An Interview with UX Researcher, Jennifer Mulcahy (USA)
I love developing rapport with users, being their advocate, and making things better for people
How did you get into the [UX] field?
I was a web and graphic designer and was interested in usability. I had a hard time convincing anyone that UX was important until 2007, when I was able to help convince a couple of key people at Everyday Health to start a UX department (me). I started user testing, analysis, reporting and the whole 9 yards. My cultural anthropology degree helped a lot.
Any advice for people wanting to get into the [UX] field?
Decide on what you want to do – design or research. Also, living in major metropolitan areas might be a must to get a position, especially as a researcher. Remote UXR jobs are pretty rare
What do you enjoy about working in the UX industry?
I love developing rapport with users and being their advocate, and making things better for people.
What has been your favourite project to work on?
I really enjoyed the international UXR project I did at Microsoft. .
What is the most common usability issue you encounter during your testing?
That’s a tough one. I’d have to say too much text that is too hard to scan and causes users to abandon the site. That, and huge slider graphics that have nothing to do with the site.
What is the one piece of advice you would offer brands to improve their UX?
Empathy! Put yourself in the users’ shoes. Listen to and observe your users all the time, it’s a continuous process.
What future UX trends do you envision?
Much more mobile focused and swiping, less websites and more apps. Popular apps will influence the way users expect to use products.
What is unique about the UX in your country?
Short attention spans in the western world, I’ll bet.