EchoUser

Our 2022 UX Resolutions

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EchoUser Team

We welcome 2022 and present to you our resolutions for the new year!


Create space

Chloe Markley, Research Director

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I'm very much a doer. Whether it is being home more in the last year plus, or since becoming a parent, I have noticed that aspect of my personality (the Doer) become more pronounced. While I reflect that it is helpful sometimes to just get things done and that I derive pride from my accomplishments big and small. I also find that all the doing leaves little space for a thinking mindset where creativity and vision can emerge.

In 2022 I would like to integrate the practices of mindfulness into my life and work. To intentionally create space and explore our team's vision. Get creative in the ways that we can learn and grow. Reserve space and time for me to contemplate and reflect on what we've done before and where we could go in the future. Dream bigger. And THEN tackle the things I really want to do. Instead of "Just Do It" in 2022, I'm going to "Just Breathe It"... "Just Pause It"?... "Just Create Space for It"? I'll have to work on my catchphrase...


Better articulation

Jiyoon Shin, UX Designer

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My 2022 UX resolution is to be able to better articulate and explain parts of the UX process and methodology. Having been a UX designer/researcher for a few years now, I find that the UX process has become so ingrained that the immediate next steps come about very naturally. This is all fine if I were to work alone, which is never the case; usually, there’s a need to get aligned with colleagues and stakeholders on what to do next in the UX journey. and that requires a level of persuasion and justification of the methodologies and practices that should take place. So I hope to be able to better articulate what, why, and how things in the UX process should be done.


SPACE TO THINK

Brian Salts-Halcomb, Senior UX Researcher

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My 2022 Resolution is to allow ideas to percolate, to build space into my routines and project facilitation for thinking.

UX and Human-Centered Design have given voice to the user/customer/human in products and services. Yet I'm not certain we've as deeply recognized our humanity in the ideation, research, and development processes. More often, I see the rush to meet deadlines and to move quickly from learning to action. I think the move to remote has exacerbated the problem --- what was once a 2-hour whiteboard session with some chatting in between is now bound to a 30-minute call and we take what we've concluded by the end.

Yet, the great idea comes on a walk...

I hear what a research participant was saying differently the second time I watch their video...

Our first answer is obvious, but our fifth take is insightful...


Human connection

Genesia Ting, UX Designer

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These past few years have taught me that at its very core, in no uncertain terms – human connection is everything. The pandemic has made it evidently clear that in such a tumultuous time, we turn to the things that remain steadfast and ground us. That might look different to different individuals – but for myself, especially as of late, meaningful connections remain at the heart of it.

In 2022, I hope to continue growing and strengthening my relationships with peers, friends, family, and communities. As a UX practitioner, I’m setting intentions and additionally looking forward to sharpening my design skills, business acumen, and collaborative efforts into the new year.


Physical activity, connection, and discovery

Jenn Gross, UX Researcher

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2021 - what a year!  I’m ready for a new beginning, vaccinations for my two kids under five, positivity (not the covid kind but the people kind), and hope that this upcoming year will be full of more in-person opportunities to interact with family, friends, co-workers, and new clients. 

In 2022, I will focus on physical activity, connection, and discovery. 

Move more. I strongly believe in prioritizing physical activity because of the myriad of benefits I experience – feeling stronger, calmer, and more focused. I’m aiming for 4 days per week.

Connect more. Remote work feels isolating at times. I plan to reach out to at least one person (i.e., internal colleagues or folks new or experienced in UX research) per month. I want to hear and learn from others and simultaneously share what I’m learning.

Discover more. I want to continue to strengthen my knowledge of UX research. I aim to read at least one new article, watch at least one new video, or read one UX research-related book per month and actively facilitate discussions about what I’m learning with my colleagues.


Life focus

Mick McGee, Co-founder and Vice President

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For 2022 I am motivated by a life focus more than perhaps in recent years. The ‘business’ challenge of the pandemic has lessened, at least the extremes. (What a crazy ride, making the charlatan game of predicting the future so much less palatable; nor necessary). With that mind space intro, I’m undecided on resolutions. Is it canonical ‘balance’? Diving into something more ‘meaningful’? Focus on ‘me’? I know I will continue with my constant ‘experience’ things; hopefully, amazing things. This mental meandering seems to be tilting back toward one of my foundational tenets: ‘enjoy the ride’. That feels solid and validating for my 2022 resolution, on life, business, and UX.


"Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever."

-Mahatma Gandhi

Susan Tang, UX Researcher

2022 looks to be another year of uncertainty, with Covid continually redefining what ‘normal’ means. Against this backdrop of change and chaos, I’d like to focus on what I can control and be more present in the moment. In 2021, I started down the path of decluttering and paring down to essentials. In 2022, I’d like to use new-found time and energy to focus on learning, self-care, and supporting people around me.

Professionally, I want to hone my UX research skills to make higher impacts on clients’ businesses and better support my teammates. Personally, I want to tighten the relationship with loved ones despite physical distances, and develop new self-care routines, be it learning new home cooking recipes or making time for walks and hikes.


Better communication

Bri Jensen, Associate UX Researcher

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In 2021 I switched from the museum field to UX and began my first fully remote role. I immediately became aware of the unique challenge remote work poses to effective communication. The awkward silences, the spotty internet connection, and let’s not forget the rhythmic clang of inconvenient construction work all synthesizing together to reach a crescendo of “sorry I didn’t catch that, can you repeat the question?”

It feels like crucial meaning can get lost even on a good day. Increasingly, I’ve found myself struggling to convey my thoughts with the clarity, brevity, and gentleness that I strive for. That’s why in 2022, I’m focusing on communication. For me improving will look like this:

  • Carving out 30 minutes a day for reading to improve my writing skills for reporting, emails, and drafts—oh my!
  • Attending at least one UX-related talk a month to see how other professionals talk about their work in the field with the added bonus of expanding my UX knowledge.
  • Taking a course on storytelling, technical writing, or public speaking to sharpen skills in a more structured format.

Growing with intention

Janet Chu, Associate UX Researcher

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Kickstarting my UX career at EchoUser and stepping into Silicon Valley in 2022, I want to be intentional about how I learn and grow. Rather than hopping on to the next exciting thing whenever I feel bored, I challenge myself to stay grounded — hone my skills, dig deeper into research and strategy and identify my UX superpowers.

Outside of work, I set to nurture my creativity and connections by picking up new hobbies and serving communities that I strongly care about.


“Devote yourself to loving others, devote yourself to your community around you, and devote yourself to creating something that gives you purpose and meaning.”

― Mitch Albom, Tuesdays with Morrie

Vy Hoang, Associate UX Designer

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Starting the new year with EchoUser and the transition to UX design, this year, I want to learn and adapt. Take a closer look at what UX means and how every step of the process is implemented. Through each project and discussion with the team, I want to absorb the information and their experience to figure out how I can implement it in future projects. Taking the time to learn and improve with every task. Two specific skills I want to come out of this year improving are conducting clear and effective user interviews and taking lead/initiative. 

Throughout a time of transition, it is easy to get overwhelmed. In times like these, I will make an effort to communicate with those around me and work out a solution.


“Every act of creation is first an act of destruction”

― Picasso

Sev Saffen, Associate UX Designer

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2021 has been an unearthing experience. It was a year of giving unconditionally, unrestrained, and just when I thought I'd had enough- perhaps I received even more. It was a year of journeys to discover my hidden selves. Meeting with some of my shadows as well as witnessing some of the lights. It was a magical year, just like “the hero’s journey”. I battled, I got to play and somehow I made it through with some beautiful proud wounds. Like in wabi-sabi, perfectly imperfect- I chose to decorate those imperfections with gold foils because that made me feel more human and more true.

How do I want to grow in 2022? By trusting in my journey, trusting in my unfolding in its own divine timing with ease and a lot of care. I am feeling the interconnectedness of our beautiful universe and our significant and yet insignificant part in it all at once, neither of them makes the journey less or more valuable because both are magical! I am ever more sensing enjoying the wonder of life and in awe of our presence here, at this time in this particular place on earth. The power of choices I make, attitudes, and perspectives I take are much more intentional and guided by feeling rather than solely powered by thinking, an open heart is an indispensable teacher! In my career, and in my personal life at large I am striving for integration, as it seems my best self is the one that enjoys collaborative parts of myself working together. (aka a systems thinking in micro-focused personal level)

I am excited to be on this journey with my EchoUser teammates, and I am looking forward to supporting others, both colleagues and our clients in their journeys. I have a lot to learn from others as well as to give and receive. This should be a one hella fun trip! Tiger year, here we come. 

“Every act of creation is first an act of destruction” by Picasso. I came across this quote recently and it resonated with me. I have been pondering ever since: What if the narratives that we tell ourselves and project to the world are steaming from that mindset? Can we breathe and relax more, feel the magic within our heart space that is evolving and alive. What if we design, lead our lives intentionally with that construction in mind? What if we lived with an open heart at all times?…


More focus, more deliberate intention.

Rally Pagulayan, CEO

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Distraction is like sugar for me… highly tempting, very satisfying (in the moment), but too easily over-indulged and over the long term, not a good thing. Saying, “I will stop being distracted,” is unrealistic so I want to focus on something smaller and, hopefully, achievable. For 2022, my resolution is to purposely and periodically carve out chunks of my days to read and to contemplate. Actually reading during this purposeful reading time will hopefully retrain my brain

Published on January 31, 2022

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