Why self-designation is not enough

Raise your hands now all those who, just like me, got this bearded saying that “a true usability expert is not an illustrator at all, but a psychologist and an engineer of human souls in general”? (This article is a blank for a slideshow, with which the author plans to tour the next couple of years at all seminars and conferences) . I use the word "got it," because it was this very saying that could reach the deepest concealed in my soul remnants of conscience and fragments of a craving for truth and common sense. And now, now all these residues and fragments in unison claim that a person can’t just take and call himself a psychologist or a doctor when he pleases, without the appropriate education and skills, because we still don’t have rap here.


This text was originally conceived as a small training manual to help all today's specialists in the selection of personnel in the field of information technology. Indeed, if people within the whole profession persistently want to call themselves psychologists, then let's find those standard requirements that they are required to meet. So, the “Code of Ethics of the Psychologist” existing in Russia puts forward several key concepts that are basic for every real psychologist, among which are: respect, competence, responsibility and honesty. It’s on these four pillars that we’ll try to create a portrait of a modern psychologist from usability with you.

First, let's go to Wikipediain search of starting information about what a real legitimate psychologist is, and not just a person who asked friends a couple of times in his beer to poke into his interactive prototype.

A psychologist (dr. Greek ψυχή - soul; λόγος - knowledge) is a specialist who studies the manifestations, methods and forms of organization of mental phenomena of a person in various areas of human activity to solve research and applied problems, as well as to provide psychological assistance, support and support.
A psychologist, as a rule, has completed a higher psychological education or has undergone retraining on the basis of higher education in the specialty “Psychology”.

Well, let's say that every and every member of our professional UX Club facebook community is really armed with the necessary diploma and certificate of such a retraining. But besides a piece of paper, knowledge is also needed, and here we go to their list.


So, there is still the most ordinary State educational standard , into the study of which we will now delve into. It turns out that everyone who calls himself a psychologist is simply obliged to possess the following knowledge (I choose the most delicious and growing):

Culturology:Methods of cultural studies. The basic concepts of cultural studies: culture, civilization, morphology of culture, cultural functions, cultural subject, cultural genesis, cultural dynamics, language and cultural symbols, cultural codes, intercultural communications, cultural values ​​and norms, cultural traditions, the cultural picture of the world, social cultural institutions, cultural self-identity, cultural modernization. Typology of cultures. Ethnic and national, elite and mass culture. Eastern and western types of crops. Specific and “middle” cultures. Local cultures. Enculturation and socialization.

Pedagogy:Education as a sociocultural phenomenon and pedagogical process. The educational system of Russia. Goals, content, structure of continuing education, unity of education and self-education. Pedagogical process. Educational, educational and developmental learning function. Education in the pedagogical process.

The culture of speech (do not laugh, there is such a thing): Genre differentiation and selection of language means in a journalistic style. Features of oral public speech. The main types of arguments. Speech preparation: topic selection, purpose of speech, material search, beginning, deployment and completion of speech. Basic techniques for finding material and types of auxiliary materials. Verbal execution of public speaking. Comprehensibility, informativeness and expressiveness of public speech. Conversation in the system of functional varieties of the Russian literary language. The conditions for the functioning of colloquial speech, the role of
extralinguistic factors. The main directions of improving the skills of literate writing and speaking.

Sociology(in UX, it’s really not a step to step without it): Social groups and communities. Types of communities. Community and personality. Small groups and collectives. Social organization. Social movements. Social inequality, stratification and social mobility. The concept of social status. Social interaction and social relations. Public
opinion as an institution of civil society. Culture as a factor of social change. The interaction of economics, social relations and culture. Personality as a social type. Social control and deviation. Person as an active subject. Social change. Social revolutions and reforms. The concept of social progress. The formation of the world system.

Philosophy(But how, we’re talking about a real multifaceted usability expert, and not just about a taxi driver who will advise everyone on how to make websites and how to manage the country): The doctrine of being. Monistic and pluralistic concepts of being, self-organization of being. The concepts of material and ideal. Movement and development, dialectics. Determinism and indeterminism. Dynamic and statistical patterns. Scientific, philosophical and religious pictures of the world. The meaning of human being. Violence and non-violence. Freedom and responsibility. Morality, justice, law. Ideas of the perfect person in various cultures. Aesthetic values ​​and their role in human life. Religious values ​​and freedom of conscience. Consciousness and cognition. Consciousness, self-awareness and personality. Cognition, creativity, practice. Faith and knowledge. Understanding and explanation. Rational and irrational in cognitive activity. The problem of truth. Reality, thinking, logic and language. Scientific and unscientific knowledge. Scientific criteria. The structure of scientific knowledge, its methods and forms. The growth of scientific knowledge. Scientific revolutions and changes in the types of rationality. The interaction of civilizations and future scenarios.

Economics (all right, the designer must also be able to earn money for the Customer) : The principle of maximizing profits. An offer of a completely competitive company and industry. Efficiency of competitive markets. Market power. Monopoly. Monopolistic competition. Oligopoly.

Anthropology: The Problem of Human Origin; individual human development and constitution; population and ethnic anthropology; human ecology.

Anatomy and physiology (typical user): Microstructure of nerve tissue; ontogenesis of the central nervous system; the structure of the central nervous system; pathways of the central nervous system and cranial nerves; autonomic nervous system. The contribution of neurobiology to understanding mental activity; physiological patterns of embryonic and postnatal brain development; fundamental processes - excitation and inhibition in the central nervous system; physiology and neurochemistry of neurons; somatic and autonomic nervous systems; physiology of pain, the role of tachycinones and opiate receptors; physiology of the autonomic nervous system; organization of a bulbar respiratory center; brain reaction to hypoxia and asphyxia, sudden respiratory arrest syndrome ( breathtaking from cool website design); integration of autonomic, neuroendocrine and central regulation in the implementation of behavior based on basic biological motivations; nerve structures, sexual differentiation of the brain; thermoregulatory reflexes; functions of the limbic system of the brain. The basic concepts of the physiology of higher nervous activity; mechanisms of associative learning, memory and individual differences, needs, motivation and emotions; neural mechanisms of information processing in sensory systems.

So far, nothing complicated, go further:

Psychogenetics:Methods of psychogenetics and their resolution; research results of hereditary and environmental determinants in the variability of psychological and psychophysiological characteristics in individual development and some forms of dysontogenesis; place of psychogenetics in the system of psychological knowledge.

Psychodiagnostics (in fact - the same usual usability testing, only without giggling and strictly scientific): projective, pictorial techniques; psychosemantic methods; conducting and interpreting 8-10 universal methods for the study of personality and intelligence: for example, the Minnesota Questionnaire (MMPI); Kettel's questionnaire (16 PF), Self-Relationship Research Methodology (MIS), subjective control level (USC), pictorial techniques (LV, human picture), projective techniques (TAT, Rorschach test), intelligence tests (Wechsler test); principles for constructing a comprehensive psychological portrait of a person; psychodiagnostic tasks and acquisition of psychodiagnostic batteries. Ethics, deontology and legal foundations of psychodiagnostics; methods of making a psychological diagnosis.

Age Psychology (my favorite): The problem of the determinants of the mental development of the child; the problem of the ratio of training and development; the problem of age and age periodization of mental development; development crises; infant age, early age, preschool age, primary school age; psychological characteristics of adolescence and youth; psychology of mature ages; aging and old age; personality development in conditions of deprivation and special conditions.

Quite a lot of quotes, right? But there are still exactly the same requirements for knowledge and skills in the fields of Pedagogical and Clinical Psychology, Labor Psychology and Psychophysiology, and even Special Psychology (well, this is about dysontogenesis, you remember). But I propose to establish all these disciplines in special requirements already for the senior from UX, for the junior it will be quite enough only to have the knowledge skills quoted above in order to fully name himself a psychologist and a connoisseur of user behavior. Well, the portfolio on Dribble, as without it, salaries of 200 thousand rubles because they do not lie on the road.

In general, I propose to use this article just as a checklist or even a questionnaire to test usability experts for compliance with the declared skills or as a test task to test real knowledge when recruiting a UX specialist for the next vacancy. Well, in order not to accidentally hire an illustrator again instead of a true expert on man.

The same will be true for another favorite usability label: User Attorneys. I suggest that you find the official requirements for a lawyer practicing in Russia on your own and post in the comments.

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