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What do you do? Tips to answer the famous question if you are UX

10 November, 2022

“I’m glad you asked me that question.”

Raise your hand if this has happened to you too: you’re meeting new people, for example, on a Blablacar ride, and to break the icy wall of the first few minutes of the ride, you start talking about the four typical things:

Where are you from, if you have already traveled more times in Blablacar, what do you do?

What I do for a living. I’m glad you asked me that question.

Let’s see how I explain to a notary from Albacete what user experience design means, without letting him disconnect from my speech.

It is not an easy task, but over time I have been perfecting my answers. At first I answered a simple “I design websites and mobile applications”. But after a few experiences, this simplistic answer didn’t seem fair: neither to me nor to my colleagues in the industry. So I started to iterate my speech.

Because we don´t just design websites and apps.

Because we are much more than that.

And that’s why I’m writing this article.

How you define yourself matters

If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the years, it’s that the way you define yourself matters. Words, as you know, have a lot of power, and repeating the same idea many times… can make you end up believing it.

A real-life example: if you keep telling yourself that cooking is not your thing, you may be unconsciously eliminating yourself from the culinary chores, when there is probably a cook inside you who is at least a good and acceptable cook. (But don’t worry, Wetaca will always be an option).


It’s exactly the same with our work as UX designers: if we repeat enough times that our tasks are limited only to the visual development of digital solutions, as the clichés say, we can end up believing it – and giving the wrong message to those who ask us!

“But you design… don’t you?”

Of course yes!

At Redbility we spend a lot of time designing web pages, tools, defining each microinteraction in an app, making decisions about the ideal strategy for each product… but this is only the consequence, the result of all the daily work that, since it is not tangible, doesn’t have the prominence or presence it deserves. 

Believe me, without everything I am going to tell you in the next lines, we would design not very memorable and boring experiences and products. Maybe beautiful, but far from the value contribution that any UX profile should bring to your work environment. And that is the last thing we want.

So… What do we do?

We are and do many things at the same time

Let’s get to the point: What is it, then, those things that are left out of the superficial conversations about the day-to-day life of a UX consultant? I have tried to summarize it in 5 aspects that every good UX Consultant should exercise and take care of:

A good UX Consultant inspires.

To the users he designs for, and also to his clients. A good job of understanding on our part can turn on the light bulbs of the people we work with. We have the ability to bring innovative ideas to the table and have the potential to, for example, create new lines of business, or to detect ineffective processes. Never forget that a proposal that comes out of your head can save someone a lot of money…never hold back a good idea.

*Recently it happened to me, and it is probably one of the biggest milestones to reach in UX: a concept proposal with a disruptive and innovative approach, inspired and generated in one of our clients a new business idea, through which it was possible to save a high economic cost in one of its current operations. Almost nothing.

A good UX Consultant is didactic.

We spend a lot (a lot!) of time in meetings: research sessions, user interviews, business conversations and project presentations. That’s why I would strongly advise any UX profile to train their public speaking and synthesis skills: knowing how to explain a complex solution in a clear way, and getting your know-how across to the receiver, is a skill that can be worth gold.

Surely you have had a university professor who knew a lot but did not know how to transmit what he knew, right? Do you remember how you felt in his classes? We have to keep in mind that it is our responsibility to adapt to our interlocutor, whoever he or she is. If you can get this right, you’ll save a lot of time.

A good UX Consultant leads.

On many occasions, the UX designer usually ends up being the person who knows the most about the application or digital solution that is being proposed. In the end, we are the people who spend the most time, from the research phase to the final proposal, interacting with what the product is and should do.

This gives us the advantage, and also the responsibility, to take control of the situation when necessary. It is common that at the beginning you may feel adrift of what any other stakeholder sets in the project, but at some point you will have everything you need to be the one who guides the rest to achieve the common goal. Yes, it can be a bit overwhelming at the beginning, but when you get there it will be a huge breakthrough.

A UX Consultant is curious.

My recommendation? That you know a lot of different things. The more the better. Read books and articles (no matter the subject field), get inspired by the work of others, travel, attend events, exhibitions, observe the world around you: the objects you use, the services you use… A potential brilliant idea can be literally anywhere.

Bonus tip: use these examples and analogies from everyday life to reinforce the explanation of your solutions. You will connect better with your audience, facilitate understanding, and generate empathy with your speech.

A UX designer enjoys and is passionate.

He is aware that his mission is relevant, he enjoys sharing his knowledge, solving problems and helping his environment. He transmits his ideas with passion, because he has it inside, and because he knows that when things are done and transmitted with emotion and authenticity, the experience you leave in others rises exponentially.

“A proposal that comes out of your head can save someone a lot of money.”

For this reason and for many other points that I will probably leave out, for some time now in my Blablacar rides I usually tell people that I am a designer who is used to wearing the hat of a teacher, political leader, researcher, enthusiast and war strategist when it is necessary. 

So, designer, be attentive when you are asked what you do for a living. The best way to walk towards excellence is to reaffirm our value as professionals, and, from time to time, question ourselves if we are simply designing things, or if we are creating unique experiences. In line with this, I would like to leave you with this quote from the philosopher Lao Tzu that I read recently:

“Even if you have shot several times with the bow, continue paying attention to how you place the arrow and how you draw the string.”

And now: are you ready for your next Blablacar trip? 😉

Product Designer

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