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March 31, 2023

E278 - Work Is Changing. Are You?

In this podcast episode, we dive into The Future of Work 2023 Report and explore its implications. Additionally, we provide valuable advice on dealing with defensive and uncooperative product owners and developers, feeling hopeless, and burnout for 13-year senior designers. Tune in for insightful discussions and practical solutions.
#podcast #futureofwork #productdevelopment #mentalhealth #workplacewellness #burnoutprevention #designers #professionaldevelopment #communitysupport

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Recorded live on March 30th, 2023, hosted by Nick Roome and Blake Arnsdorff.

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episode 278 we're recording this live on March 30th 2023 this is human factors cast I'm your host Nick Rome if you're new here new around here and I'm joined today by a rare Mr Blake arnsdorf super rare but it's good to be back thanks for having me Nick hey Blake buddy hope it's a good day thank you for being on the show uh Barry is out on holiday this week he'll be back soon uh we got a great show for y'all tonight we're gonna be discussing the future of 2023 report then we'll be answering some questions from the community covering topics such as how to deal with defensive and uncooperative product owners and developers uh what what to do if you're feeling hopeless and advice to you longtimers that are getting burned out but first some programming notes hey this is an exciting thing Healthcare Symposium the human factors and ergonomic Society International Symposium on Healthcare and human factors it's a long name but we have coverage coming for you coming soon Elise is out on assignment she is out there Gathering a bunch of uh interviews with folks that are going to be from what I hear amazing right Blake that's that's the word on the street they're going to be more than amazing they're going to be absolutely epic and I can't wait for y'all to hear them uh I'm excited to hear them too in fact I haven't actually heard them the the Symposium actually wrapped up I think yesterday is that right or earlier today or something like that it was yesterday it just wrapped up so we're we're still getting all that audio packaged up sent out for you uh but look forward to that and speaking of the healthcare Symposium if you weren't aware uh there was an announcement there uh by Heidi mirzad who's been on the show before Heidi is is uh going to be the host of her very own podcast here in the human factors cast network of podcasts it's called safe and effective the medical human factors podcast the trailer is live now you can go and subscribe it's coming in April we've been working hard on that for the last couple months so I'm really excited for you all to hear that uh it's it's something uh I said we work hard on it the last couple months this has been years in the hopper that we're like we've been trying to kick off for years so we're really excited about that of course there's 1202 Barry's not here to tell us about it this week but he is really excited about that interview with Jenny rad Cliff uh who is the people hacker the other human factors podcast that you see when you search in human factors so go check that out on 1202 but for now it's time we get into the news [Music] thank you that's right this is the part of the show all about human factors news Blake what is the story this week all right this week we're talking about the future of work in 2023 so the shift towards remote and hybrid work models is permanent and has significant implications for the future of work companies need to prioritize Talent retention and offer flexible workplace options to grow and succeed and organize organizations that increase their retention rates over the past three years saw nearly a 20 percent increase in growth remote working strategies can also Drive employee retention with 65 percent of Executives reportedly using this approach to keep top talent additionally companies that offer Hybrid models of on-site and remote working options have seen an increase in their retention rates and the workplace model is no longer just about productivity but it's also about providing an experiential and emotional environment for its employees Automation and digitization are top investment priorities for executives and can simplify work amplify Effectiveness and convenience as well as increase productivity usage and experience however it's also important to diversify Talent pools and invest in proper training to drive growth and success successful businesses in the future are going to need to be flexible automated hybrid diverse skills first and experiential to attract and retain the best talent as well as thrive in a constantly changing environment so Nick what are your thoughts on all of these crazy details about how to keep a thriving Workforce Workforce in 2023 so this is an interesting piece especially paired with uh as we were talking about in the pre-show some of the socioeconomical uh greater things going on with a large a lot of the other Trends let's talk about this there's a recent article that detailed sort of how many jobs will be lost to artificial intelligence over the next few years this report seems to be fairly optimistic with uh sort of how we conduct work in the near future and what our roles will be and how businesses can adapt most of this stuff matches my gut check but that's coming from a very that's coming from a background where I am a remote worker uh and um you know there's there's some generalizations being made in this article that are mostly do uh to mostly around centered around various Industries I should say that are like Tech or office jobs where you could work from home but I think when we talk about the future of work it's fairly Limited when you know like how does this apply to factory workers or other labor-intensive jobs how is the technology that is coming out now artificial intelligence virtual reality augmented reality they uh they mentioned that in there too how is that going to impact those types of jobs and I feel like that's a big blind spot in this this report and maybe it's not meant to do that but that's kind of where my initial thoughts are where are your thoughts Blake this is one of those things where I question the methods behind it I feel like the that this is just seeming like it's making some intensive claims of like we're seeing in korean's growth and retention from the past three years and we're also seeing like if you hire the top talent that you're gonna have a really good retention rate however this seems like it's it's sampling a very small pool of 2500 execs in what what you kind of mentioned is doesn't seem a very Diversified set of companies or enough so that we're getting like a fuller picture outside of the tech realm which okay I get that uh but still I'm wondering what that looks like if we fast forward to in the past one to two years versus three years ago how does that really work uh because one thing that I'm concerned about here is we're not really seeing the the big layoffs that have happened in some of these large tech companies that offer and prioritize that you know more experiential side of work on top of offering hybrid and remote work um because there are plenty of companies that have gone the opposite direction and gone back to forcing employee he's back into the office especially if they are are smaller companies in some cases or requiring you know hybrid wordpresses remote work so although it's it does provide kind of a lighter side to the potential future of work when it comes to remote or hybrid schedules I'm just not super excited about its small sample size and the focus on execs versus employee experience um and that's one big thing that I'm seeing missing here the other that I thought was kind of interesting is this big focus on hiring for talent for attention but no mention on hiring for cultural fit uh which definitely tends to give you a better retention rate than just Talent alone I think you can see that again in a large a large tech company setting in a lot of cases you see turnover for you know various reasons but you do see a lot of retention when you have a good when you've got somebody who's a good cultural fit for your team um then the other thing I was hoping to see here but didn't is if companies are more transparent maybe they're then attracting the people they're looking for um versus like when you I don't know if you've experienced this but I know I have in the past few months where you get into a job and there's no there's no mention of what the model is like or what the salary is like until like the fourth round of interviews so it can be I don't know an interesting place to be interviewing nowadays especially with as much talent as there is out there uh that are that is also looking for jobs but also companies being kind of like a higher level position at the moment but I don't know Nick what do you think about this article's claims and some of the bigger impacts this might have yeah you know Blake I'm right there with you in terms of the methodology to recap two thousand five hundred Executives and managers were interviewed for this uh they weren't necessarily talking to the people like the the worker bees so to speak they weren't talking to the people who are in HR who get to talk with every employee or um sort of they they kind of took that higher level View and this is the difference between talking with stakeholders versus talking with users if you want to do that ux perspective uh I I think there's some interesting implications here just from what they're talking about thematically right the talent retention you're right they are sort of focusing on on making sure that that those retention rates are are focused around the talent but not necessarily the culture fit they do mention briefly well-being for the employee work-life balance that type of thing and I think that's really important I think that's part of culture it's not the full picture but it's important to bring into that discussion too um and then when you think about the hybrid work environments you know just to recap some of the uh statistics here I guess that they've they've discovered from this uh this uh this study here basically 41 of companies plan to increase their remote working hires and again that that can vary um and and we've so the other side of that is 59 of companies don't plan to increase their remote working hires which in isn't that almost more indicative of the way in which work is going than than 41 percent you know over half are not considering increasing their remote working hires so wouldn't that be the future of work so that's that's where I come at it with some of these percentages and maybe these percentages comparative two years prior are much higher and that's that's a trend and we can certainly watch that yeah definitely but but I mean like when you look at you know 41 versus 59 then you have 35 percent of Executives and again these are the decision makers uh don't have a permanent office desk and is that what what are the what is the trend here again I don't have the full picture ahead of me so I don't I don't know how that has changed from the years prior uh and and more importantly pre-pandemic numbers right I think that's that's the really important piece here that I'm missing at least is how does this compare to pre-pandemic numbers because CEOs and Executives uh mostly just travel and to not have a desk makes sense in a lot of cases um so is this new or is this just more of the same I don't know these are some of the statistics that they're reporting I'm just I'm just uh calling it like I see it so my my thoughts uh obviously the methodology could use some work but overall the themes of of sort of this hybrid work versus and talent retention um important but are they sort of different from the past I think the things that are different are when we start to get into the new technologies um and how to sort of increase communication with remote teams and maybe that's where we can focus more of our efforts but what do you think like I actually want to touch on one of these challenges that you have here that I think is I think it's a bigger deal with work with with remote work uh than I ever expected it to be I mean that's like that blurred line between when are you working and when are you not working and I think that's become really really difficult for people to suss out because there's more Tech than ever that's available to keep you connected to your job whether you have a work phone or you keep email or you keep Discord or whatever on your phone to you know mess with while you're watching TV at night or any of that kind of stuff so I think that's one area where the challenge is very big for employees itself is like when do I turn off and if you're not disciplined about that remote work can be really really challenging the other side of it that is really interesting to me is although we have like lots of you know technological advancements lots of ways to connect with each other there's still this idea that we have weakened interpersonal relationships even though in some places you can be you know in VR chat rooms meeting meeting your co-workers every day or you're you're you have the ability to connect and to communicate with some of your workers or some of your teammates more often than you ever did before uh so I'm not sure how to bridge the gap of creating that you know Equitable work life balance for people and also not losing out on what people feel like is organizational culture or not developing relationships in their job because that could be you know really hard to do especially when you join a remote company for the first time um and you're not really sure how it works or when you should be working when you should be off all that kind of good stuff yeah I mean you're right Blake there are some I guess challenges with with remote work and I think largely we are still trying to figure this out right because we have that a lot of people have found these benefits right that they improve work-life balance in some cases but that can also do the opposite as you were mentioning the sort of blurred work-life boundaries when are you working when are you not working some people uh like like myself who used to commute three hours a day this is really nice to wake up come into my office and if I'm not like on camera or anything like that I don't have to shower just sit here in my pajamas and work and uh that's my commute and it's it's rather nice um and I I feel like I'm maybe an oddity when it comes to being able to turn things on and off when it comes to work because I have everything through one USB cable and then that changes my mode uh but that being said you know there's sort of uh a market increase in employee well-being for this hybrid work environment um but there are like you were saying the challenges associated with it so like there's pros and cons to all this and I feel like we're still in this just weird place where we're trying to figure out what works what doesn't work now I did mention that Barry is out on holiday this week but he's in the uh in the discussion as on our live stream here Barry says Tech has changed what humans have do for decades but now we're really going to lose that manual labor element as Society we're going to have to rethink working for hours and more about for human value right and I think that that really does Hammer home that point about the employee well-being is it going to be better for you working in an office or is it going to be better for you working from home and I think people are different people work different ways and can we have a a connected environment where those who do work better in a in an office space can work with those who work better remotely and can they collaborate effectively and so I think those are some of the the things that I'm thinking about when it comes to this I don't know any anything else on sort of the challenges benefits uh about sort of the hybrid or uh Talent retention pieces because I really do want to get into the technology and how that might change how we how we think about things I think tele retention is interesting because I I think a lot of really big companies have the opportunity to grab Talent with high salaries and like lots of impactful meaningful benefits but the the thing I would stress for a lot of people is especially is like we get to this space where like Barry's talking about really what is your how do you feel human value like thinking about what your job means to you as you go and apply for new jobs especially in this weird economic environment maybe more impactful than just having to work yourself to the Bone all the time so that's just something I would throw out there to consider there are lots of smaller companies and things like that that would like to you know have you make a really impactful um you know stretch of time at their company that may not be able to offer you everything you're looking for but I would definitely try assessing some of the cultural fit for some of these places uh but let's break into some of the technology impacts Nick yeah let's do it so I think the big one on a lot of people's minds especially right now automation right like I said there there was a report out earlier this week and forgive me I don't have the uh the actual report in front of me I'm Googling it I swear uh as we're talking about it right now but there's a report basically uh that that came out and stated how many um how many jobs are going to be replaced uh is something to the order of like 300 million jobs and this is a lot uh and it's largely due to sort of the um the I guess boom of artificial intelligence that we've seen over the last couple months where we're seeing now that that artificial intelligence can do reliably okay job of of replacing some of these uh positions like I don't know copywriters or basic like um basic data entry roles those types of things and so a lot of jobs are going to get sort of stampeded by artificial intelligence and sometimes the market adjusts for that and sometimes not and it just it's scary to think about what type of realignment will need to happen and what type of skills uh that that resetting of skills will need to happen along with this technology but I think there's going to be a lot of job displacement here and these um like here's here's another sort of issue with the methodology here is when you talk to executives and you talk to managers they're not so much worried about it because they're replacing the people with AI and so you don't have this I guess fear or pessimism around the future of work from that perspective it's missing it's just that perspective is missing and so you can imagine a world where there's a lot of people who are really afraid that their jobs are going to be taken over by uh by something that ends with GPT and I just it to me it's it's um it's a fairly brazen I guess omission to have in this report and it bothers me what are your thoughts Blake it's a it's a very tough situation because I especially as being somebody who like primarily at the moment is focusing on helping people transition to ux in various capacities in this conversation of well the economy is really bad like yes that will change at some point it'll go back up and you know we'll see another diff later on in our lifetime but I think the conversation that's not being had is the impact that AI is going to have on a lot of jobs even the ones that feel like they're secure uh because the thing that I would urge people to think about is it's not necessarily that tomorrow the thing that ends in GPT is just going to take your job but what will happen is if you ignore all these AI tools and if you ignore the trends of how various tools whether it's Adobe AI chat GPT whatever are being used in your field that's where I think things get really sketchy because you don't if you're not like keeping up with Trends or being effective and using some of these newer tools you may end up falling behind it's like learning a new piece of software for whatever your job is if you're a uxr or if you're doing like ux design you're coding you're learning something new all the time to keep you competitive so that's the Viewpoint that I like to take I guess on various AI tools and the impacts it's going to have on the jobs that one I'm looking to help people get but two that I'm like being employed for myself uh but in terms of not even having that really mentioned here and we're I don't know what is actually qualifying somebody is an exec in this position but let's say that it's like you know somewhere around c-suite and they're not really thinking about anything but bringing in these tools that are potentially going to you know affect their bottom line be able to replace employees and you know get them more funding because they'll have you know cheaper labor better products that it's not telling a very honest story from my perspective also too I think though the past three years with the pandemic thrown in and the impact of remote work and over hiring at a lot of companies I think there there's a fair amount of like positivity in this story which I think is good but it it doesn't feel super honest and I I would I would love to see like a retrospective analysis of this or like another meta-analysis done similar to this like you know of the past couple of years and then in a year from now uh to really get a better sense as AI really scales um as people go through you know this bad macroeconomic climate and then we come out on the other side of it yeah I think that's right there's you're absolutely right with sort of keeping up with AI tools uh we're all going to be AI I I joked about this in on the show last week I think with the it came from we're all going to be AI researchers at some point because there's so much stuff going on right now that AI being integrated into a lot of these different products and services it's going to be incumbent on us to figure out what the interaction between that AI system and the human is and so we're all going to become those researchers but I think this is also true from the employee perspective where you have these um these various Technologies and we we've been talking about AI but this report mentions other things to like mixed reality arvr um especially and communication platforms too so I want to talk about these each individually right when it comes to AI you can have things like personalized Learning and Development plans and trying to upskill your employees in a way that is non-disruptive and uh sort of efficient for each employee individualized and I think that's that's the point that they're trying to make here is that um everyone in an employee in a every employed person is different in terms of their skill set in terms of their goals in terms of what they want to do what they want to accomplish their place within the larger organization and I think those personalized AI driven personalized Learning and Development plans will largely be focused on helping the organization and the employee grow in Tandem and I think that's where we're starting to see some of those Talent retention things jumping in right can we make subtle nudges and I'm just thinking back to your point Here Blake like can we make subtle nudges within those training development plans um that are AI driven to sort of unify the culture and would that be an effective way to help with that retention you could build some of that into the system I do want to talk about briefly some of the communication platforms there's a bunch of different platforms that people use now you know you have the Google meets you have the teams you have zoom a variety of different Suites and they're all incorporating different things um into their products and services services that are going to enhance the way in which we communicate you know there's whiteboarding features there's uh various uh communication enhancements such as Auto transcriptions um and I think and even in some there's like sentiment analysis around you know they'll do a recap of the of the transcript and do a sentiment analysis a summary of everything that's going on and those are great those are great sort of Innovations within that space But I think we can do more to communicate with people um and especially as it comes to sort of these jobs that require some sort of three-dimensional perspective on something let's say you're designing a physical product and you need to review it in three-dimensional space but you're you know miles and miles and miles away from where that product is well this is where the technology for mixed reality comes in can you sit at your desk with uh some mixed reality glasses and be able to hold an object in front of you and say I don't know you know be able to manipulate it in three dimensions uh with whatever interaction method you're looking at Mouse some sort of gestural based interface but you're looking at this this thing in three dimensions as it's relative to you and you're able to inspect it in a way that you wouldn't if it was just 2D pictures that type of thing and I think that's where this would sort of bridge some of those gaps especially with the physical based environments right I mean we have I I it's it's funny to think about but we have those robots that you you throw a camera and an iPad on and you can you know navigate through a a physical environment but um there are limitations with that let's say a manager is trying to do that the employees just throw a door stop under it and it won't be able to move right like there's so but that type of Technology would be really useful for for being able to preview some things in 3D um especially with the physical environments I don't know like what are you thinking about sort of the these Technologies outside of AI or even AI that they mentioned quite a few in the article yeah I I like the idea of being a little bit more robust in our chat platforms and because I feel like there's an opportunity and maybe it's just the culture of discords that has made me this way but I feel like there is a great opportunity to use platforms like Discord or you know whatever you use for work to help you learn about people and meet and understand them a little bit more both in their work perspective but also like having you know personal channels or whatever it may be and I think this is another place where like AI helping facilitate conversations between people so like almost giving you water cooler moments is a great way to bring some opportunity to build culture all that kind of stuff I do love the idea of working it like being able to do both work in VR slash mix for mixed reality for meetings because I think there is in my perspective something lost sometimes when you're not in the same room as somebody else and I feel like mixed reality is a really great opportunity for that especially when you're doing like white boarding or if like a cut let's say that you're working in two different offices like some people are remote but they go into an office one day to work together being able to feel like you are there and part of the environment a little bit more than just like being a you know a voice on the screen could be really helpful uh also too the other aspect that I found really interesting is how do we you know make people feel more present in their jobs and I think again mixed reality is a great opportunity for that the only thing that I guess is the biggest barrier for entry is one where's the tech for it because when we're talking about manipulating physical products in space that can be really really hard to do from an AR perspective uh but also like how do you like is it enough to see something and feel like you're feeling it in in mixed reality when it comes to something like a medical device you probably need to have a prototype in your hand so you can actually know how the the use interactions actually feel and happen uh versus only like Visual and somewhat of haptic inspection so there's some I think there are some aspects of the job that may never get away from doing everything you know in person or having like a physical product in front of you I think there's a lot that we can do to augment how we work and how we distribute how distributed companies work together through mixed reality AR VR all that kind of good stuff yeah you're right you're kind of bringing it up with the different sectors Right medical is going to be medical human factor is going to be very different from defense right defense is not something where you can necessarily do do everything remote you need to go into secure spaces to do a lot of your work uh sometimes depending on the project that you're working on so can we get around that in a remote environment I don't see that happening anytime soon but that is something to think about is that this is going to affect different sex factors in very different ways in the tech sector yeah we're 100 on board there's going to be large investments in artificial intelligence that type of thing and this actually goes well with a question brought up in the chat by Alex here the question is will these massive corporations be willing or wanting to pay into both people's staff and AI programs and I think the answer is absolutely yes there's uh sort of an artificial intelligent gold mine right now going on in Industry where uh yeah people the companies do want to invest in it because it's largely going to be uh the competitive Advantage right chat GPT is going to be thrown into every product service that you see going forward but as I was mentioning there's different different sectors are going to be um affected differently and you've you've already seen even government be uh sort of affected by the way in which we do this so now you see a lot of these um like Town Hall meetings happening in in a zoom and you got everybody there with all their little squares uh and I don't know it just there's um and then with with government or sorry defense like I mentioned you're going to be doing things in a secure area so you can't do something like that education we've seen a hybrid approach during the pandemic but it seems like now a lot of that learning is happening back in the classroom and I think that's right I think that physical environment is right for students um to learn better with that hands-on experience to get that one-on-one with the instructor with the teacher I think there's a lot of Nuance to the type of Industry that we're talking about here and it feels like this is just my assessment here that this report is largely focused on the tech sector so take that with a grain of salt uh Blake I think we have just a couple more minutes here do you have any sort of closing Thoughts with um with this report technology mentioned in it anything else like that i j the I'm really just stuck on the like focusing on Talent retention thing and I don't know why I just can't let it go I don't feel like that's a a big enough deal um and they I feel like just the report itself may have focused on the wrong things uh and maybe it's maybe it's the the small sample size of just like insects only and the the focus on you know how do we keep people in the company from just say like hiring the best of the best type of perspective and I just don't like that for whatever sets of reasons um but I ultimately I I don't know it it did do a good job of making you feel whether it's you know truly accurate or not I don't think any scientific study can be a hundred percent correct but it did give me a little bit more hope for the future when it comes to 2023 and Beyond uh maybe some some potential pushes towards continued hybrid and remote work um and opportunities to really leverage technology to bring us closer and develop those you know challenges we talked about so overcoming you know those interpersonal relationship issues and overcoming the field loss of organizational cohesiveness or organizational culture so I think ultimately it's kind of a bright side for sure yeah I guess the thing that I'll kind of end on here is that there's going to be there already has been sort of this large cultural shift around working from home around incorporating uh communication software communication Solutions into our day-to-day and I think we're still discovering what it's like to work remotely what it's work like to work in a hybrid environment without a pandemic present I think we're still learning that and these thoughts just represent Executives managerial levels we're not getting the worker bees perspective on this and where they see their jobs going with the Advent of all these new technologies and I think that is really important because Executives and managers can have ideas of how these employees might be able to apply that to their work but really you're not going to get that until you have the person who's sitting there looking at this technology and going I can use it for this wow that is really cool right I've had several of those moments uh myself where if you were to ask someone higher up on the Chain than me I don't know if they'd have those same level of insights about how artificial intelligence mixed reality they even mentioned brain computer interfaces which we didn't even touch on here but how those types of Technologies can be implemented in our work and that's the report that I want to see I want to see where the worker bees see their work going as artificial intelligence uh and these other Technologies too start to become more prevalent because I think that is the true feature of work uh anyway that's that's how we'll end it today thank you to our patrons for selecting our topic thank you to our friends over at Infosys for our news story this week if you want to follow along we do post the links to the original articles on our weekly roundups on our blog you can also join us on our Discord Community for more discussion on these stories and much more we're going to take a quick break and then we'll be back to see what's going on in the human factors Community right after this are you tired of boring lectures and textbooks on human factors in ux well grab your headphones and get ready for a wild ride with the human factors Minute Podcast each minute is like a mini crash course 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let's get to the it came from part of the show where we search all over the Internet to bring you topics the community is talking about if you find any of these answers useful give us a like wherever you're watching to help other people find this type of content we have three up tonight the first one here is from the ux research subreddit by ux ichu ux ux UI 2 I guess I don't know they they asked how to defensive how to deal with defensive and uncooperative product owners and developers they write how can I get product owners and developers to be more open-minded when it comes to fixing issues in our app they get defensive and don't want to prioritize looking into the issues I'm not sure why they're acting this way but as a researcher I want to understand our users and communicate these needs to product any advice on how to deal with this Blake how do you deal with this uh the this is the reality man I feel like this is your job your job is to figure out how to communicate your value to your design team whether it's product owners developers I don't care marketers that is part of the job when you get a ux job that's just how I feel I'm pretty Brazen and open about that and it's hard to sometimes be an evangelist that doesn't get any Kickback you just get a whole lot of like roadblocks or things getting in your way so proactively what can you do honestly you need to talk to your development team and your PMS to better understand why they are refusing to prioritize fixing issues and two if they're if they are roadblocking you from doing your job like straightforward like you can't do any user experience research activities you can't offer up any design feedback if you're not able to do your job at all then one it could be a sign that you're gonna have to actually build the design culture in the company which can be very hard to do maybe it's not something you want to shoulder but what you can do is talk to your developer and PM separately to understand how they've worked effectively with designers in the past if they have not try and understand their communication Style is there a way that you can better communicate with your development team to actually not be throwing it in their face that it's a bug in the system but hey there's a way to look at this as we really want to you know impact business outcomes we're not seeing it through the current design what if we did X Y and Z and the last thing if you're a researcher try your best to if you have to data mine try and figure out ways that you can actually bring concrete numbers to a PM and say hey we're seeing this problem across all of these experiences we don't fix it that's just going to impact our bottom line and sometimes it's a good time to bring others into the fold outside of the design side bring in a DS if you have it or a data scientist work with marketing to understand the population that you're targeting is this is I think one part of ux researcher jobs and ux jobs in general that I think people forget is even in 2023 when there's design cultures and a lot of giant companies it's still on you to really figure out how to communicate that value but I'm going to get off soapbox Nick what are your thoughts here how do you help you're right there man I'll I'll step back on your soapbox because explaining the importance of ux research is evangelizing that's that's a key part of our job and understanding what value we bring and making sure that other people understand what value we bring is a big part of it too you need to speak their language I've talked about this on the show a million times um I think some of these this is all regurgitated information what I'm presenting here but it Bears repeating right put feelers in their ears to make it seem like they're the ones who want to solve the problem and then uh take credit for it by by putting it in writing it way ahead of time and say yeah no no I brought this up you know way back when um but that's that's one strategy that I find Works a little bit better like asking them those leading questions like I know you're not supposed to lead as a researcher with users you can do it with your product managers with your product owners I think that's okay to do because then you are putting ideas into their head that are going to serve not only you but your end users and remember why you're doing this in the first place so I think that's one aspect of it you know getting them involved in the problem-solving piece of it uh having them understand what a what constitutes a problem is a really important piece of it if if you're just having trouble um you know when you talk about fixing issues in the app what does that mean are they issues to you or the issues to the users are they are they low-hanging fruit are they like big structural things I think you need to pick your battles when it comes to identifying which issues to tackle and which ones to bring up to product owners and product managers and if they're just not getting it then maybe like I said put those feelers in their ear and then see if they would you know be willing to have sort of some sort of tiger team uh to and include product on that to to look for problems uh but then you can solve with research look at that um yeah that that's that's kind of the gist of it this is it's part of the job and uh and yeah any other thoughts Blake I like your get it in writing I think one one major win is getting stuff in as tickets or or whatever your system you use getting in those like bug fixes or getting user experience you know design points tickets whatever they are uh can be really helpful because like at least then you're getting on the board maybe they're still getting de-prioritized but you have them written down so if it comes down to it and things start getting really bad you've already communicated as much and provided the value and hopefully it'll continue to come back and be more valuable to them in your Sprints um yeah biggest thing just try and figure out how to collaborate best you can and try as many different tactics as you can pull out of the bag all right this next one here is on the ux research subreddit by preparation oh wait sorry okay preparation 876. they say they're feeling hopeless as someone who's been laid off twice in the past six months is feeling hopeless about finding a job you have any advice or encouraging words that could help me gain New Perspectives on my situation Blake yeah first up like I'm super sorry that that's happened I think there's not enough talked about it like trying to empathize with people this stuff is happening to I think there's a lot of like you see a post on LinkedIn um or something like that so I'm just I'm really sorry that happened it's not fun it's not easy it's a hard time for a lot of people in terms of getting more excited about the prospects or how to get more encouraged this is hard I don't have great answers for this I'll tell you how I'm doing it and maybe this helps you I hope it does in some way or another one big thing that I found to really get me back on the horse so to speak is up leveling skills so I have for a long time really enjoyed development and focusing on you know that weird line between being a developer and a designer so I've kind of doubled down on that and on top of that I've really enjoyed being content creator from Beyond the podcast with Nick for years to doing video game content creation so I've kind of tried to figure out how do I bring those things two together uh and last I've done some hard so I'm actually very hard introspection about what I'm good at when it comes to my career and I think that's really helped me identify where I should be putting my energy and where I should not so I would say that you're in an interesting place where you have an opportunity to really think about your job in your career and maybe this is an opportunity to educate people on the experience you have um try learning new skills or you know try teaching people so that's just one there are a few kind of like tips you could go through but ultimately try and find things to just reignite your fire for your job or some kind of hobby around your job how are you Nick what do you think that this person can do or use to hear right now yeah I think uh commiserating um this is not uncommon to the job market sucks right now uh and and that's just the way it is um and as mentioned earlier automation is making things worse because there's Upstream effects you know it might not necessarily replace your job as a ux researcher but does that mean that you know one researcher can do the work of two with the assistance of AI and I think there's those Upstream effects that were not necessarily accounting for yet it sucks right now because not only is that happening there's all these Tech layoffs but then there's also competing and if you're if you're in a junior role you're competing with a bunch of seasoned uh seasoned you know people looking for a job too and that's hard that's hard so what Blake said is right up upskill but uh and develop new skills to help make yourself a little bit more competitive like the only actionable actionable advice that I have for this is don't give up I mean it it can be easy to give up and I don't see anybody just giving up without a big fight but don't give up if if you give up then you've let the the you know crappy Market win and don't let the crappy Market win you got this um you know there's some additional context in this uh this question that we didn't get to but really I think the thing that um is sucky in this situation is that they were kind of blindsided by the second one by the second layoff um where they had no indication and then that job was then posted right after they left that's not a great situation to be in I just I'm I'm sorry commiserate with others there are others in your situation and talk with somebody who has um who has experienced something similar I think there's a lot of things that you can share you know sharing your experiences with one person won't make the whole Market more competitive but it might you know make you two more competitive and that's something that you can do too is like hey what's working for you oh well I'm doing this that the other thing uh and you share your experiences as well and and having somebody at your level that is going through the same thing is good and it'll be a networking opportunity too so that's my advice that's not it's not uh it's not a Band-Aid that'll fix everything but um yeah I actually got one more thing to throw in here and this is this is harder to sit to do or easier to say than actually do uh but it's something that I found myself doing a bunch and I don't think enough people try and figure out how to capitalize on it and it really takes a little bit of self-awareness and a little bit of luck but try to build your own lane like somehow whether it's you know I I can only really give examples and like accidental things kind of happen to me uh I've wanted to teach people how to code since I became a ux boot camp instructor uh and I found a subtle way to do it and now I'm diving into other opportunities that are going to potentially let me get paid to do that and so it's it's one of these things where just try inserting your time and energy into different places and see if you can carve out like a special needs for yourself and you just never know like what a little bit of passion is gonna do for you what opportunities or what doors it's going to open um so like dick said don't give up try and find a new Lane for yourself and try to impact the community in a positive way because people will see it yeah start a podcast let me know I'll help it I'll make it happen all right next one next one here we have uh 13-year senior designer getting burned out any advice uh this one's by seven Cubs on the user experience and subreddit a right as a senior uxer with 13 years of experience I'm feeling burned out with my work in ux design I'm tired of feeling undervalued and under unappreciated dealing with development teams and stakeholders is there any advice or path to reinvigorate my passion for ux or is it time for me to consider a new career outside of it any similar experiences out there that can offer me helpful advice wow I pick some really depressing topics tonight Blake what do you what do you think yeah this is maybe I'm not the best person to answer this because I I sit I've sit in this goodness I've been in the situation like you know a few times now and your Nick's aware of this a lot of people that know me are aware of this so it's it's really tough right you get into this position that is very I think it's a valued position but I think the job is very hard and I think you you are in a lot of contentious situations that maybe you weren't prepared for and it can be it could be so tiring to try and you know argue your way out of a paper bag for like a button fix or changing small things are going to impact the user experience so what do you do um one thing that I think is good is if you have the capacity to do so take time off uh if you do not try finding other avenues that give you Joy in your career and in your personal life I found that I know a broken record but I found that mentoring people through ADP list uh and working through boot camps as a side hustle has brought me a lot of joy in a career that I've multiple times fallen out of love with and wanted to walk away from forever and it's been a way to also let me feel like all the experience that I have um can be translated to somebody else in a positive and impactful way whereas at in my job sometimes it just doesn't feel like that with that you know vicious cycle of trying to get things done now the other advice too is like are you in the right position when it comes to ux I feel like there's this um and I love to hear your thoughts here Nick but I feel like there's this weird hierarchy thing that we're really stuck on in jobs where you have to keep climbing the ladder because that's the only way you're gonna get paid more and that's where the prestige comes from but sometimes like you don't want to manage people or you don't just want to do the low-level stuff and I think it's important and some really large tech companies I think have this right where you get the opportunity to stay as an IC like creating products or move up to management and focus on managing but y'all are seeing it a similar level so that's another thing to ask yourself is like do you like the thing you're doing in ux is there another Lane for you and then last bit up level skills if you learn how to do something new sometimes it gives you a different perspective uh play with chap gbt learn how to code a little bit understand machine learning learn a new design tool or a new practice for managing teams and it might you know reignite the fire in your current role or to go find something else but Nick what do you think here what should this not 13 year old burnt out designer but 13 years of experience designer too thank you for the clarification Blake uh so I would like to Second your point about finding something new to excite you to reignite that passion that's something that I've done with this podcast with this very podcast a couple times I've gotten burned out and needed a break and I've taken the exact advice that Blake just laid out I've taken a break from it for a week or two and it's been enough for me to recharge my batteries um and I I will add unique things to this don't worry I'm not just going to take all Blake's answers but I also find that adding new things to my skill set and being able to use new tools to do things more efficiently or do things in different ways that um it really satisfies that ADHD part of my brain where I'm like oh dopamine hit let's go here and uh it really helps out with with trying to reinvigorate that spark now I will say there's an exercise that I was told to do and this has helped out a lot what you do is you write down a one description of why you do what you do why are you why did you choose this career path um what aspects of it interest you is it for the money is it because you want to make somebody's life better is it like what is it what why did you do this and this is really hard this is really hard if you really sit down and think about it and break it down it's like well I'm in this job because I want money and then what but why do I want money you will support my family and but but why did I choose this career path and you can attack it from multiple lanes and almost build out a mind map of why you do what you do and then distill that mind map into one sentence that defines why you do this it's a very hard exercise but it's well worth the time and effort um it's it's not a there's no great answer for Burnout but this will help at least reflect uh help you reflect on why it is that you chose to go into this was it by chance do you really want to explore something else if so explore something else otherwise why are you doing this um and again kind of the same point commiserate with others about the position go to conferences Network I always feel super recharged after going to a conference and talking with others it's just there's something so refreshing about being with like-minded people uh and so maybe try that I don't know those are those are my thoughts anything else Blake before we get into one more thing I think those are great points the conference thing is awesome uh especially with like how accessible some conferences are that are online and stuff like that too so it's just another way to like listen to talks um uh there's a lot that are coming up in various spaces uh so keep an eye out for that kind of stuff that's always a good way to like just find something different to think about yeah all right well let's get into this last part of the show it's just one more thing uh it's just one more thing Blake what is your one more thing this week so I shout out to Nick and Barry and the entire human factors cast lab because something I've been trying to do and help another company with uh is building communities inside of a Discord and it is very hard to do it's very hard to get people interested uh but it's super exciting especially around topics that I'm interested in uh but one thing that I've really had a hard time doing is actually kind of being being a very introverted person as I am not very social uh make sure that I come with like a correct content strategy so that's been something fun to learn that's been a new a new little hobby passion of mine over the past couple of months so it's trying to figure out how do I create daily drips of content for you know front-end development and accessibility uh to keep people interested and keep people coming back and it's kind of a little bit like the content creator type of things I've done before but more focused in the quote-unquote professional sense I guess but yeah so shout out to y'all it's been super fun and interesting Nick what is your one more thing so I have like seven different things on this but I'm gonna Focus I'm gonna focus on the first one here uh Love is Blind is back on Netflix and this show is trash and I love it so if you're unfamiliar I've talked about it on the show before but it's such an interesting psychological concept you put uh two people in opposing rooms the only thing between them is a screen they cannot see each other they are supposed to fall in love in something like 10 days and then at the end of those 10 days they decide if they want to propose to the other person on the other side okay that's fine but you're also competing with other people who are talking to the same people that you are in this season oh it's so juicy I'm telling you people are falling in love with people and and then they have to break up with those people to propose to other people and then when they all get out of the pods they meet the other people that they were talking with and then there's conversations that happen between those people oh man it is Juicy and they say this in like the very first couple seconds but somebody makes a wrong choice about who they want to marry and it's so juicy the people on the show are just terrible and you love to hate them uh and they like are just bad and it's great I love this show you guys I love it and if anybody wants to talk to me about love is blind please join me on the Discord and that's it for today everyone if you like what you hear about the show today and enjoy some of the discussion around workplaces and jobs I'll encourage you to go listen to the last time Blake and I kind of talked about this episode 208 work pandemic protocols influencing employee Behavior comment with wherever you're listening with what you think of the story this week for more in-depth discussion you can always join us on our Discord community and visit our official website sign up for our newsletter stay up to date with all the latest human factors news if you like what you hear you want to support the show there's a couple options for you one wherever you're at right now stop what you're doing just leave us a five-star review that is free for you to do and it really helps out the show two if you feel so inclined if you feel like being social just tell your friends about us uh word of mouth is really the number one way in how we grow and three if you have a if you have the financial means to do so you'll want to support the show just a buck one dollar gets you into the door of our patreon supporters and that dollar goes a long way so if you have the financial means to you want to do that just it's it's right there for you as always links to all of our socials and our website are in the description of this episode Mr Blake arnsdorf thank you for being on the show today where can our listeners go and find you if they want to talk about I don't know how being depressed about losing the job you guys can find me basically anywhere across social media at don't panic ux as for me I've been your host Nick Rome you can find me on our Discord and across social media at Nick underscore Rome thanks again for tuning in to human factors cast until next time