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Thoughts on transitioning to a UX manager?

over 1 year ago from , UX @ Neighbor + uxtools.co

Hi everyone, I recently made the switch from UX designer to UX manager (about two years ago) and I'm curious to know the community's thoughts about this transition.

  1. Which track interests you more: individual contributor, or manager?
  2. If you're a manager, or close to it, what have been the biggest changes for you?
  3. If you're a manager, what advice do you have for other designers who might hope to become a manager? If you're a designer, what questions do you have from UX managers?

The biggest changes I have seen are with hiring, team building, performance reviews, and other HR stuff. I still get to participate in design from a strategic/coordinating perspective, and sometimes I take on special projects, but I spend a lot less time actually creating UI. When doing research, I'm usually participating in someone else's research project. It's an interesting shift where you're almost designing vicariously through other designers.

1 comment

  • Justin Fraga, 9 months ago

    I am at this fork in the road as well. My instincts are to move toward leadership as I am getting older, but after more consideration of my longer term goals I'm not so sure. Perhaps remaining an IC might be a better move.

    IC Upsides - Generally more options for senior ICs, especially with early stage work - possibility of remote work for ICs - Not sure but IC roles seem to be more recession proof than Mgt

    Downsides - possible that ICs have a 'shelf life'? How old is too old? (Ageism) - ceiling on pay - ceiling on strategic work

    0 points