The third trait common to the most successful UX folks is being cognizant of their workplace values. Organizations and individuals both have ways they like to work, reflecting what they find most important. Often unspoken, these choices and habits nevertheless can lead to frustrating cultural conflicts that really
At one of my first job interviews out of college, I came armed with interview questions cribbed from books. One of them met with a surprising response:
"What is your vision as a company? What do you see as your overall strategy for success?"
My response? "Well ... (pause) this really isn't a 'vision' type of company. We aim to be profitable and succeed in our markets, while still being flexible enough to pursue new opportunities. Does that answer your question?"
It answered me, but it wasn't the right answer for me. I was looking for a vision company with a clear identity. In the emerging Web space, I believed that would help them develop a consistent business strategy, while establishing them in the minds of customers as standing for something. I took the job, and learned a lot in different roles. But afterwards, enduring reorganizations and new bosses every year, I thought back to that interview and wondered if I should have kept looking.
User experience is an organizational value. Either the organization understands and values UX, or it doesn't ... and it can be very, very difficult to "bubble up" a corporate value. Now, you may still choose to do usability at a company that doesn't hold the customer experience as a core value. The important thing is to recognize that going in, and temper your expectations accordingly.