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Hey! I'm Sarah Doody a UX Design Consultant and Entrepreneur. I love helping people learn about UX, whether it's UX folks or people who have an and want to launch that first version of their product. I've worked at big companies, startups, and now on my own for the last 5 years. Ask me anything!

Sarah Doody
Nov 8, 2017

I'm the founder of The UX Notebook. It's an education company that wants to help people learn to think like a designer. I do this through a weekly UX newsletter as well as online courses.

Have a question about your UX career? Wondering how to do user research? Need help with a part of your UX?

You can connect with me on Twitter @sarahdoody, join my UX Tribe on Facebook, watch out my UX videos on YouTube, or check out my website.

Ok let’s get this started! Ask Me Anything about User Experience and I’ll do my best to get you an answer or advice.

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Conversation (49)

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Hi there, Sarah, if I mayI am a project based learner. I have tried to learn the fundamentals UX Design, but it's all theory, nothing practical. Are there any classes or courses that you would recommand that would fit my style of learning?Thank you in advance, God Bless. 

Nov 8, 8:55PM EST0

How was it like when you started alone ? 

Nov 8, 10:34AM EST0

I was lucky because when I started my own consulting business I already had a presence in the industry -- I'd been building an audience on Twitter, I'd written articles, and so I had credibility and a network that brought me work. I want to do your own consulting or freelance, your top priority should be building your experience, and audience, and credibility.Also, don't forget to get a good lawyer and accountant. 

Nov 8, 6:00PM EST0

What things you include in your UX newsletter and how can you obtain subscribers?

Nov 8, 6:13AM EST0

You can sign up for my weekly UX newsletter right here: www.theuxnotebook.com

Each issue has:

  • 5 links to articles, podcasts, or other content that teaches about UX
  • A UX tip of the day
  • An action item (activity or question you can do with your team) 
  • 3 things to know this week (events, freebies, etc)

Last edited @ Nov 8, 6:03PM EST.
Nov 8, 6:02PM EST0

Where are you from?

Nov 7, 5:40PM EST0

I grew up in Canada and I live in New York City right now. 

Nov 8, 6:03PM EST0

Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years

Nov 7, 4:42PM EST0

I see myself still being involved in UX, but not sure how exactly. Right now I'm very focused on UX education through my online courses and doing very selective client work. 

I could see myself doing more teaching, writing, and speaking. Maybe I'll be back full time at a company, but it would just have to be a very special opportunity. 

Last edited @ Nov 8, 6:05PM EST.
Nov 8, 6:04PM EST0

wish you the very best

Nov 9, 6:15AM EST0

Where does the name UX come from?

Nov 7, 3:28PM EST0

Here are two articles that explain it very well: 

A brief history of User Experience

The history of User Experience

Nov 8, 6:07PM EST0

What do you look for in a business partner?

Nov 7, 3:18PM EST0

I think a good way to gauge anyone's character is to go out for a meal and see how they treat the wait staff. 

In a business partner I look for someone that has the skills I do not have. 

Nov 8, 6:08PM EST0

How long have you been in this industry?

Nov 7, 2:48PM EST0

I started in 2001 / 2002 as a graphic designer and then moved through web design, web development, and after realized a thing called User Experience existed! 

Nov 8, 6:09PM EST0

How did you learn how to design?

Nov 7, 8:41AM EST0

I taught myself. I learned on the job, watched videos online, read books and articles, and just completely immersed myself in it. I practiced on real projects and I would often redesign sites for fun just to practice. A structured program is good, but nothing beats real-world experience. 

People today are so lucky - there are FAR more resources to learn UX than there were when I was starting out! 

Last edited @ Nov 8, 6:11PM EST.
Nov 8, 6:10PM EST0

What are the three most important variables to monitor within your business?

Nov 7, 8:25AM EST0

With my specific business? I monitor these three things, beyond the financials:

  • Number of email subscribers
  • Number of students enrolled in my programs
  • Number of leads

Nov 8, 6:12PM EST0

What kind of business should I set up when starting out - sole trader/limited company, etc?

Nov 7, 12:57AM EST0

There are so many variables involved in this and it depends on your country and sometimes state. 

I recommend you talk to an accountant and lawyer to get the best advice. But you can find a lot of good articles and advice on Legal Zoom.

Nov 8, 6:13PM EST0

I have never heard about UX, what exactly is it?

Nov 6, 9:07PM EST0

What is an UX Design Consultant?

Nov 6, 3:31PM EST0

What are some strategies that you would recommend for making the best use of one’s time?

Nov 6, 11:45AM EST0

What do you do to recharge when you’re feeling drained?

Nov 6, 8:27AM EST0

I step away from my computer screen. I turn notifications off on my phone. I get out in nature -- maybe go to the beach or go for a run. 

I also like to watch documentaries because it gets me thinking about things I don't normally think about on a day to day basis. 

Also, sometimes I will create something with my hands -- cook something, do a DIY project, etc. 

Nov 8, 6:14PM EST0

Did you go to school to learn to design, or did you teach yourself?

Nov 6, 7:34AM EST0

I taught myself! See above because someone already asked this question :) 

Nov 8, 6:15PM EST0

Did you ever deal with contention from your family concerning your entrepreneurial pursuits? How did you handle it?

Nov 6, 6:50AM EST0

Thankfully, everyone has been supportive. 

Nov 8, 6:15PM EST0

What is the best way to contact you?

Nov 5, 11:46PM EST0

Use the contact form on my website over at www.sarahdoody.com/contact

Nov 8, 6:15PM EST0

What was your business’ original mission? How has that mission evolved in the time since?

Nov 4, 11:53PM EDT0

How do you helps startsups?

Nov 4, 7:53AM EDT0

Can you explain UX in laymans terms?

Nov 3, 12:11PM EDT0

Is UX the only thing you teach, as you say you have a school?

Nov 1, 3:58PM EDT0

Yes, currently teach two courses: 

The first is the UX Portfolio School which teaches UX designers how to create an awesome UX portfolio.

Sidenote ... I also have a great free resource, a 60 second plan to create a UX portfolio)

The second course teaches people the exact step-by-step process on how to do user research (such as one on one interviews and usability testing). Learn more about that course, User Research Mastery

And for user research, I have a free list of questions to ask during a user research interview.

Last edited @ Nov 8, 6:20PM EST.
Nov 8, 6:18PM EST0

How did you build a consumer culture around your product?

Nov 1, 2:23PM EDT0

Did you have major competitors when you started, how did you plan to compete with them, and how did that plan play out?

Nov 1, 1:25PM EDT0

What 3 books would you recommend that every business owner should read?

Nov 1, 10:52AM EDT0

Love this question, here are my top 3:

1) Essentialism

2) First Break All The Rules

3) The Art of Innovation

Nov 9, 2:26PM EST0

Are there any good business resources you can recommend for beginners online?

Nov 1, 1:37AM EDT0

Can you be more specific? What type of business?

Nov 9, 2:27PM EST0

What do you look for in an employee?

Oct 31, 8:53PM EDT0

Some of the qualities:

  • Teachability
  • Humility
  • No ego
  • Eagerness to learn
  • Team player
  • Self starter
  • Good communicator
Last edited @ Nov 9, 2:28PM EST.
Nov 9, 2:28PM EST0

What inspired you to start the UX notebook?

Oct 31, 11:31AM EDT0

I'd been using Twitter for a while, but I needed more than 140 characters :) So I send out a newsletter one day in 2014 and now we are celebrating the 200th issue in just a few days! I've always loved curating things and people always ask me for the best article, or podcast, or video etc - so this was a way to curate for a lot of people! 

The newsletter, The UX Notebook, has been one of the best little experiments I've ever done in my business. Putting it together each week is a lot of work, but it's paying off! 

Last edited @ Nov 8, 6:23PM EST.
Nov 8, 6:22PM EST0

How did you get interested in UX? What are the main differences between UX and UI? 

Oct 31, 6:13AM EDT0
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