My UX New Years Resolution

My UX New Years Resolution

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2013 has been a moving year in UX. Tons of amazing UX books have been released, online courses published, free resources shared and progress made in tooling.

More and more companies are seeing the benefits that good design, interaction, and service can have on the bottom line. 2014 is promising to be an even better year if you ask me. Scouring through LinkedIN Jobs, and seeing the recruiters viewing my profile, I can safely assume that something positive is in the works.

[Together] we can do more than we think

Our community finds itself in a privileged position. Our skills are in high demand, and the skills that we have actually help improve the online user experience. Unfortunately not every company, let alone charities can’t afford such luxurious services.

This new year, I will be skipping making a new years resolution that includes things like:

  • get in shape
  • donate money to charity
  • eat more healthy
  • [enter your non-achievable band-wagon resolution topic here]

This year I want to focus on things that I can really do, and want to do. Some things will benefit myself, but most will benefit others.

My UX New Years Resolution

So here are 6 of my new years resolutions that I will score myself on at the end of 2014. Some resolutions are inspired by the likes of Sparked, others by posts I wrote this year, and some by posts that I read elsewhere on the interwebs. I wish I was so creative to come up with a truly original idea. Can’t be an expert in everything I guess.

1. Help a local charity improve their website

puppy at poundThis is one of my favorite ones. In the Netherlands, a small country, there are a lot of small time charities. Larger charities have got the funding (government grants etc.) to really make a difference online. The smaller charities don’t, and this is where I feel I, even ‘We’, can make a difference.

There are many ways that I, and maybe you too, will try and help. My goals is to find a charity with which I feel connected with the cause. I am a military veteran, want to get rid of poverty, and care about sick children… plenty of charities to choose from.

I will help them with conversion rate optimization (lead generation, donations etc.), page load performance, SEO (not that I know much, but I have been doing well with some websites), and maybe I’ll throw in some basic email marketing too.

You see, most of our knowledge can be too intense for many. Take an easy, almost basic, approach with your small local charities and you’ll do fine. They’ll be impressed with anything you do to help. What charity would you consider helping?

2. Read 6 books on UX, Usability, Analytics, or Behavioural Economics

data driven design rochelle kingOur UX world is forever changing. Mobile is booming, devices and operating systems are changing all the time… has anyone done any studies on the effects of curved screens for smartphones and watches? See what I mean…

Although I like reading about military history, spies, and zombie apocalypses, I do need to read work related books to keep up. I read a lot of my books on my Kindle, but with work related books I prefer print.

In 2014 I want to read some new work related books, at least 6. The book I am looking forward to reading the most is Rochelle King’s Data-Driven Design. How about you?

3. Program an iOS app making use of an API

beginning app developmentI’ll keep this one short. I am definitely not a hardcore programmer but can find my way around scripts.

This needs to change! For 2014 I want to create my own app for iOS. For this I will be turning to some online courses to help teach me more. The 3 courses I will be taking in order to achieve this resolution are:

  1. Mobile App Design from Scratch – $99 on sale for $29
  2. The Basics of API – FREE
  3. This is how to make iPhone apps – iOS Development CourseFREE

4. Create an online course

teachNow, you may have picked up on this in a previous blog post. I am working on creating an online course. I have invited people to sign up to my Beta tester list and I will be sending out invites soon.

Doing what we do, never mind the number of books available, nothing beats teaching to really learn something.

I love my books, but I love a practical approach even more. What topic do you know best, would you be willing to create a course around it?

5. Share my knowledge with colleagues

colleaguesI am not sure about you, but being an introvert can really cause me to seclude myself on the work floor. I am no hermit, believe you me, but I find that sharing my knowledge (skills, techniques, and insights) is hard.

I won’t be training myself to become more extrovert, I am who I am, but I will push myself to share more. You see, according to research introverts find it exhausting to interact with other people, I mean physically exhausting. Can anyone relate?

To combat my behavior I will be trying a technique in which I will set aside 10 minutes, no more (and no less!) to share something at work related to what I keep myself busy with. I will share research results, a/b test hypotheses, funnel analyses etc.

Have a tip on how I can do better? Then please do share in the comments below.

6. Perform a random act of kindness

random-acts-of-kindnessLast but not least… and this idea was taken from the internet, I want to start performing random acts of kindness. Some ways that I can personally do this are:

  • buy coffee for the person standing behind me
  • give a single person who comments below on this post a free gift card for a Rosenfeld Media book *wink*
  • leave money taped to the soda machine at work for the next person
  • smile all day long (yes, it does confuse some people)

Need ideas of your own? Check this list of 25 ideas for random acts of kindness although I find the ideas in a recent Mashable article more fun 🙂

What will you do to make a difference in 2014?

This is not only my chance to make a difference, but also your chance! How can you help?  What can you do to support a local charity? How will you further develop your skills in 2014? Share your thoughts in the comments below, I am eager to learn more about your resolutions, or maybe you can get inspired by resolutions of others.

About Matthew Niederberger

Matthew works as Conversion Optimisation Manager at Ziggo BV. In his free time he enjoys family life as well as digging into online user research material whilst frequently generating some of his own, which he freely shares here on

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