Failure is Always an Option

I’m a Visual Architect and UX professional. Recently while on the hunt for another job in field of User Experience I encountered my own surprising user test. The product I had developed in this case was my resume and I’ve been receiving a lot calls from recruiters. The strange thing was that every few calls one of the recruiters would ask me to provide them with a link to my portfolio. Since I already provide the link at the top of my resume my first reaction was slight irritation that the person asking had not spend the time to read my resume. I though, If they had read it throughly they would have clearly seen the link. Ah, and there it is. See how quickly and easily we can lose our empathy if were not careful. When the phrase “isn’t that obvious” pops into my head I know I need a closer look. Finally a third person called requesting my link and I knew it was a gap in the design not their lack of attention. I usually stay objective and empathize with the end-user in these situations. They have a busy day and a full plate too, who can blame them for not reading the whole resume with same attention as the author.

When that third caller requested the link I returned a question back to her. Taking on interviewer role I asked if she had my resume in front of her and indeed she did. Then I asked if she could look at it and tell me if she saw any links on the page that stood out to her. After a long pause she replied “Oh there it is! Now I see it”.

It was the long pause that tipped me off.

The link did not stand out to her at all. Some how in all my UX wisdom I buried the lead of my own story. It can happen to anyone and that’s why we test and iterate and test and iterate, to find that successful presentation that provides the ease of use we want. Now my resume says. Portfolio: in bold before the link to it. Adam Savage from the Myth Buster has a great shirt that says “Failure is always an option”. It’s a great shirt because it’s true but I’d like the back of the shirt to say “If we learn why and fix it.”

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