Day#325: The State of UX in South Africa

Day#325: The State of UX in South Africa

Hey Researchers and Designers, I hope you are all having a wonderful festive season. I am really enjoying my time having time to relax and write at my leisure. I wanted to talk about a really big topic today and that is the state of UX in South Africa. I think I sill have a long way to go and I still have so much to learn, I want to focus on reading some industry related books now in my time off, and have set some books aside. I think we are in an interesting time now, in the past you worked for a company for years to be considered for a management role, you studied at university and interned and potentially watched your boss eventually retire, then got a promotion. Being in the tech field now, there are so many new industries and roles, and with all these new roles each requires management. 

With being a new industry it has both advantages and disadvantages, the advantages would be that you can move up very quickly, however along with that you can have people move up who do not have the skills required. The industry is also having some teething problems with regards to hiring, I see a lot of roles for UX Designers requiring the candidate to have good experience with javascript etc. When I get recruiters message me with roles like this I tell them I am a Researcher and only if ever on the market again will be looking for research roles. The quintessential UX Designer role can have aspects of research in it, but the concept of a specialized Researcher still seems grey to a lot of recruiters. However often I get a snappy response from a recruiter saying well that is what the company wants and they will find someone that will be able to do those key points. The South African job market is a tough one, I am lucky to have found my place at a very comfortable company contracting. However a lot of people may actually be desperate enough to take on UX roles with PHP and Javascript etc, the problem then comes in that the poor Uxer won’t have enough time to even perform any UX functions so the role becomes a jungling act of what is most important at the time. This is a common symptom of smaller companies, and Start ups, I am so glad I am not in that start up life anymore, it was a real nightmare. 

Don’t get me wrong with all this you probably think I am hating my time in this industry, and you could not be more wrong. I am happier than I have ever been. I thoroughly enjoy being in research, it utilizes my skills and natural abilities to be curious about how things work and what makes things work well or not well. I think because I care so much about this industry, and am so immersed in it, I tend to think about the state of the industry a lot. I think in the next post I will chat about some solutions as well some ideas I have for the future of this industry. 

Bye for now!

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