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This great infographic from the report Leveraging Business Value: How ROI Changes User Experience found on Robert J. Neal’s blog focuses on a problem we are facing right now – finding great IA / UX candidates.
The infographic above considers different Stages of companies that offer IA / UX services. Stage 0 (the lowest) is a company that can deliver work on-time and on-budget (and, we presume, is of a high level of quality). Stage 1 companies will begin dealing with metrics, user behavior, and will incorporate strategy and value-creation into their deliverables. At higher stages we get to more advanced categories where business and market strategies impact the success of the product. The same criteria can be used to evaluate IA / UX job candidates.
I think this chart is particularly valuable for a number of reasons. First, it allows one to group candidates and existing workers into categories where the value they create can be quantified. This is useful in determining who gets placed on which projects. Second, it itself acts as a metric itself during an interview. If the interviewee does not begin to mention how they used metrics or attempted to affect user behavior, they are probably at Stage 0.
Now for the bad news …..
It is very difficult to even find Stage 0 candidates in today’s job market.
I’m not sure why this is, but my hunch is after someone gets some chops in whatever software they choose to execute their craft, they stop progressing to higher plateaus. However, once one begins working with clients that expect higher degrees of value creation, the quality of work has to increase accordingly.
So if you are, or know, anyone that is a Stage 0 (and above!) UX / IA, let us know!