Like my last post How to Hire a Head of User Experience this post is not intended to supersede the experience of a really good HR or employment agency person but to bring clarity around the differences in the roles.
A Director of User Experience is not really the next level on the business ladder for a Head of UX or a lead user experience or senior user experience person.
The reason is that it’s a business role with little or no actual practical activity in the UX domain. A Director of UX is someone with an extra level of expertise related to management, finance and corporate control. Not for the faint hearted, or someone with their own start-up looking to add a title, they simply won’t last, because they don’t know how to deliver. Nor in fact is it for an MBA because they just don’t get UX, they tend to think it’s an IT or design thing and that is the sort of incomplete view that makes UX fail to deliver.
If Director of UX is not about UX what is it about?
A Director of UX is a public speaker, advocate, able to compromise to see the business succeed, set the standards, deal with the flack and drive the business into a higher level of intimacy with their customers. A lot of these things are unpalatable for a fervent practitioner, but are daily life for a Director.