to the cities below).
The feedback received regarding the form of the survey suggests that it was difficult for about 4% of potential respondents to pass it (less than 1% of the target audience). However, colleagues who left these reviews, they themselves assumed that they are not its target audience. This is the reason - as far as professional growth, many begin to learn related disciplines or are shifting towards management. Partially this hypothesis is confirmed by arbitrary answers given by individual participants.
The most interesting is the results of
Let's start with a general portrait of the audience - the professional community of UX-specialists.
The general portrait of the audience is
Experts from 22 cities took part in the survey. The most active participants were colleagues from Minsk, Kiev, Moscow and St. Petersburg (in increasing number of respondents). Some of the participants did not report their place of residence, one of the limitations of the decision made to simplify the completion of the questionnaire.
On the question of age, surprisingly, the audience responded much more willingly. Perhaps the fact is that the age was suggested to be set by selecting one of the preset values (with the possibility of not reporting anything).
And this is how the distribution of the audience is based on the experience of working in the industry. Participants were asked to describe their position or occupation (see below), and then note how many years they are engaged in relevant activities.
A widely held opinion about the prevalence of newcomers in the young IT industry is not confirmed. At least for UX-specialists. More than half of the respondents work within the profession for more than 3 years. Quite an appreciable experience.
Here, for example, the distribution by age of the participants of the two most prominent groups (work experience of 3-5 years and more than 5 years, only 59 respondents).
Respondents were asked to indicate in the company of what type they work. preset options for answers - "In the grocery company", "In the agency /studio", "I'm a freelancer", "I'm just learning". Here, the authors of the study a little pierced and did not include in the number of pre-defined values such a logical option as "In an outsourcing company" (after all, a large outsourcer is not a grocery company, but not a small studio). Fortunately, the survey participants used the opportunity to enter their own version. There are answers such as "University" or "Bank" (the respondent doubted whether it could be attributed to the food companies). To simplify the picture, employees of outsourcers and product divisions of non-IT companies were included in the product development team, their work processes are in most cases very close. The final distribution by type of company is as follows:
It was not so easy to assess the distribution of specialists in positions. First, everyone writes even similar names in their own way (in Russian, in English and so on). Secondly, the names and semantic content of posts are often abstract or blurred. Therefore, the names were grouped according to external similarity and presented here, to a greater extent, as a review of the names of posts, but not solved by the respondents of job tasks.
So, the majority of respondents have recommended themselves as "UI /UX-designers" (21 people), 20 people use the abbreviation "UX" in combination with the words "designer", "architect" or "designer". 16 people - analysts and researchers, 10 - representatives of leadership positions (managers, art directors). 8 respondents call themselves "designers" (sometimes with the specification of the type of products being created). For 7 respondents, refer yourself to the "designers" of different classes or "product designers". 5 people call themselves "product managers" or "product owners". The rest of the respondents - in small numbers, "web designers", "designers-designers" (it was unusual to meet in such a survey the term from architecture or industrial design), teachers, consultants and designers of related professions.
Skills of specialists
The main goal of this study is to obtain information about professional skills that are valued by UX specialists. They define the "natural" path of development of a practicing professional, his aspirations or desires.
Respondents were asked to answer three questions related to skills. The first question concerned the skills that specialists are most actively learning right now. Four options were suggested:
Possession of popular working tools;
Workflow, attention to the details of the interface;
Detailing abstract tasks, finding approaches to solving it;
Possession of analytical methods, search for business needs.
The questions were deliberately formulated rather abstractly, without mentioning specific tools or methodologies. After all, specific names, especially promoted in the market, could knock down the respondent, push him to choose a fashionable answer instead of a person close to him. Here's the result:
The next question that was asked of respondents is much more interesting from the perspective of the researcher, and is much more complicated from the point of view of data processing. Respondents were asked to describe the skills that they would list in the first two lines of their resume, preparing it for sending to the company of their dreams. The purpose of this issue in the study is to try to understand what skills, in the opinion of the professionals themselves, make them professionals.
Answers to this question meant free text input, so the answers were presented in a variety of forms. Nevertheless, the authors of the study succeeded in grouping all the skills into six groups. Someone, describing himself as a specialist, focuses on management skills, someone - on the possession of specific methods or tools, some paintfully describe their skills in analytics. There are user researchers among the respondents, there are those who highly appreciate the fact of having experience or willingness to learn quickly. Finally, some respondents put their human qualities and communication skills above all (aka soft-skills). That's what the picture looks like:
Curiously, such skills as "graphics" or "visual design" among their strengths were noted literally by a few respondents.
The third question from the skills series was the question of the skills that UX specialists would like to acquire in the next 2-3 years. This, so to speak, skills "to grow". As with the question about the skills most actively developed at the moment, the language was intentionally chosen rather abstract. In addition, a certain ambiguity was deliberately introduced into the question of building a work process (see below). This description can be interpreted as the ability to build a technological process and how to manage a team. That is, among those who chose this option there are specialists with interests in the field of technology and in the field of management. An approximate estimate of the ratio is 50/50. The final distribution:
All specialists work within the framework of different companies, use different tools, methods and processes, have different professional interests. Asking questions and calling the names of products or techniques, the authors would receive information about the popularity of the product, but not about the general professional orientation of the audience.
Ways of knowledge sharing
The next block of questions of the questionnaire was devoted to the ways of knowledge exchange between specialists.
In the figure, you can see the distribution by popularity of the methods that colleagues prefer to receive new professional knowledge. It is interesting that the speeches of well-known practicing pros are somewhat less popular than any speeches at conferences. Respondents had the opportunity to choose several options for the answer, note that none of the options are suitable or enter your answer. At that, the only option offered by the respondent concerned, to a greater extent, academic articles. Difficult to make a choice of just two people.
But the question about how colleagues prefer to share their knowledge was difficult to answer - 34.9% of respondents found it difficult to answer. But a lot of alternative variants were offered, the most popular ones being internal training within the company, speaking at conferences, consulting. The final distribution is presented below. In red, the answers grouped by similar topics, proposed by the respondents themselves, are grouped.
Salaries of UX-specialists
At the end of the survey, respondents were asked to note the approximate amount of the amount they receive per month for projects related to UX. To make it easier to compare the income of specialists living in different countries, respondents were asked to note the amount that remains at their disposal after deducting all taxes and transferring it to Russian rubles (you need to keep in mind, the purchasing power can still be very different). About a third of the respondents took the opportunity not to answer this question. Information received from the rest, you can see below. This is the distribution of the number of professionals who receive one or another income, depending on the experience of the profession:
Of course, the number of respondents is not so large and their distribution according to work experience is uneven. Therefore, it is by no means possible to consider this information as exhaustive. However, a common opinion can be made.
That's all. Thank you for attention!
P.S. A few notes about the study itself.
It can be confidently asserted that in such express polls designed for maximum audience coverage, the introduction of any text leads to an increase in the number of refusals to participate. Carefully selected preset values make it much easier to fill out the questionnaire. However, it will be useful to leave the possibility for a non-standard response in case someone can not find anything suitable. The choice of preset values should be carefully correlated with the research tasks and avoid using untwisted phrases, names, brands. Unless, of course, the research is not directly related to them.
During the research, some respondents wrote to the authors about the fact that they find it difficult to choose the answer option and, possibly, are not included in the target audience of the survey. The general results allow to assume that this hypothesis is confirmed, and dear colleagues really work more or try to work in related disciplines. For example, in graphic design, management or consulting.
The authors hope that the description of the method by itself also interested someone :)
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