The Emotional Toll of Working in UX
There are times when our work impacts us deeply — sometimes in ways we neither acknowledge nor understand.
If you are reading this, you most likely fall into one of two categories: You’re either interested in becoming a UX professional or you already are one.
Regardless of which category you fall into, you’ve probably heard or identify with some of the following:
- You like helping people and are fascinated with human behavior.
- You’re curious about how people interact with each other, their experiences, and the ecosystems they live in.
- You enjoy solving problems and learning new things.
- Many UX professionals are paid well, enjoy their work, and find it meaningful. Let’s be honest; who doesn’t want that?
However, if you are a UX professional, you may have either experienced or know of UX professionals who have experienced the following:
- You’ve found yourself being given a directive to “be human-centered” only to have your stakeholders show complete disregard for the human aspect of the research or design.
- You’ve felt overwhelmed, surprised, troubled, or disturbed by something a participant or stakeholder decided to share.
- You’ve either begun a battle with depression, or your battles with depression have become more difficult since you’ve been on a project or in this career.
- You’ve noticed a decline in your relational health with friends, family, or colleagues since you’ve been on a project or in this career.
- In the midst of a project you find yourself having difficulty with concentration, physical/mental/emotional fatigue, emotional eating, intrusive thoughts or images, or apathy.
- You’ve found yourself feeling sad or grieved after a project ends, sometimes struggling to move on to the next one.