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Feb. 24, 2023

E274 - OK Boomer, Let's Talk About Ageism

This week on the show, we talk about Ageism, and how it's being viewed as the last acceptable prejudice. We also answer some questions from the community about dealing with Imposter Syndrome, what we’d change if we started our careers over, and what to address in your UX Researcher Portfolio.

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Hello everybody welcome back to anotherepisode of human factors cast this isepisode274 we're recording this episode live onFebruary 23 2023 I'm your host Nick RomeI'm joined today by Mr Barry Kirby hellohello and great to be backit is great to be back and it's it's Iit's wonderful I never left I was readyto go last week behind the sceneswe got we got a great show for y'alltonight we're gonna be talking aboutageism and how it's being viewed as thelast acceptable Prejudice we'll alsoanswer some questions in the communityabout how to deal with imposter syndromewhat we'd change if we started ourcareers over and what to address in yourux researcher portfolio but first we gotsome programming notes and this wasfirst thing I'm going to talk about isif you're listening to this now orbefore Friday at noon uh there is a anhfes Town Hall happening tomorrow Fridayat noon tomorrow when we're recordingFriday February 24th at noon uh comejoin me as I sit down with hfes uh staffandother contributors to hfes to talk aboutuh the first town hall of the yearthere's a lot of different topics fromthe annual uh meeting all the way toumsort of a special task force establishedso that's a little sneak peek for youall please tune in it's uh some goodit'll be some good fun to check in withhfes since we haven't done it sinceright before hfes last year I think uhand hey by the way speaking of humanfactors related things we are less thanone week until the launch the publiclaunch of uh human factors a minutethat's out March 1st you can geteverything an episode or ever everythingin a day early if you go and subscribeto that feed we'll put a link to that inour show notes of course you can alwaysget access to the full show the fullLibrary if you support the show onpatreonum you know we don't get paid to do thisso we really appreciate any support thatyou can give us you know there's thatright there uh Barry I do have to askyou though what is the latest over at1202so in 1202 we have a new episode up andthat we're talking about workplaceassessments but not just any standardworkplace assessments we talk about themfor the audio and Visually Impaired andDan Williams spent a favorite timechatting to me about how he and his teamdo workplace assessments um for audioand visually impaired people and thevalue that we asum as individuals and the businesses ifwe invest that time into your to yourstaff they can actually provide you thatyou know you look at it as an investmentbecause they can provide much betterum Quality for your business if they'vegot the right tools and the capabilitiesdo the jobso that's live now feel free to go inand have a listen and then coming up isa discussion with Martin Bromley who issomebody who um Inspire is inspiring awhole bunch of change uh around humanfactors in the in the Health Serviceyeah it was a great discussion I'm gladyou touched on buying tools for theemployees to make them feel heard andempowered I love that but now it's timeto get to the news so let's go ahead andget into itthank youthat's right this is the part of theshow all about human factors news Barrythe story this week is a fun one let'stalk about itso this week we talk about ageism beingthe last acceptable Prejudice accordingto an article on ux Collective by authorspeaker and digital media expert ChrisConverse the subtle yet pervasivepractice of ageism has spread to the uxUI design process in the digital and uxfield as a wholeConverse explains how ageism hasinfiltrated advertising and he'sbeginning to manifest itself in the formof memory improving products aimed atolder adults which perpetuate never takenegative stereotypes about agingthe article also emphasizes in the factthat all the adults are frequentlyfrequently excluded from digitaltechnology research and design despitethe fact that their inclusion iscritical if Technologies fulfilled itspromising uh its promise of improvingwell-beingthe author emphasizes the importance ofrecognizing older adults as a valuableresource and how ageism harms theindustryas a result he's encouraging businessesto include age in their diversitystatements and to capitalize on theaccumulated knowledge and competence ofolder workersConverse also reminds youngerGenerations that dismissing somebodybecause of their age is the lastacceptable Prejudice and that suchdiscrimination can have negativeconsequences for everyoneso Nick what are your thoughts sorry doI need to turn this up for you to beable to hear it um what are yourthoughts on the uh on this article youready you're ready for a hot spicy takego on then okay this one might be alittle umunpopularit sounds like someone's throwing atantrum and II mean they're using this forum tocomplain now there's two points ofthought that I have about this and Iwant to make sure that I'm clear aboutthis because that sounds like I'mreacting to the fact that he's sayingthat ageism is the last acceptablePrejudice it's not that it's just thatit sounds like this is his Forum tocomplain so let's talk about thisthere'stwo ways to think about this this isincluding older folks in usabilitytesting for user studies and there'salso including older folks in the designprocess and research roles that type ofthing in the first example I thinkit might be an age it might be an issuein the design process but you know thereare valid reasons why older adultsaren't always included in these thingsChief among them technology isconstantly evolving and what may workfor an older generation nowmay not work in the future because ofdigital Nativity right you have thesedigital natives who have grown up theyunderstand howuh how software works and so you don'tneed to do they won't need to go throughas many sort of accessibility hurdles asElder Generations now okay there's alsothe older adults they won't always be atarget audience for some of theseproducts so why waste the time andresources and trying to cater to themspecifically for those products not forproducts designed specifically for themand I don't think this is necessarilydiscrimination I think this is justcommon sense it's a 1202 reference therebut then there's a second sort ofreaction that I have of getting olderand older older folks involved in thedesign process and research roles thattype of thing and I think it's it isdisappointing to see some negativestereotypes perpetuated about olderfolks and if you are subscribed to ourfeed you saw the last week I posted arecast of an episode that we did uhtalking about which cognitive abilitiesactually improve as we age you know Ithink there's The Stereotype that asas people age and get older that theircognitive abilities fail and that's notnecessarily true in fact we talked aboutit in that in that last episode so golisten to that it's in our feed but Ithinkwhat the older generation can providethey have a lot of knowledge a lot oflessons learned that they can pass onand it's it's a lot of do what does thatdo as I say not as I do because it's alearn habit and it's we have to figureout some things on our own but if we cancircumvent that by you know talking tomentors talking to mentors who havealready gone through that process beforethen it's it's completely different andI thinkI think he's spot on with the fact thatcompanies should include that age andtheir diversity statementsI will personally be old somebodysomeday and I want to still be able toget hired so that's my thoughts on itBarry what are you thinking about thisarticleso yeah it it's an interesting one whatisn't it because I think from a designperspectivewe do go a long way to be inclusive sothings like we we try and make sure thatwe uh we cater for color blindness eventhough you know the amount of peoplethat colorblind is is a minority thatthat's what it is but we cater for it asa matter of courseum variations in fingertips like touchscreens are prevalent now soum the way that we J we we ensure thetouchscreen areas or active areasum cater for a broad range of fingersizesumthe number of say 70 80 90 year oldswhich is the sort of the age I thinkover and we're talking about all theolder generation uh which is not what mydaughter said at the din table when shewas saying about 40 and 50 year olds andI'm like I'm 44. back offum but the 70 80 90 year olds that we'retalking about are currentlyum they're not really in a majority ofuh digitally tech savvy you know theyare a growing minority and more morepeople are becoming the Silver Surfersas we call it butum fundamentally that that's not reallywhere the audience isum but as you as you've just uh alludedto digital immigrants digital natives aswe're growing older we are going tobecome this this older generationum and so we are going to have to havethis technology that maybe isn't beingdeveloped thoroughly in a wayum for people withyou know failing our site uh eyesightarthritic fingers failing hearingdementia things like thatum we need to perhaps think about righthow does this technology evolve to dothat properly and we're just not thereyet and I think there's a bunch ofreasons um for that but also I thinkageism is a two-way streetbecause in this article we are naturallyfocusing on older people but there is acultural issue here as well because whenI was discussing this uh this at the thedin tableum as I like to do prior prior to theshowsum my daughter highlighted uh thatthere's so many people and from theolder generation who look down on theyounger generation going well it wasnever like that in my day whatever thatisum you know we you you don't sit allthat I mean so there was the pointwhereas that everyone talks about peoplesitting there being on the phones allthe timeum but then historically people you knowthe thepeople will be sat at the din table withtheir newspapers still ignoringeverybody then table but the the dadswill be sat there with the news so it'sthe same thing they're stilldisconnected it's just in a differentwayum and so actually that um the it neverin uh it was never like that in my daycould be seen as almost a bit bullyingtoo if that makes senseum and also culturally some Notionsabout how we behave in public so we sortof see that you know historically youtheum the young would always give up theirseats on public transport for for olderpeoplewhereas now I think there is a thingthere will I pay for my seat why why whyshould I move for a 40 50 year old whois perfectly fine uh he was a 60 yearold you know maybe when you get into 7080 or you're they're they're pregnant orthere's a real reason for them to sitdown but just that whole piece of youknow we should respect the oldergeneration and do that that just doesn'texist anymoreum or in in the same sort of way so Ithink Western cultures in Westerncultures in Western cultures yesum and I think there is a whole lot ofstuff thereum that culturally and alsotechnologically thatum is evolving and changing andum it's going to be interesting to seehow we keep up with itI think those were the longest reactionsthat we've ever done both of us but Iyou know there's a couple different waysin which we can go for discussing thisarticle I thinkjust to just to reiterate right thisarticle brings attention to ageism rightit's it's a form of discrimination foranyone who's unfamiliar with the conceptright form of discrimination oftenOverlook or yeah overlooked umespecially when it comes to diversityand inclusion and we actually talkedabout culture and HCI couple I guess itwas like the two episodes ago uh withwhen Heidi was on the show with us and Ithink this this is a a good tag along tothat topic because reallyum the author highlighting this lastacceptable Prejudice which actually camefromum a comedian that I'm not too fond ofbut is is pervasive in the tech industryand and really if you think about thetech industry it's largely dominated byyounger Generations right now you see alot of young people in ux and uxresearch and design and I think this uhsort of foreignculture of of younger folks in theseTech uh in this Tech environment is isperpetuating this Prejudice as he callsit rightso I don't know exactly where you wantto go with this Berry but well I thinkfollowing up on on that copy you justmade is is a is a really good pointbecause thethe nature of technology means that it'salways been the younger Generations whokeep keep Pace with it and then as themGenerations get older the youngerGenerations then keep Pace with it sois this is ifwe talk about this as a umuh as a Prejudice but actually it couldbe argued that that is just Evolutionthat that is just one of these thingsit's a it's a it's a it's acharacteristic of of the of you gettingolder you get more comfortable in so weareum well the Facebook generation I thinkum as my kids would call it nowum they think it's very quaint that westill go and use Facebook and and poston Facebookum things like that whereas you know mymy parents my parents will sort of wellmy mum did that doesn't touch any sortof social media at all my dad willum dip into it to see what we're up toum and so he will look on it and they'lllook at the photos and things like thatand they use the technology differentlyin 10 years time the technology is goingto move on again again vastly and justbecause we are digitally native ordigitally immigrant into these sort ofthings well we feel this discriminatedagainstumbecause of that just because the peoplewho are developing it are younger and sothey're developing it for effectivelythemselvesand and how we talk about trickle downwhen it comes to things like economicsand stuff is there a trickle up effecthere and I I don't know well it's it'sinteresting because there's there'sthings that are designed for olderGenerations right we had a whole episodeabout uh giving uh in-home assistance toelderly in New York uh as sort of acompanion as well as a assistant to takecare of other thingsbut I'm sure that they included thatdemographic in their user researchI'm positive that they had like smesthat they talked to subject matterexperts right I think ultimately whenwe're looking at this all right there'sthisthere is ageism in some ways but it'sit's not necessarily a result ofintentional discrimination it's it'srathera reflection of the demographic of howthe tech industry Workforce is comprisedright I think younger people oftenpursue these careers in Tech like I wasmentioningand because they're more prevalentthat's kind of where they're looking soit's it's sort of unintentional in in alot of waysI think you brought up the point ofolder adults maybe being lesscapable of adapting to new technologiesand you know some some would say this isdue to cognitive decline or just youknow whatever but it does make themless desirable because of thatstereotype for certain tech jobs rightthere is a stereotype there and that'sthat's why we're talking about ageismit is important to recognize though thatage doesn't necessarily equate tocognitive decline in fact we had a wholeepisode that I just posted in our feedI'll call back to that episode but umyou know I think there's there's just alot of things that we'd have to it'snuanced and it's umI don't know I I think I think theauthor does make some valid pointsum and I want to address those rightlike I had a spicy take of thought but Ido want to address like yes this thiscould beuh because I let me just mention onemore thing and then I'll let you talkBarry because I've been going on herebut I will say that some of the mostvaluable advice that I've ever receivedhave been from that generationespecially as it relates to humanfactors right they were sharp still fortheir age I mean like I'm even doing itnow I'm saying for their age they weresharp they were attentive to my goalsthey were you know a good Mentor and soI I appreciated that feedback and thatadvice and I took it to heart and nowlook where we're at right so like Idon't know I I just wanted to bring thatup like that therethe author has some points Barry goahead I think I think the author hassome good points almost I can't think ofpoints becauseum there is I think if we were tosuggest certainly from a human factorsperspectivethat the the human body does not degradeover time in in its capabilities bothphysical and mental then we are doingourselves we're either lying to ourfaces uh lying to ourselves are we doingourselves an injustice because it doesum now the speed and rate that thathappens has massive variabilityum I know people will well within their90s who are sharper more eloquent andcleverer than meum I also know people who are quiteyoung or comparatively young maybe notjust not that much older than me who arestarting toum show signs of um cognitive impairmentbut fundamentally between zero uhbetween the time you're born and say 4050um let's say 40 years of age roughlyumthe chances of you showing truecognitive decline uh is rare to thepoint that we would rarely include thatin any sort of target audiencedescription any sort of user group or orthat type of that type of thingso where this article highlights the umthat there are Technologies aroundmemory improve improving aids for olderadults and you can also include withthat I think you knowum mobile sorry phones with biggerbuttons on uh with with largerum with larger text on screens andthings like that the accessibilityelements of your phone make things uhbigger or reads them out because if youreyesight is starting to degrade I thinkbut there is a fine balance therebetween I think designing for anaudience that you are aiming for and soso designing products to be helpfuldesigning products toum fulfill that and thenum actually discriminating peoplediscriminating against people within theworkplaceum and things like that I think there'sthings weum you know the like I said that wewe've both given examples of the peoplewe know who uh would be great in jobsregardless of their ageum because they're still as as sharp asanythingum which is fineum but I think the not recognizing theway that we change over time is possiblydoingeverybody disservice so it's how do webalance that whole what is true ageismas a prejudiceuh ageism as a um recognition of factdiscussokay well I mean yeah no you're rightyou're right right and I think therethere's a couple of solutions to this uhat least off the top of my head rightyou could sort of incorporate more oldergeneration into your studies and thatthat's kind of the easy low-hangingfruit solution right okay well there'sthis problem they're not includedinclude them uh I think as I mentionedearlier and has the author mentioned tooinclude includingage as sort of a protected elementwithin those diver uh diversityinclusion statements I think that isanotherpossible you know uh patch to thisespecially for keeping those agingpopulation in the workforce uh and andthis by the way quick tangent herethere's the whole other issue of theworkforce shrinking because we're notreproducing at the same rate that wewere before that has a whole bunch ofother social issues but one of them isthat the workplace the workforce is notbeing replaced at the same ratethereforeolder Generations may need to stay infor longer to you know whateverso there's that but then then alsoanother solution could be potentiallyyou have the sexual harassment trainingwhy don't you have like a anddiscrimination training and you knowinclude age in that training materialright those are some potential solutionsto this problem you know I do want to Ido want to back up just really quick andtalk about the article itself you know Ithink this is somebody'ssubjective experiencethey do present a compelling argument toaddress ageism and Tech butI really think you know some morespecific examples would be reallyhelpful I think some research toactually back this up and make it knownthat it's an issue would be helpful soif anyone's looking for like a thesis oryou know a dissertation idea there yougoumyou know and I think that the impact ishighlighted but they don't again providesolutions from their perspective it's itthis is why I went with my spicy take atthe top it feels likeokay are you justare you just bitching or are you justare you trying to fix things becauselet's talk about this and it may havejust been in an opening statement to saylet's let's talk about this aconversation discuss but at the sametime you could offer those Solutions atthe top to say I've done my homework Idon't know just to me it just seemed alittle weak in that regardyeah nothing I think that's why we'vealmost dissected in the way that we haveis becausethere's two different takes you can haveon it one is theum is almost that moral and ethicalViewpoint of ageism as a Prejudice andif you're choosing you know are youchoosing people for the right reasonsum but equally to suggest thatum that we stay you know it's almostsuggesting that we that the human bodystays the same throughout throughout itslife with exactly the same capabilitiesexactly the same functions and thingslike that and that's just not true I'mboth you know throughout the spectrum ofage not just looking at older peoplebecause equally you would never suggestthat a baby should be flying a fighterjetum that that you know less than fiveyears old might be outside of my um mydesign parameters at that pointumbut the you know equally the is it justTechum with this type of uh discussiondebateyou know it goes quite broadly doesn'tit it'sum everybody uses age in uh any sort ofone way or another So within you knowyou can't join the military above abovea certain age because your your deemedto have beenum you know past your best at that butbest at that pointum uh Pilots can't fly Beyond uhcommercial pilots can't fly beyondbeyond a certain age because they'redeemed to beum you know past their best for thatthat sort of thingum so the more that you the more that welook at that I mean you knowum we have had educationaldegree degrees are a certain certainlength in time rather than reallycapability driven and competence drivenum we trying to get people to becompetence driven within their jobrather than how many years you've gotunder your belt is still an evolvingstill an evolving bee soI think age is still going to be aproblem for or an issue a debatableuh topic for for quite a while and for anumber of years to comeyeah I agree I think there's you'retalking about different Industries alittle bit with militaryI want to talk about this in terms ofgovernment too because you havea an objectively older generationat least here in the states dictatinglaws and policy andthis is I think part of the reasonwhy younger Generations are so fired upabout this issue is because look likethey're policy makers are showing thatthey don't they clearly don't understandsome of the implications and dangers ofwhat tech can do wide scale to cultureand Society okay we've talked about thismany times on the show right AI rightnow is running rampant and I mean thatin the best possible way it's fun to seeeverything that's happening but alsoit's introducing a lot of reallydangerous Technologies out there thatare abusive and harmful to individualsand so because we don't have any laws inplace right now that dictate what we canand cannot do withuh technology artificial intelligenceanything like thatthere are there are people out there whoare getting hurt because of this andI think that's that's important toconsider right when when you havelawmakers that are of an advanced agethat are making these decisions for usdoesn't make sense then is this is thisretributionlike okay we need to include People ofOur Own generation to you know uh of theyounger Generations I shouldn't say ofmy generation uh of younger generationstoresearch this becauseit's clear on a national stage that theydon't get itright those are our role models and thisisyou're absolutely right I mean this iswhere we the ourgovernmental system almost breaks downis that there are not enough and I thinkwe do it maybe slightly better here inthe UK than what you've got in the USum because I think in the USU it is sodriven you know to get anywhere near theuh them houses of power you need to havesome significant money behind you to getthere you're only going to get thereafter a period of timeum you know building up a power base Etcet cetera no matter what level you're atyou know it's significant so we need tobe able to encourage people young peopleto have their voice heard and to be ableto do that and that that will then bringin some of this because I you see someof theum some of the Committees in the sensewhere they've interviewedum like Mark Zuckerberg and and peoplelike that just on you knowand the level of questioning is almostembarrassing it is to the point ofyou're sitting there goingall your do you've got no idea of trulywhat you're talking about and you hadliterally just point scoring you'retrying to score you're trying to beclever and you're not it's not you'renot clever enough to to do it you justdon't yeah you don't have anappreciation of the technology and howit's used uh yeah and I really quick Ijust want to comment on that I think alot of that is the progression ofquestions yes they're trying to get youknow a line of inquiry but theprogression of questions doesn't go morethan a couple layers deep to get at whatthey're trying to investigate rightum and and I think that that reallycould go a long way if they treatedthose investigations like a usabilitystudy or you know a user interview whereyou are lining up all those questions Imean I know they are but in the sense ofreally establishing what is your goalwhat is and I I'm not saying they don'tdo this but I think there is some thingsthat government can learn from usabilitywell there isn't it this is one of thethings that sort of highlight what we'vegot going in the UK at the moment so wedo have some members of parliament whoare youngerum so it always used to be like sort ofmembers of parliament you get to get tomaybe like your 50s and your 60s andthings like that um whereas nowum there are some significantlyimpressive members of parliament who arein younger than meum significantly younger than meum doing some good stuff I mean there'sthere's one in particularumDarren Jones who's chair of a committeeat the moment one of the basicallybusiness select committee and he hasbeen taking people to task on technologyand Technology uses all the way fromAmazon through to the mail service etcetc but coming at it from a position ofknowledgeum and they do that in it so they're notpolitical Point stock I mean it's donein a in a cross-party way but it's butthey're actually doing it what I thinkis almost a proper investigation they'reproperly drilling down they're probablyholding people to account and and it'squite impressive to seeum when you when when that startshappening but we just don't see enoughof it I thinkum and the more people we get ingovernment who are younger than thebetter represented people are so we'vegone on a slight tangent but I thinkit'sum I think it's a valid one yeah no itis it is because it all relates to Techright especially if like I said thesethese people who are leaders are are notunderstanding it then why would weinclude them yep absolutely just andthat that perpetuates that stereotypeBarry do you have anything else thatyou'd like to talk about on the topicso I think I would summarize it in Ithink in it's almost two there's twohalves to it one is the we need to bethinking selfishly we need to bethinking about ourselvesum so we're going to be wanting to usethis Tech when we will just so whatother changes do we want to see happento it as we get older and to be able toallow us toum engage with it in the way that we dotoday so there is an element of thatabout how the Disneyland's digitalnatives as we evolve how does this Techevolve with usum because we're still going to use onewant to use Facebook even if I even withyounger Generations are notum or something equivalentum but equally I thinkumthe difference here between that andactualum age is a major discrimination we needto make sure that we you know we areutilizingum peopleum and the knowledge and the experiencethat they've gained as much as we canyou alluded to it um almost at the topof the show wherewe in the western culture treat olderpeople differently to uh Middle Easternand Eastern cultures uh where in easterncultures that um elderly people are muchmore revered because the knowledge andexperience that they've gained or maybewe could do a lot by learning from themin thatyeah and I'm wondering if that culturalbelief those cultural values perpetuatein the way that they conduct ux andhuman factors in eastern cultures rightso I don't know it's it's a goodquestion I think ultimately moreresearch education about this specifictopic of ageism and really theimportance of including those diverseperspectives in the tech industry isreally needed here I think this is uhthis is an observation they bring upsome the author Chris Converse he bringsup some articles some papers suggestingor supporting that negative impact ofageismbutand and a little bit about sort ofincluding them in in design and researchof digital Tech but like beyond that weneed some we need some more research itneeds to be more robust in terms of howwe approach this problem and like yousaid Barrydigital natives are going to uh age andare it's going to flip the scriptentirely rightI don't know it's justit's just an unknown at this point solet's let's make it known all right wellthank you to our everyone for this uhfor selecting our topic especially ourpatrons and thank you to our friendsover at ux Collective and Chris Conversefor our news story this week if you wantto follow along we do Post links to allthe original articles on our weeklyroundups and our blog you can also joinus in our Discord for more discussion onthese stories and more hot takes we'regonna take a quick break and we'll beback to see what's going on in the humanfactors Community right after thishuman factors cast brings you the bestin human factors News interviewsconference coverage and overall funconversations into each and everyepisode we producebut we can't do it without youthe human factors cast network is 100listener supported all the funds that gointo running the show come from ourlisteners our patrons are our priorityand we want to ensure we're giving backto you for supporting us pledges startat just one dollar per month and includerewards like access to our weekly q andA's with the hosts personalizedprofessional reviews and human factorsminute a patreon only weekly podcastwhere the hosts break down uniqueobscure and interesting human factorsTopics in just one minute patreonrewards are always evolving so stop human factorscast to seewhat support level may be right for youthank you and remember it dependsyes huge thank you as always to all ofour patrons we especially want to thankour human factors cast all access PatronMichelle Tripp patrons like you trulykeep the lights on over here I make thejoke a million times uh but that's whatit looks like without y'all uh if you dowant to help support the show we have abunch of different options for you abuck gets you in the door even a buckreally helps us out seriously uh anywaywe uh I mentioned it we have a Discorduh we have the Discord server you canjump in there get involved with otherhuman factors professionals from allover the world uh there's people joiningum you know all the time and they'reasking some really great questions we'vehad questions most recently about uhwhat was it it was it was nuclear powerplants and in space that was a prettycool topicumyou know you can jump in there discussthe news with us if you have some hotspicy takes about ageism in the techindustry come come join us over thereand let us know what you feel like Ithink the more that we open up thesediscussions uh amongst ourselves uh thethe more our views on this topic or anytopic really get more refined and morenuanced it's always refreshing to talkwith others from various perspectivesright it it's it's super cool to seejust what kind of folks join in therebecause like it's it's truly uhInternational andum got a lot of great perspectives onthere so we we uh we even haveum sometimes we talk about stories ornot stories uh like questions that weget from Discord on the show there'sgetting more context around thoseum and there's a lot of activity atleast on our lab chat there's a lot ofuh uh so you can't see that part but youknow we're always there we're alwaysthere watching so if you if you postsomething you'll see it I'm getting catbombed right now so I think it's timefor us to get into this next part of theshow we like to callit came fromthat's right it's it came from yeah thisis part of the show where we search allover the Internet to bring you topicsthat the community is talking about ifyou find any of these answers usefulgive us a like uh wherever you'rewatching or listening to help otherpeople find this content be reallyuseful uh so let's get into this firstone here this is I landed my first ux UIjob need some advice this is by kaharmon the user experience subreddit theywrite so I landed my first ux jobthe first work day is looming I'm stillkind of nervous and definitely dealingwith imposter syndrome so I'm here toask for your help what steps can I taketo overcome imposter syndrome and gainknowledge and experience Beyond learningfrom my team and asking questionsshould I focus on reading books ormastering tools any other general advicefor a newbie Barry what what are yourthoughts on thisfirstly chill just take a breath it'sfineum at the end of the day they hired youso they must have at least beenconvinced in your capability and what itwhat they see in you so it's them thattake the risk in this not you so firstthat's first take a breath but I I thinkfirst days on a work on any time they'realways the same because every time Itake on a new project or a contract I'mabsolutely there with youum I get imposter syndrome all the timeso but I guess I try and I use itpositively or I I vaguely try and use itpositivelyum when I get over it so I try and thinkabout right what is it about this rolethat um or this project or whatever itis I'm going to why is it making me feellike an imposter and it can be one of afew different things it's either it's anew domain so I've done that when I'mtaking what I've done and I've gone intoa new domain that I haven't known butI'm trying to bring my expertise into itum I've done that quite a few times nowum is it a new clientum is it so so if a new for me it's anew client is it somebody I'm trying toengage with and trying to impress themto hopefully maybe get some more workout with them in the futureum or is it just a new area am I am I inthe same domain but am I learning newskills and therefore I'm a bit nervousabout doing once if I do once you'veidentified why it is you feel like animposter so what's your nervousnessaround it then that makes that that's myTarget in the first few daysum to try and um focus on learning and Itry and use the first week to beeffectively the the spongeum in that area and pull all thatinformation backbut fundamentally again I'd Circle rightback tothey hired you they see the or theybelieve that you've got the skills andit's as much in their cause in theirdomain and in their desire to make surethat that you coming on board is asuccess as much as you need it to be soyou're not on your ownum and and breathe take the time Nickhow would you how would you deal with ityeah I think one of the things that youcan really do here is to really take onuh advantage of that onboarding periodright I think this is a really good timeespecially if it's a new domain newindustry people are going to assume thatyou don't know much about the productabout you know whatever it is thatyou're working on so take advantage ofthat time really get get to know thefolks that you're going to be workingwith sit down ask them questions likewho do I go to for this that the otherthing uh you know who's the best aboutthis thingumask a lot of questions about what whatthe thing is that you're working on uhhow things are done internally the moreknowledge that you have about thosethings the more confident that you'llfeel in your role so that'll help youwith imposter syndrome when it comes toimposter syndrome try not I know this iseasier said than done try not to let itget to you or hold you back you knoweveryone starts somewhere so I know thisis kind of a first job type of situationand that certainly felt it doesn'tnecessarily go away I still feel it uhlike a lot of times so it doesn't goaway especially for certainpersonalitiesum so just remember that and try toapproach it from some of the sameperspectives that Barry was mentioningright focus on on looking at the toolsand mastering those that'll you'll beusing in your role rather than sort ofoverwhelming yourself with a lot ofinformation about what you're doing youwant to learn just enough but not somuch that you feel overwhelmed by thecomplexity of it right uh and and thatcan be that can be a very fine balanceumand a tightrope that you need to walkum and reallythis is a big one too don't be afraid toask for feedback on your work and andreally listen to what people are sayingbecause it might be good feedbackespecially if you're just starting arole uh I'm going to mention it laterbut develop thick skin early so that'sthat's kind of what I have there uh thisnext one here uh is starting over inhuman factors by Caleb Colorado on thehuman factor subreddit they write if youcould go back to the beginning whatwould you do differently in your pursuitof a human factors career Barrywow Define the beginningum so I guess for me because I didn'twhen I first signed out on myum initial career I had no I'd neverheard of human factors to know what hewas so it'd be pointless to try and sayum to have done a human factors degreeright from the off you knowbecause it just didn't exist I wouldn'thave known what it was but I would liketo have taken Academia more seriouslyum because at that point in my life Iwas very much going through a process toget somewhere everything was pretty muchon on uh train tracks and it theacademic elements were just hurdles Ihad to jump throughum rather than something to enjoy uhsomething to engage with and that goesall the way up to my degreeum it was it was something it wassomething just aa portion of time I had to get throughumI guess I would have put I would haveliked to have different experiences formy level years as well because thatwasn't the most pleasant experience everum but I came through the other side ofit and that's kind of the point Iwouldn't be where I'm at todayum and certainly wouldn't be going intowhat this year is going to be doingum doing for me without them experiencesthat I've had that they've allcontributed both positive the positiveand negative experiences have allcontributed to my level of expertise ofwhatever that isum you know being able to run my owncompany being able to know the people Iknow to be able to talk on a platformlike this and if I taken differentroutes particularly through the harderbits through my early career it wouldn'thave popped me out to where I am now sothere's lots of things I would have youknow in hindsight to make my life easierI would like to have changed but theywould have all put me on a differentjourney and I probably wouldn't end upwouldn't have ended up enjoying what I'mdoing now so I wouldn't change a thingNick what about you great advice don'tchange a thing look here's the thing isis that similar to you Barry a humanfactors career kind of found me uh whichis the case for a lot of peopleum and in that respect it is kind ofhard to think about this question fromtrying to answer about how to plan forthis type of career that finds you in alot of cases if you're trying to pursueitum you know or I guess eveneven beyond that I think the the onething that I would mention to a youngerself is Embrace flexibility be ready tochange at a moment's notice don't stickto anything don't feel too passionateabout anything because things can changeum Embrace feedback from others like Imentioned earlier develop a thick skinearly it's people are going to saythings and you'll hear things that makeyou feel a certain way but you need tobe able totake that feedback evaluate itcritically and don't take it personallyum you know we mentioned on the showbefore everyone has a certain way ofcommunicating andif you're in a room with somebody who'stelling you what their thoughts are thethe chances are your your goals and thatperson's goals are going to be verysimilar you're trying to make whateverit is that you're doing better and sothey're not giving you feedback to makeyou feel bad hopefully they're not doingit to be a jerk but they are trying tomake whatever it is that you're workingon better sobe able to have that thick skin earlyum I think the last piece here Imentioned it earlier when we weretalking about the main story but seek amentorship and guidance from people whohave done thisum and are currently in the humanfactors field right like I can't tellyou how valuable it was to have a mentorand it was it was set up in in the senseof a like workplace mentorbut even having that relationship wasum a good one for me because I learned alot I learned various new ways ofapproaching problems that I hadn'tthought about beforeand uh if if you're looking for thatadvice that's that's where you're goingto want to go that's that's what I haveto say about that oneall right let's get into uh this nextone here ux researcher newbie byintelligent coat 4002 my use userexperience research subreddit they writeI'm trying to navigate my way in theindustry but stuck on trying to figureout the next steps to take curious onhow uh my I'm curious to know if myportfolio to be a ux researcher has tocontain UI designs are mainly just myfindingsBarry so I'm going to wimp out on thisone ever so slightly because I've neverhad I'm not in that exact domain andtherefore never had to produce aportfolio as such however I would querya couple of things aroundum getting involved in this domain whyit's Focusif you're trying to navigate in andaround the industry why focus on justbeing a researcher because there are anumber of roles out there involved withwith the ux ux lifecycleum that I thinka nuancedly different but actually comefrom the same basis there's we've talkedabout in the show before whereas the thethere's a fashionable element aroundsome of the roles at the moment andperhaps some of some of this is is thathowever for me if you're if you'representing a portfolio to meum I think it's there is value inshowing the a design element as well asfindings because it shows that you'vegotum more arrows to your bowum or more you know things like that sothere's absolutely no harm in showing abreadth of skills not just focus on thatindividual element there might be aperfectly good reason why you want to beux researcher and which is why I raisedthe questionum and and clearly if you if that is thethat if that's the dream ticket focus onthatum but don't be afraid of showingum showing them broader skills Nick whatdo you thinkI thinkas if you're going for that researchrole let's let's look at it from thatperspective focus on showcasing yourfindings in your portfolio and yourapproachum you know make sure that you're sortof summarizing what methodologies thatyou use the results that you weregetting the return on investment isanother really good marker of of how toapproach that I thinkincluding designs is okay justcommunicate whether or not you haddirect impact on the final designwhether it was you providingrecommendations to a designer that theninterpreted those recommendations andmade the design or did you do a back ofthe napkin sketch and hand it to thedesigner and say hey look this is how itshould be based on these recommendationsthey took that and made it pretty likeindicate to what degree you wereinvolved with that process I thinkthat's okay but I wouldn't like put afinal design on there that you'veresearched and maybe didn't have youweren't the one doing the mock-ups ordevelopment of it and claiming that asyour own that is not what I'm lookingfor in a in a portfolio I'm looking formethodologies and results and umas long as we're talking about researchportfolios I don't even have one so yeahthere's another element I would justthrow in that as a as a thing as well isI guess there's there is a almost acountry-stroke cultural issue here aswell that in the if you I guess my myview is always coming from that UKperspective because that's where I'm atand there is a way fewer practitionersin the fieldum way way way fewer though most of ushave to be multi-disciplinary one way oranother to the point that we don'tnecessarily recognize uh we know thatthe different rules exist but actuallywe blend one into the other into theotherum almost seamlessly uh because that'sjust the way we are because there's sofew of us whereas I'm very cognizant nowespecially because of these type ofconversationsum and other conversations that we'vehad that actually some of these wrotebecause there are more practitioners inthe field particularly in the US butalso elsewhere uh that there isum muchstronger divides between them betweenthe most to a certain extent or thatthey are much better defined I thinkthan what they are here in the UK aswell which I I find really interestingum and really usefulyeah that's that's fair uh you know Imean as long as you are highlightingsort of the importance of human factorsuser experience ergonomics whatever inyour research and how you've appliedthose principles in your work and yourmethodology and your results and youroutcomes all that stuff I think that'llkind of cover it from a portfolioperspective but again I don't even haveone so there you go all right uh this isjust one more thing this is the part ofthe show where we just talk about onemore thing Barry what is your one morething this weekwell I've mentioned it beforeum that Amanda my wife she's doingum human factors Masters at the momentbecause after being in business now for11 years together she's decided runninga human factors consultancy that shebetter learn what it's about andbut what is really nice for meum having not done that sort of stuffbecause I'm I'm practical based it'sreally good fun about talking about withwhat she's learning uh which is which isFab now we went away for the weekendlast weekend and because it's a 20-yearwedding anniversary congratulationsthank youum in the icons we there was no jokeseither about it being it would be theend of the um 20-year jail sentenceeitherum for life but I digressum so we went away for a weekendum just the two of us and on you knowone of one of the nights there we ifyou'd sidled it to our table Just theTwo of Us looking romantically into eachother's eyesyou'd have realized that actually weweren't discussing just the longevity ofour relationship or the how much we loveeach other or anything like that it wasactually the affordances of the teapotof The Breakfast Tableum and and as well as the the later theinstructions for guidance on climatecontrols in the bedroom because she'sbeen doing about affordances and how umthe design of thingsum uh there to basically be used buyersor not and the teapot that we had at TheBreakfast Table you couldn't youcouldn't fit either two or three thingsin and to use it properly you had to putanother finger on the top of it to stopthe whole lid falling offum and and so that that was the that wasthe depth of our romantic discussion ofof the um of the dinner table I mean whosays romance is deadand it has an added benefit for ourpatrons uh Barry actually recorded thatand we're going to throw it up as theirbonus content it's a surprise to Amandafor sure I think that the E20 might bean end point if I did thatno we don't actually have a recording ofthat conversation I think that's funny Ithink that's that's actually in someways that is more intimate and and moreromantic in a lot of ways because you'reboth bonding over over a common interestand it's amazing to see that 20 years onrightit's also really cool the fact thatshe's doing all this stuff and I canhave a meaningful discussion with herand that that re reinforces the factthat I've made you know what I'm talkingaboutperspective so Nick what about you noone more thing uh so I have to laugh uhbecause last week I mentioned it acouple times I was out because I wasgetting my wisdom teeth removed and Ihave a lot of anxiety around dentaloperations procedures uh and this wasjust like pulling teeth it was pullingteeth uh my my teeth were erupted so itwasn't like too difficult and honestlyprobably would have been fine with somelocal anesthetic but like I wanted to beout for this thing right so I did somelike Googling and searching and becauseof the way that insurance works here inthe states like uh anesthesia wasn'tcovered so I couldn't be out for itwhile he just removed my teethum but they did provide the option fornitrous or laughing gas and I just I satthere so the experience is just reallybizarre I was sitting there in thedentist chair they were you know theyleaned me back they put the thing overmy nose I said are you feeling it yet nocrank it up a little bit are you feelingit yet no no okay your your hands shouldstart to feel funny your legs may be alittle tingly uh okayum not feeling it yet not feeling it yetI cranked it up and then I said stillnot feeling it and as I said that Istart to feel feel it and then theycranked it up even more and then I feltI really felt it I was like and I wassitting there going feeling warm andfuzzy kind of felt like a buzz and I waslikethis is funny because they call itlaughing gas and it's yeah it's makingme giggle you know so I'm just sittingthere like having a good time and it'sit's funny I mentioned this in thepre-show but literally getting my toothpulled was quick and painless and havingthat experience technically the TheLaughing Gas wasn't covered by myinsurance but it was like eighty dollarsthey had a discount so it was eightydollars and I felt like that was worthevery penny for me to have that level ofanxiety just reduced and it's like ifyou can do that for if you can do thatfor everything regarding my teeth andDentistry like can we do that that wouldbe amazing I'd pay that every time it'sjust it it made me really reflect onpatient careas a whole and and speaking of patientcare we will have some coverage of thehealthcare Symposium coming up nextmonth uh but I think that isum a really important piece that I in myday today I don't necessarily considerand it's just it's just important toknow that it is considered and thatpeople are thinking about it and thankyou to you people who are doing thatbecause it really made my experience awhole lot betterI still can't get over the fact and it'sa this is another example ofum how grateful I need to be aboutsocialized Healthcareum the fact that you have to choosebetween the type of anesthetic based onwhat your insurance provider would coveryou I just find completely mind-blowingum yeah I mean I didn't have to chooseit was a matter of research and effortto put into it yes so yeah but still yesyou should be very thankfulall right well that's gonna be it fortoday everyone if you like this episodeenjoy some of the discussion abouttaking care of our elders I'll encourageyou to go listen to episode 251 Grandmarelax it's just a robot where we talkabout putting assistance into Grandma'shome comment wherever you're listeningabout what you think of the story thisweek really interested in your takes ifyou want to join us on our DiscordCommunity uh love to hear some of yourdiscussion there for more uh visit ourofficial website and stay up to datewith all of the latest team of factorsnews by signing up for our newsletter ifyou'd like to hear if you like what youhear you want to support the showthere's a couple ways you can do thatone wherever you're at watchinglistening you can leave us a five starreview that is free for you to do andreally helps us out uh tell your friendsabout us that is also free for you to doand really helps us out or if you havethe financial means to you'll want togive us a buck like I said a buck getsyou in the door for our patreon stuff soyou can always consider supporting us onpatreon as always links to all of oursocials and our website are in thedescription of this episode be sure totune in tomorrow if you're listening todie right or to today go check out thehfvs Town Hall that's happening uh Iwant to thank Mr Barry Kirby for beingon the show today where can ourlisteners go and find you if they wantto talk about spicy takes on ageismyou can find me across social media okayor if you listen to some interestinginterviews with interesting humanpractices people then find me 1202 thehuman factors podcast which is the1202podcast.comas for me I've been your host Nick Romeyou can find me on our Discord andacross social media at Nick underscoreRome thanks again for tuning in to humanfactors cast until next timeit is

Barry KirbyProfile Photo

Barry Kirby

Managing Director

A human factors practitioner, based in Wales, UK. MD of K Sharp, Fellow of the CIEHF and a bit of a gadget geek.