How a UX Coach Can Help You19. August 2022 2023-09-28 11:45
How a UX Coach Can Help You
Does any of this sound familiar?
- Do you ever wish you had someone to ask about UX?
- Do you feel like there’s a lot to learn to grow professionally, but you don’t know how?
- Are you wondering what the next meaningful steps in your UX career should be?
- Do you lead a UX team but don’t have the time or expertise to develop the members professionally?
- Do you sometimes wish you had a sparring partner but are the only UX person in your company?
- Or maybe you are a UX team without a team lead and professional leadership?
For all these and many more questions and issues, a UX Coach could be the answer!
Our working context – the world out there
Although UX design is now an established discipline, many individuals in this field still experience a lack of confidence in their roles. They feel they are not heard or taken seriously. Some even think their expertise is denied, so they cannot work effectively.
In many companies, moreover – and this could be the reason for the problem described above or another effect – there are few or no standardised UX processes, leading to confusion and wasted time for everyone involved.
There is often a lack of mature requirements and working practices, leading to unnecessarily long feedback loops, duplication of effort and misunderstandings. Many of us also know that projects fail or are cancelled, and research results, concepts or designs end up in a drawer.
Many designers and researchers are frustrated and disillusioned and feel they are redundant as professionals.
Unsurprisingly, insecure work contexts like these reinforce the – possibly latent – impostor syndrome in many people. In any case, many designers and researchers question their own abilities and value – and are, of course, highly dissatisfied with their jobs. Incidentally, this can also have severe consequences for the companies.
What does a UX coach do?
With UX coaching, an experienced UX professional – the UX coach (in this case, me 🤓) – supports your individual professional development. And because this process is so unique and personal, it can only be roughly generalised and outlined here. Coaching picks you up exactly where you are. If, for example, you already know what you are missing, we can work on it specifically. Or maybe the first step is to find out where your development potential lies.
We always start with a free 30-minute session to get to know each other. Here, we want to determine your needs and whether we are a good match. You will also learn more about how I work as a UX coach – what my coaching process looks like – and what your coaching package might contain.
Usually, a 1:1 coaching package consists of a kick-off meeting and eight to ten weekly or bi-weekly coaching sessions and takes place remotely. However, the duration, the number of sessions, and the distance between them can also be individually adjusted.
In the kick-off meeting, we determine your current position or status quo – how you work today, where you would like to develop, what your immediate challenges are, etc. – and define your personal coaching journey.
The coaching sessions then deal with your individual “curriculum”. This is utterly different from one coachee to another. On the one hand, it depends on where you come from and what you bring to the table. On the other hand, it depends on what your goals are. You also get a homework assignment in each session that you should work on until the next appointment.
I’ve made a short list of different backgrounds. Let’s look at how a UX coach can help you specifically, …
… if you are a UX designer or researcher.
Together, we can tackle all the challenges described above. It doesn’t matter whether they are intrinsic (i.e. within you) or extrinsic (i.e. from outside).
- If, for example, you want more professional and methodological knowledge, we bring it up together. We also ensure you can immediately apply what you’ve learned in your job. Of course, we choose the methods and frameworks that suit you and your company.
- As a UX coach, I am your sparring partner for all questions concerning your work and individual development. Together we can work out solutions for structural and personal problems currently holding you back.
- Through my neutral “outside view”, I help you to achieve more focus and clarity in your area of responsibility and your role in the company. I also help you better recognise your strengths and weaknesses and use the former in a more targeted way.
- Empowerment: I also give you the tools you need to be more confident and visible in the company if, for example, you do not currently feel noticed or taken seriously.
- Suppose you are already very experienced or a senior person in your profession. In that case, you may also face the problem, despite a large UX team, that no one in the company can give you the necessary impulses for your further development. But let’s be honest, the problems described above don’t stop. They only change. Here, too, a sparring partner from outside can help you with these impulses and a different perspective. By the way, the UX group coaching could also be something for you. Check back regularly to see when the next cohort starts.
… if you are the only UX person in your company.
The problem that some UX people have, even in a team, is inherent in your system: you are alone and have no one with whom you can exchange, coordinate and consult.
This situation often exerts a lot of pressure and can be an enormous burden. Especially when it comes to making important decisions or dealing with many requests at once.
A UX coach can be your sparring partner. You can express all your daily and more significant challenges and discuss them in detail. Of course, it’s much easier to discuss them in pairs than alone. Together, we find solutions, and you get new impulses or the confirmation you need – which is also often missing (“Yes, that’s exactly how I would have done it.”).
Another problem of the Team-of-One is the workload or the colourful bouquet of different tasks. Here, too, I can help you in many different ways. I teach you time management, delegation and saying “no”. I help you sharpen your role in the company and fight for your “team” to grow so that you no longer have to work alone.
… if you are a UX team lead or Head of UX
Here, too, there are various starting points and questions that need to be clarified first:
- Are you a UX professional or from outside the field?
- Do you also have operational or, for example, strategic tasks, or can you concentrate entirely on leading and developing your team?
- Are you responsible for the team’s professional development, or is another involved?
- Are you new in this role, or are you already established?
If, for example, you would like to (temporarily) relinquish your team’s professional development for time or structural reasons, an external UX coach for your team members can be a good alternative. Both group and individual coaching can be helpful here. Another possibility is to build up a community of practice (if you don’t have one yet) in which the individual team members learn to support each other even better. I would be happy to help you with this.
Of course, I also support you as a UX coach in your leadership development. No matter what your challenges are – e.g. the balancing act between leadership and strategic or operative work or difficulties in the team or with individuals and, of course, the evangelisation of UX in the company.
And even if you have come into this role as someone from outside the field, I am here to educate you professionally so that you can have a better say in the future and support your team members with professional questions.
… if you are a product manager
As a product manager, you are expected to have a broad knowledge of all the disciplines involved. Nowadays, comprehensive UX skills are often required as well. Product managers should be able to conduct and evaluate interviews (correctly) and express their thoughts visually in the form of maps or rough sketches.
But what if you still feel unsure in this area or have never really had the opportunity to learn these skills? Or do you think you never truly understand the UX designers and researchers in your team or company and want more background knowledge?
Then feel free to contact me as your UX coach. We can put together a coaching package that suits you. In my opinion, product managers need to have a basic but grounded knowledge of user research, which they can apply to their product discoveries and experiments, for example. And if Product Discoveries (or frameworks like Lean UX or Design Thinking) are a topic you would like to deepen for yourself or your company, I am the right person for that, too.
… if you are a UX newbie
Are you completely new to this field, or perhaps even considering whether you should start a UX career? Then, many of the sentences above might be all Greek to you. But that’s no problem at all. I help you determine your strengths and weaknesses and which role in the UX cosmos is proper for you.
And I also give you the professional knowledge you need to get started in this field. In the future, I’ll provide some foundational online courses that might be just right for you to get you up to speed on the basics. So be sure to follow me on LinkedIn to get notified. You can also email me or fill out the contact form on the homepage if you have topics you’d like an online course on, for example.
… if you are a team
Do you lack a team leader and, thus, a person who helps you to set a goal and stick to a direction? Or perhaps someone to “hold the team together”? Do you sometimes feel that you are not a “team” at all?
Then let’s tackle your challenges with team coaching. Here I work with you – as the name suggests – together as a team in group sessions. As your UX coach, I can replace a lack of professional leadership, help you find a goal and a focus, and help you grow closer as a team and work together more successfully.
I also help you improve your company’s UX maturity and evangelise UX in your company. Just contact me – together, we will find a way!
Conclusion and value
Ask me about my individual coaching offers. The best thing to do is to book a meeting to get to know each other. Together, we can identify your needs. Alternatively, you can fill out the contact form on the homepage or simply email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I offer different formats as well as individual coaching packages. These include, among others:
- 1:1 coaching
- Team coaching (company)
- Group or cohort coaching (stay tuned for the upcoming cohorts)
I am already looking forward to meeting you.