UX jobs boring as shit

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  • cannonball1978

    Is it me, or have UX positions taken a fucking huge nose dive in terms of how interesting the work is?

    I dunno. Maybe it's just me and I need a career change.

  • omg-9

    Maybe its the company.

  • cannonball19780

    No, I mean looking at all of the listings for UX positions nationwide...

  • kona2

    can be boring as fuck. And, most companies misconstrue what ux is and how it can be a benefit. The past two companies I've worked for (both shite) needed UX but wanted production design.

    Just 2 weeks before I left my last gig the VP said in a group UX/Marketing meeting he wants things in days, hours even, not weeks. Meaning, no more discovery, research, testing, or iteration. Fuck that.

  • see_thru0

    Speaking for myself, my previous 2 gigs sucked...my current job is pretty awesome.

  • robotron3k0

    Yeah, its boring, most switch to "product manager" for an even more boring job.

    • yea, how do i do that? ;)futurefood
    • ...as product manager you oversee UX peeps and do lot's of writing and write of details and specs for the coders. it just takes an opportunity to get into.robotron3k
  • zarkonite3

    The hype is over, there wasn't much to do but no one knew that so they were jumping on the bandwagon throwing UX at everything to see if it'd make more money and eventually it just got commoditized.

    Welcome to cubicle life.

    • +1BonSeff
    • I disagree...I think people realized that UX wasn't just putting lipstick on a pig and backed off.see_thru
    • I haven't seen too many UX designers adding value to the products, I'm not saying it's useless but most practitioners are not very valuable. The stakeholderszarkonite
    • are to blame as well, you need to invest and make fundamental changes and not just put lipstick on a pig as you say.zarkonite
  • BonSeff4

    Are you a self-motivated, go-getter with 5-8 years experience designing innovative, next level user interfaces adhering to strict best practices? Can you also code your ass off and write a compelling set of personas out of thin air based on no base in reality? Rapidly?

    We have an open office concept where we encourage collaboration! Only everyone works with the lights off and listens to spotify and podcasts all day and talks to nobody!

    Not only that, but your wild ideas will be out of scope! Shot down over a conference call by key decision makers talking over each other!

  • fate3

    UX is terribly fucking boring. They have sucked all the fun out of web design, app design, anything remotely creative.

    They've reduced us to pixel accountants.

  • mg336

    It's unfortunate some of you have had or are in bad situations. Just don't take your bad experiences and pretend they speak for all businesses and all UX roles. I wonder if some of you are dissatisfied because you have lofty expectations of the type of work you think you'll be doing, and in the end solving a boring problem leaves you frustrated and wanting more. I've had that feeling as well, and I see it often in younger newer people who think all the work they'll get is sky's the limit, no idea is too bold stuff. Never gonna happen. You've got to somehow find joy in solving problems and rely on that at times to tide you over when projects aren't that exciting. Otherwise you're setting yourself up for disappointment. Not everyone can get a job at a top agency that's doing world-changing work.

    When I've mentored people finishing UX boot camp type of programs, that's the first and last thing I talk to them about.

    If you're bored or dissatisfied, go through the motions, and pour yourself into a side project or some way of keeping your skills fresh. That's what keeps me OK with times that a project isn't that exciting.

    • well said. applies to any design gig. it's about problem solving.Gnash
    • the work is easy and fun, it's just the people i work with that makes the job boring and sucky...robotron3k
    • This is some great UX PRBonSeff
    • Because https://youtu.be/hER…rabattski
    • ^ x100. I'll be 40 in December. I am thrilled to be well into my career and don't suffer from this stuff.mg33
    • Sorry not buying the canned “adult” voice. It assumes a lot and is really just rhetoric.cannonball1978
    • Sorry... sorry to possess some pointed maturity on the topic.mg33
    • Not really. Because you are assuming that this all stems form having a bad experience.cannonball1978
    • OK, so you haven't had bad experiences, you just don't like the looks of the work out there as you see it in terms of challenge / enjoyment?mg33
    • Is that how I should read this?mg33
    • yescannonball1978
  • BonSeff0

  • BonSeff0


  • mg330

    So, I think this conversation is too ambiguous without context on what each of us do, regardless of whether we're happy or disgruntled in our jobs. Would be great if everyone could share the following:

    - Length of time in UX-specific position(s):
    - Your position:
    - Agency or In-House:
    - Time at company:
    - Army of one or team oriented role:
    - Types of projects you generally work on:
    - Culture, coworkers, access to training, career growth, etc:
    - Anything else worth mentioning.

    • Thats fine and all but youre really kist deciding you need to qualify who gets to complain, when the observation is a legit ine.cannonball1978
    • That's not what it is at all, but someone a year into UX with limited experience has a vastly different impression than either of us do, right?mg33
    • I don't think it's bad to have context around why someone is complaining and what experience those complaints are based on.mg33
  • mg334

    Here's mine.

    - Length of time in UX-specific position(s): 10 years in which I've gone from hybrid UX / PM role, then a strategy /UX role, then purely UX Design position. Altogether been in marketing / interactive marketing since 2002.

    - Your position: Associate UX Director

    - Agency or In-House: Agency

    - Time at company: 3 1/2 years

    - Army of one or team oriented role: UX team of 7, which has gone down from our previous larger team of 25+ UX'ers. Company has changed a bit but our team is growing again and working wonderfully together given how busy we are.

    - Types of projects you generally work on: For the past 3 1/2 years I've worked solely with a major national insurance company, mix of staff aug and consulting. Waterfall projects in early days supporting internal application design, then agile projects building new tools for agents, and a major customer-facing product purchase tool that I'm really excited to see launch soon. All projects involved conceptual design, detailed design, strategy, working with BA's, product owners, UIE's, creative, etc. Great people that I miss working with (moved on to other things and new projects last month.

    Also now involved in business development and pitch work, I enjoy the hell out of all of that. We're getting heavy into personalization projects, which are new to me but an interesting challenge. Had some downtime lately so I've been building out a design system and pattern library for us in Sketch, learning about Google Venture Design Sprints to use in pitch prep and faster / lower budget projects. We're getting into VR projects and it's fun to learn from the couple of people who really know that stuff. Super excited to get into InVision Studio and make major improvements to our processes and quality of work.

    - Culture, coworkers, access to training, career growth, etc: Company has changed a lot but our team is lean and full of positive people. Lots of opportunities to teach each other new things, pursue new ways of doing things, collaborate with creative, tech, content, etc. Work life balance is great, which makes it easier to be a suburban-living parent of two young kids. Company is laid back and we're all hungry for new business opportunities that are coming are way. That energy is contagious.

    - Anything else worth mentioning: Like I said below, you have to enjoy solving problems regardless of what they are. Anyone looking to change the world on every project should find something else to do. I think it's like any creative endeavor - find the joy in solving the problem, learn along the way and hopefully your career will be full of great achievements that keep you employable and marketable to future companies.

    • See post before this if you've got the page set to "New."mg33
    • good to read this.notype
    • Thanks no type. I'd love it if everyone talking here did this. It would certainly shed light on the disgruntled views.mg33
    • The view isn’t disgruntled. Youre trying to say “its not the job, its you”. I have two years on you. I know its hard but just look at the work out there.cannonball1978
  • fate5

    Let me give the cynical, jaded old-timer perspective:

    Nothing you are creating is of lasting value. You will constantly have to throw out your portfolio every 5 years. You will constantly be chasing the latest trend.

    You are now competing against an army of Dribbble loving clones that all think they're the next Steve Jobs. They're doing spec redesigns of Time.com while you're redesigning buttons on an insurance app.

    Half of what you create is pure and utter bullshit, and the work you put in will ultimately be of no consequence. Users personas, wireflows, use scenarios. To make yourself feel better, you start to put your personal stock in "data" and the kudos of managers in khakis. Remember when you wanted to be an artist?

    Your mom isn't proud of your work, if she even understands what it is you do. Mom's never going to brag to her friends about what you do. Strangers' eyes will glaze over when you try to explain what UX is and try to convince them that it's a real job. In their eyes, you have a boring, non-essential job.

    Maybe you try to show off your portfolio to non-designers. That's when it finally hits you that what you're doing, most people don't even care about.

    To compensate, we reference the most extreme cases, like designing interfaces for anethesiolgists to regulate blood-oxygen levels. Or wayfinding systems for museums. To try to convince ourselves of our own importance.

    But the truth is always in the back of your head - You are a pixel accountant. We have finally reduced design to a job as boring as preparing taxes or medical transcription.

    • LOL you are incredibly bitter about your job. Who cares if you're important?? UX IS important otherwise there wouldn't be jobs out there.twentyfive
    • As for being an artist?!?! Who the fk cares about that anymore I just want a fucking job.twentyfive
    • Does it really matter if you're designing an insurance or something important?? If you're finding yourself loathing your work then get a new jobtwentyfive
    • Don't diminish the work that's being done because it's not "art", it's a JOB. Who cares if it's mindless, that doesnt mean it's unimportanttwentyfive
    • Oh no my mommy isnt proud of my work! I dont feel creatively satisfied! :'( I'm owed a job that caters to my narcissism at every opportunity!!!twentyfive
    • fate, I think you have a terribly misguided view on how you provide value and the satisfaction you get from said value. Maybe you don't provide any value...mg33
    • Would be interesting to see you answer the questions I suggested below.mg33
    • Also, I don't need my mom to understand what I do. I need her to understand that I'm employed, that I'm happy, and that I provide for my family. That's all.mg33
    • Although it is satisfying to point to something and say, "see the success that company is having?" I helped make that happen. But I don't need that from her.mg33
    • Boys, I saw the writing on the wall long ago...I made moves 10 years ago to prevent getting stuck in that rut.fate
    • I love the smell of mid-life crisis in the morning.garbage
    • I transitioned to photography, film, art direction years ago. Wasn't going to be pigeonholed as the web guy or UI/UX guyfate
    • This is the kind of content that I love QBN for.Al_dizzle
  • sothere1

    that's why they have started to put UX UI jobs together. Chalk always is better with some cheese.

  • Continuity4

    My own experiences as a former web designer: the major reason I jettisoned from digital in general was that after the glory days of the early noughties with all of that glorious experimentation, Flash, three-oh, etc, etc, etc, being an online creative was taken out of the hands of actual creatives, and into the hands of technical people.

    And, frankly, I couldn't imagine myself trying to constantly re-imagine a fucking button or page layout on a Wordpress template every day for the rest of my working life.

    In other words: Jakob Fucking Nielsen won.

    Moving on to being an advertising creative was the best move I could have done, at least in terms of creative satisfaction.

    • amenOBBTKN
    • now i'm trying to focus more in illustration, infographics, animation and content creation than in UI/UX (don't like "the way it's taking")OBBTKN
    • I focus on ad ideas/concepts and their executions (film/photo shoots, post-prod, claims, etc).Continuity
    • Any time I hear someone in UX referring to their boring shit as a 'creative concept', I want to scream and bash their teeth in with a cast iron frying pan.Continuity
    • Ha, that's usually how I feel when I see ad guys muse on how monumental their ad for sugary cereal is. :Dmg33
    • Ha, that's usually how I feel when I see ad guys muse on how monumental their ad for sugary cereal is. :Dmg33
    • Ad industry is full of swlf-important hard-ons for commercials nobody cares about, magazine ads no one looks at, among other things.mg33
    • I majored in advertising but glad I don't work in it. I do enjoy using various aspects of what I learned with clients on projects.mg33
    • That's "self-important hard-ons."mg33
    • I came up from advertising...had studied it in college, and worked at agencies from '94 - '99...then got brought into a web consulting firm...exador1
    • can't imagine going back. It was a lot of fun in my mid 20's etc...but I find this (web, apps, online etc etc) a lot more interesting.exador1
    • and while i know a few UX folks that drive me batty, there's a lot of them that are pretty great to work with, and I enjoy that...exador1
    • These days I've been doing a lot of UI/UX work and have found it pretty interesting..exador1
    • I enjoy the kinds of UX projects where our impact isn't just cranking out designs, but where we are heavily involved in strategy, rebranding, new services, etc.mg33
    • I'm fortunate to have worn lots of hats in my career that all combine to help me be better in the role I'm in. Jackass of all trades, master of some.mg33
    • :) sounds pretty much like me, mg33 :)exador1
    • And Uis still sucksince1979
    • nielsen won because he wasn't attached to buttons but style indicators. lots of room there and he chose the lowest roaddoesnotexist
  • mg330


    Can't fit all this in a sidebar comment but I think it's interesting that you mention "early noughties with all of that glorious experimentation, Flash, three-oh, etc, etc, etc."

    I loved that stuff. Vir2l was like God status at the time. But that stuff was not sustainable. That was the Internet in it's infancy, tools in their infancy, and a wild-west approach to web design at the time. I remember countless conversations around 1999-2001 with people on Flashkit.com who thought they were going to get clutch jobs out of high school because they learned some of Josh Davis' Flash tutorials and could make stuff bounce at random on the screen. It was fun, I loved it too, but it was new media in it's infancy. Flash's coming of age moment was when they integrated XML and database connections into whatever release was new at the time. People started fusing creativity with actual purpose, things they could sell that weren't just eye candy.

    That experimentation evolved as it needed to, for better or worse, but that era was not going to last forever.

  • fate1

    mg33 - I got into it because of the creativity of that period.

    But it's long gone.

  • imbecile-2

    if you're bored, you're not concerned enough with the X of the U

  • zarkonite0

    @mg33 I have a different take on what's going. I don't think it's a growing pains type of scenario, I think we're really being taken over by cost reduction and we need to start showing value to the bean counters or we're all fucked.

    Let's compare the type of creativity on the web to TV advertising. Most TV ads end up being marketing more than advertising, it's not very convincing or well done but it gets the information across. Just like a data driven, UX standardized website. The goal is to have your target audience "activate" and "convert"... There is however some room for more attention grabbing TV, it's rarely done because getting good creative out is like running in a minefield (unless you have the rare opportunity of having a client come to you just for that) but I think that we could still do the same with the web, we just need to sell it better (re: bonseff's post about getting shotdown over the phone, that shit doesn't happen with a real creative director in the room)... especially now that the general population is way more saavy, the cost of production is down and there are tonnes of new ways (media) to drive to a microsite or any other kind of creative execution.

    • Guess I am not a real creative director. BURN!BonSeff
    • Check the conversion rates from most 'microsites' and get back to me.
      saavy public