How to ace a UX task
The majority of final stage interviews now require UX Designers to carry out a task at home and present to the interview panel.
This can be a daunting task, so I’ve pulled together some examples to help you prepare:
Global Media Group – redesign the homepage experience of their main product for either iOS app, Android app or responsive website. How can you make the homepage more personalised and engaging?
Subscription start-up – you are given personas and asked to analyse the on boarding funnel to decide how it can be tailored to suit the varied user groups. How would you present an alternative journey? How would you validate assumptions and what alternatives would you suggest?
Online Travel Brand – improve the search and booking journey for the website, looking at the homepage, search results and accommodation pages. During the interview you will present the key issues and recommendations, presenting them in the way you see fit.
Financial Services Group – propose an iPhone app design for a web-based technical tool (given the current screenshot of tool). State the assumptions you’ve made and show how you would test these. The purpose of this task is to rationalise your design decisions, talk about your design process and thinking and illustrate your designs.
Digital Agency – talk us through your UX approach for the redesign of a well-known charity website, including your ideas on how you would build a vision of our approach for the client. We are keen to hear about your strategy and choose the best way to present your ideas back to us.
With such a wide variety of companies hiring UX folk, from start-ups to global corporates, you can never be 100% prepared for the task they will throw at you.
Here are some top tips to bear in mind:
- TIMING – As a general guide, hiring managers ask for the presentation of the task to be 15 – 20 minutes.
- PRESENTATION STYLE AND FORMAT – It is often left open for the candidate to decide the best way to present back as we have found this can be a major deciding factor on whether you get the job! For example, have you taken into account if the team are working in Agile, or the communication style needed for various stakeholders? A candidate was recently offered a role as she presented the task on a whiteboard and followed the Lean approach, which the company was using.
- VALIDATING ASSUMPTIONS – you will likely have to work to some assumptions, whether they are in the task brief or if you are questioning the hiring managers during the presentation. For example, are the company seeking a new user base or retaining their current? You could even put together some quick personas and discuss what research methodologies you’d use if you had more time etc.
- BE INSPIRED – conduct a competitor analysis and include any examples of what could be added to the product or service in your presentation to show you’ve done your research.
- PROCESS & THINKING – this is the most important part of the task as the employer wants to understand how you solve problems. While your portfolio can show your work process and deliverables, the task is a great way to show how you work and why you made certain design decisions.
- CONFIDENCE & COMMUNICATION SKILLS – you have made it through the initial interview rounds, so you have done very well so far in a competitive market! As cliché as it may be, first impressions matter and the presenting of your task shows your soft skills and whether you could be a good culture fit for the team.
- TALK ABOUT NEXT STEPS – what would you do next on the project? Who would you work with to make the project a success? It is likely to be a live problem within the company, so if you get the job you will be working on it. Treat it as you would if you get offered the role.
I am keen to hear if you have any tips you can share following a recent UX task in an interview?