At Last: User Experience Performance Descriptions!

Mar 17, 2015
A Venn diagram based on Dan Saffer’s “Disciplines of User Experience, 2009,” shows the overlapping disciplines in User Experience.

To improve your digital systems with user experience (UX), you need people. And to get people in government, you need position descriptions. While DigitalGov has collected a wide variety of position descriptions, I thought I would create a post specifically on UX positions, and explain the difference between these jobs. Yes, there is overlap. But this is still an excellent place to get started.

I am indebted to the helpful heroes at USAJOBS for scouring through their vast job database to find these examples. And much thanks to our UX interns Stacey Sarris and Joel Virothaisakun for the heavy lifting.

One final thing: this is meant as a starting point to this very wide and varied field. If you have examples to share or comments to improve this resource, email us.

1. Cognitive Research / Psychology

The practice of researching people’s behavior and motivations and applying that understanding to user experience.

2. Content / Plain Language

Content writing is the art of developing meaningful content for websites. Content must be written so that the intended audiences can understand it, without extra effort, the first time they read it.

3. Information Architecture

Information Architecture (IA) focuses on the structure of information and how it is organized, labeled and found. It includes websites, applications, databases and library systems.

4. User Experience Design

User experience design focuses on the various components and processes that are part of an overall project. This ensures that user needs are taken into account during every part of the design and implementation of a project.

5. User Experience Research

User experience (UX) research is used to identify user needs, attitudes, motivations and behaviors. Methods include card sorts, usability studies, ethnographic studies, user interviews and focus groups.

6. Job Templates

The good folks at also have collected some position descriptions in their templates section.