How you assess a ux designer in only 5 questions

I thought this was an interesting bunch of questions (and answers) when assessing a ux-er.
“It’s a real way to tell who is really UX and who is more interaction design.”
UX-er spend more time defining the problem. Interaction designers spend more time designing the solution.
Both are important.
It’s a nice way of thinking about the differences.

To separate those who claim to do UX and those that actually do UX…

1. Walk me through a couple of past projects. What do you tend to do first?

Good answer ‘Understand the user / business needs’. Bad answer ‘start sketching’. ‘It depends’ is a positive answer as anyone who has a set process probably hasn’t worked on many real projects.

2. Explain to me about information architecture.

Good answer ‘it’s about the organisation of content and functionality’. Bad answer ‘it’s the navigation’. Worse answer ‘I don’t know’.

3. How do you make sure that what you design is right for the user.

Bad answer ‘Get feedback from users’. Good answer ‘Use user research’. Feedback is a terrible way to find out if something is working.

4. Which is the application you use the most, what do you think in?

Good answers ‘Omnigraffle’, ‘Word’, ‘Visio’ and UX type tools. Powerpoint, Excel, Keynote and google docs are also good. Less good answers ‘Photoshop’ and ‘Illustrator’. The difference between an UX person and an interaction designer is that a UXer will spent more time defining the solution rather then implementing interfaces. In the last 10 years I have only used photoshop and illustrator to help with presentations and occasionally to open other people’s work. It’s a real way to tell who is really UX and who is more interaction design. We need good interaction designers and some people in small companies do both – the reason it’s a less good answer not a bad answer. If they say they go straight to code then the person is either a developer with UX pretensions or limited to web design. True UXers can code but don’t.

5. What do you think of microsites?

A true UXer hates microsites! Campaign work is left to those doing UX lite in advertising agencies.