UX Trends in the 2007 UPA Salary

I just found a fresh UPA 2007 salary survey out in my mailbox… there are a couple of interesting thoughts that I would like to share with you.

  1. First of all, the survey has a quite a large sample: 1523 people answered to the survey, with the vast majority in US (999) and then the other countries: Spain (86), Canada (75), the United Kingdom (74), India (66), and Australia (51).The figure of Usability professional in Spain is quite striking, I didn’t know that User Experience has such a strong foothold over there. Are there any Spanish UX people out there? I would like to have your view on this data.
  2. The job title that most people use is “User Experience” practitioner (240), while “Usability” practitioner is only 4th in the ranking (124). This fact is quite surprising to me, considering that the sample of this survey is clearly skewed towards Usability Professional Association members (about 70% of the total). Let’s have a look at the ranking:

The Rookie
Job Titles

3. The last interesting thoughts is about the techniques mostly used by the respondents: the most frequently used were heuristic/expert review (I would recommend to have these two as different options next time, as heuristic review is a specific type of expert review), Informal usability testing, Interviews/surveys, Interaction design and prototyping.

This results positively match the findings of a research I carried out between 2004 and 2005, that showed a significant increase of the usage of hi-fi and lo-fi prototyping techniques. Based on these results and on my knowledge of the usability industry trends from the early ’90s (where usability and user experience were still carried out in R&D departments) onwards, my feeling is that the increasing use of prototyping should be regarded as one of the main credibility factors for our profession in the industry. Are Information architecture and Interaction Design going to shadow more “traditional” qualifications?

It makes sense to me. We have increasingly sophisticated tools, that allow quicker, cheaper, more hi-fidelity prototyping. We have remote usability testing. Do we still need usability labs? I don’t think so.

UCD Techniques

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