From working closely alongside UX professionals at work, to having just finished the Intermediate UX course at the UX Academy, Vitor has an excellent understanding of all things User Experience. I interviewed Vitor just after he had finished the Intermediate workshop in London – we discussed how he found himself wandering amongst the many paths of UX, his preferences within the industry and his plans for the future.  

Q: Tell me a bit about yourself and how you got into UX design?

I’m a Product Manager at Pivotal Labs, the innovation consulting arm at Pivotal Software. At Pivotal, we like to work in balanced teams, meaning a PM, a Product Designer and a Software Engineer, sharing product ownership through user research and iterations. UX research is a big part of the interplay between PMs and Designers here, so I wanted to check what it’s about. 

Q: Which part of the course did you find the most interesting? 

The exercises and references around ideation and prioritisation.

Q: Which part of the course did you find the most challenging?  

Running our chosen experiment later in the afternoon. We had a hard time finding prospects in Old Street on a Wednesday at 8pm.

Q: Which part of UX are you the most interested in?

The psychological and emotional reasons why people have certain reactions and behaviors and how product teams should tap into those to create successful products.

Q: How do you feel about Interaction Design?

It’s an integral discipline to product development which you can’t ignore. UI is responsible for enabling the user to understand the core value of the product, by reducing the noise in the user’s way.

Q: What advice would you give for people just getting into UX? 

  1. Go over the reference books for the concepts.
  2. Get experience by doing gigs or starting a job where you can learn.
  3. Find a mentor to give you the shortcuts, heuristics and professional tips of the job. 
  4. Start working mostly with other UX professionals, and then expand to work with product managers and software engineers. I would advise you to follow this framework to balance out different sources of professional development.

Q: What is your favourite UX design trend at the moment? 

My favourite UX trend is the idea of balanced teams, where a Product Manager, a Product Designer and a Software Engineer work together through user research and iterations. This increases the level of diversity in the product development cycle, and bring a wealth of information early on.

Q: What are your next steps?

As a product manager, keep working with product designers and increasing the overlap between my own skill set and that of UX designers.

Conclusion 

As a Project Manager, Vitor may not be a UX professional per se, yet learning about UX in more detail was essential so that he could work better with his colleagues and understand all aspects of product development. And I’m sure his colleagues will be thanking him for his new-found knowledge!  

Whether you want to start a career in UX, or just diversify your skillset in general, UX Academy has several courses available to suit your needs. Find out more here.