Book review: “The User Experience Team of One” by Leah Buley

The User Experience Team of One: A Research and Design Survival GuideThe User Experience Team of One: A Research and Design Survival Guide by Leah Buley
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I started reading this book when we were a small team of product managers and product designers in the job. Often finding myself stuck in how to go on about a problem, and seeing that product designers were always full of work, I wanted to learn some more specific things about UX that I could apply myself to help move forward things without waiting for someone who already knew how to do it. Doing research, sketching ideas, presenting results.

Suddenly the team around me started growing really fast, and very talented people were coming in to tackle the problems faster than it would have taken me to learn the best techniques to do it myself, so I abandoned it temporarily and focused on learning on the job, from real practice.

I am glad I came back to the book. While I don’t have the same urgency I did when I first chose it, I discovered the book is like a small treasure (or cheat sheet) that comprises a ton of practical techniques to do UX work, from problem definition, to delivering results. When I finished it, I immediately found myself applying at least three of the techniques, giving some of my work more meaning and structure than it had before I knew about them.

I am not a team of one. In fact, I think I am part of a privileged group that gets to work with people who have very clearly defined roles inside of the different areas that entail product (researchers, designers, data analysts). But I still benefited a lot from this publication. If you’re starting in product management or UX design, it will be really useful to get an overview and tips of how to go about certain things. If you’re experienced in this area, it can be a good way of getting an overview of big part of what your job entails and perhaps refresh some of the areas or skills you might have unintentionally let to rust or gather dust.

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