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March 31, 2016

10 quotes on being a UX manager and more insights from MX16

by Alberto Scotta

A conference is always X.

X, as ‘Unknown’, because you never know how it will be, and X as eXperience: something that goes beyond the pure time spent listening to people speaking.

MX 16 San Francisco

Active listening

Let’s start from listening then, actually the ‘active listening’.

The workshop with Alla Zollers gave us, and me in particular, some fundamental, crucial tools on how to approach people you are working with who sometimes could be frustrated, disagree with you, or who did something that was not what you expected.

The key is to start listening to them without pretending to find, have or give a solution. Just help people to find it inside, help people to express their inner feelings and you will be surprised by the amount of different tips that could come out.

I got the chance to have Alla at my table during the second day of the conference. It was a pleasure to listen and agree, with smiles, tweets and retweets about the stunning speech by Kim Scott on Radical Candor: great bosses have relationships with each of their employees and this relationship is a source of growth and stability for individuals and companies. Her approach could be summarised in 3 basic steps:

1 Say what you think
2 Telling people what to do doesn’t work
3 Give a damn

Conference highlights

The keywords of the conference were:
#embrace #diversify #modularity #challenge #transparency #goals #clarity #support #confidence #humility #passion #softskills #enthusiasm #team #strategy
And I can easily fit with almost all of them.

And if I was asked to give my personal 10 quotes of these inspiring days I would go for:

  • Cultivate your clan
  • The magic happens at the centre of passion, mission, vocation, and profession
  • Say yes and you will figure it out afterwards
  • Survey the scene & be the light
  • Be Confident, don’t take it personally & always trust your gut
  • It’s about mindset as much as it’s about skillset
  • Make changes from a position of strength not desperation
  • Allow people to fly with you
  • Between right and wrong there’s a field, I’ll meet you there

And last but not least, my very favourite:

  • If you want to achieve greatness stop asking for permission

I took all of them with me, with the emotion of meeting such great speakers, in particular: Rob Maigret, Bob Baxley, Molly Needlman, plus the already mentioned Kim & Alla.

Perfect ending

Then, also this year, the perfect ending, was by Brandon Shauer VP at Adaptive Path.
And I felt so proud when he talked about the changes from the first MX over the last 10 years: it’s difficult to explain how, but being part of such an event, such an experience, is terrific! And learning from him that in 10 years the percentage of executives coming from the ‘design’ side has increased significantly, gave me a deep shiver.

We are now more well perceived and we have shown that we definitely measure up too. After such an exciting event, the desire to go back to my team and inspire all of them, giving everyone the chance to “fly with me”, is definitely duplicated.

Thank you MX16.

About the author

Alberto Scotta
Head of User eXperience Design

I graduated in Telecommunications Engineering from Politecnico, Turin at 24. I joined deltatre in 2001 after gaining some experience in TLC companies.

After 10 years as Interaction designer (winning a webby for and one year as IxD Manager, I’m currently Head of User eXperience Design.

I love daily challenges, managing and involving my team to find together to most innovative and creative solutions for each projects.

Optimistic, with always positive attitude towards life, I love football, I’m addicted to fashion and I like writing poems. I don’t like too many other things, but what I do like, I love passionately.

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