How to Ace a UX Task
The prospect of doing a take-home task can be daunting for many, so I’ve put together some tips and advice to help you prep:
In general, your presentation will be expected to last between 15-20 minutes. Make sure to keep things concise.
As a rule of thumb, avoid having too much white space, or a page with just an image and no context or annotation. On the other hand make sure you’ve not gone too text heavy with no images! Additionally, some clients will ask to see the task before the interview, so it’s worth having annotations to ensure it makes sense.
It’s often a nice touch to use the client’s branding (colour scheme, fonts etc) within your presentation. Show that you’re already starting to think along those lines.
Ask a friend to check for any spelling errors, or grammatical mistakes.
The fact you’ve made it through to the final round (or at the very least the penultimate one) shows you’ve impressed them so far! This is now a chance for you to get across your soft skills and allow the team to assess whether you’d be a good culture fit. Often during a task, a few members of your team will be present.
The task needs to read like a mini case study, walk your audience through your steps and approach and most importantly validate your decisions.
Consider the existing experience (whether it’s the client’s website, app etc). Carry out an audit and identify what is and isn’t working and carry this through into your designs.
Carry out a competitor analysis, include anything exciting or interesting you think could be added to the product or service to benefit it.
If you have the time, carry out some top-line ad hoc user research with a few people to test your design and provide you with feedback. This will help to form a basis to show why you made certain decisions, as you will likely be working on a lot of assumption. If you don’t have time to conduct research, you could discuss what methodologies you would have liked to have used…
Could you take things one step further at the end (if not asked to already)? Talk about future opportunities or even issues that could arise, how to keep people returning to your proposition etc.
Going the extra mile
Could you even drop the hiring manager a message with some questions relating to the task? Show you’re really taking it seriously.
Think about how you want to present your work (unless you’ve already been told this prior). Ideally make sure your work can be viewed offline/ make sure you have emailed it to yourself or the team. The last thing you want is a technical mishap to throw you off your game!
Know your task inside out, and be prepared to answer questions afterwards. For example why you did/didn’t make certain decisions.
Remember, you aren’t expected to complete the task to perfection; it’s much more about your thinking and process rather than the final product. Good luck!