2021 Calgary UX Survey

In order to gauge community needs, we conducted an informal survey of UX practitioners, and people interested in UX, from the Calgary UX meetup community.  The survey was conducted throughout the month of January 2021. In total, there were 96 responses from 84 participants. The results are used to help inform the content of Calgary UX meetup events, as well as the direction of the organization’s involvement in the broader tech community in Calgary and Alberta at-large.


🙏 Special thanks to Carolyn Morgan for making this study happen!

%

Live in or near Calgary

Our community

As the name suggests, the vast majority of the members of our community live and work in Calgary, although with the sudden shift to a Covid-induced virtual world, membership and event attendees can be found throughout Alberta, the United States, and Europe.   

When asked about barriers to attending, many reported Zoom fatigue, scheduling conflicts, and RSVP-ing for an event in order to get a link to watch the event at a later time. 

Calgary UX members also participate in other community groups, such as PIxels and Pints, Chic Geek, and Product Calgary.

 

Events

Hands-on workshops, UX conference, and general networking events are the most popular event formats, with strong support also for  long format presentations by featured speakers, rapid-fire talks, and events in collaboration with other groups. 

UX conferences, hand-on workshops, long format presentations, networking events, and rapid-fire talks are the most popular event formats. And most attractive topics relate to product design, discovery, strategy, and emerging technologies. Social interaction is important, most of the community prefer to meet in person but want the option to join remotely.

 

%

New to the field, Jr or students

Professional experience

We have a wide range of areas of expertise, half of our members are UX Designers, Product Designer, and UX Researchers. The other half is distributed in Graphic, Visual, UI Designers, Software Developer, Product Manager or Product Owner and student or interns.

Professional experience distribution is slightly skewed towards students and those who are new to the UX field, students, and junior UX practitioners (55% of all respondents). A quarter of the community has reached seniority or higher, which implies potential for mentorship programs.

 

%

25-34 years old

Work life

When it comes to the work environment, In-house design (in medium and large corporations) are the most frequent workplaces, followed by client services companies, like agencies, studios or consultancies. Only one out of seven members work in a start-up.

Our largest age segment is 25-34 years, at 42%, and the 35-44 years group represents another 22%.

 

Professional experience

How long have you been working in the user experience and product field?

%

Not working in UX

%

Student

%

Less than year

%

1-3 years

%

4 - 6 years

%

10 - 15 years

%

More than 15 years

Which of the following categories best describes your current area of expertise?

Participants were asked what they thought best described their current area of expertise. Because we recognize that people may have multiple areas of strength and expertices, we allowed participants to select all that they felt applied.

  • Ux / Product Designer 44.5% 44.5%
  • Student 28.7% 28.7%
  • User Researcher 25% 25%
  • Strategy 16.6% 16.6%
  • Leadership 10.7% 10.7%
  • Developer 8.3% 8.3%
  • Product management, UX Writting and Service Designer 7% 7%

What are your areas of interest within user experience design?

Similar to areas of expertise, UX/product design and research methods and ops rank highest on the areas of interest, although many respondents were also interested in service design and design.

  • Ux / Product Designer 86.9% 86.9%
  • Research methods and Ops 61.9% 61.9%
  • Discovery and strategy 57.1% 57.1%
  • Service Design 50% 50%
  • Inclusive design and accessibility 45.2% 45.2%
  • Emerging tech 37% 37%
  • AI / Conversational Design 21.4% 21.4%

Expertise

How would you describe your level of expertise with user experience? 

When asked to rate themselves in terms of experience and expertise with user experience, we noticed that the respondents are fairly diverse and distributed.

%

Junior

%

Student / Intern

%

Total newbie

%

Intermediate

%

Senior

%

Expert

Where we work

What best describes the type of organization you work for?

%

In-house designer

%

Student

%

Freelance, consultan or self-employed

%

Agency, studio or consutancy

%

Small corporation or Starup

%

Unemployed

%

Academic

%

Government

COVID & the workplace

Covid-19 rocked everyone’s way-of-working. One of the consequences is that many people are now working from home. We wanted to know how this will impact the future of working. So, we asked participants “Before Covid-19, did you work remotely?” and “Does your company plan to continue remote work-from-home practices after Covid?” We found that, although there is still some uncertainty about the post-Covid work environment, there does seem to be a shift to more flexibility in terms of working remotely.

Remote work pre-covid

%

Flexible (Office / Remote)

%

Only office

%

Remote

Remote work post-covid

%

Flexible (Office / Remote)

%

Only office

%

Remote

%

I do not know

Participation

Some areas for improvement are advertising and making folks aware of the events.  40% of respondents reported that they were not interested in the subject or topic. With this year’s survey and collection of questions that participants have for 2021, we hope to address that and craft more tailored-events for the community.

Reasons for not attending an event

  • Plans changed and had a scheduling conflict 54% 54%
  • Zoom fatigue 31% 31%
  • Got caught up with work 25% 25%
  • Simply forgot about the event 24% 24%

Barriers to attending an event

  • Scheduling 62% 62%
  • Not hearing about the event 51% 51%
  • Not interested in the subject or topic 40% 40%
  • Zoom fatigue 28% 28%
  • Inconvenient location 26% 26%
  • Event is too far away from my work place 13% 13%
  • Do not feel welcome at the event 12% 12%

Ideas, exploration, and how to better serve the community

We’re here to help UX-ers in Calgary. With that, we know that there are areas we can improve and other areas where we can expand. We asked participants an open-text question: 

“What’s one thing that Calgary UX doesn’t offer that you wish we would?” 

The main themes were mentorship, speakers, publications, more hands-on activities, and networking events.  The findings match the results from a multiple select question where we asked participants what kind of events they would like Calgary UX to organize.

  • Hands-on workshops 80% 80%
  • Calgary UX Conference 70% 70%
  • General networking events 55% 55%
  • Long format presentations by featured speakers 45% 45%
  • Rapid fire talks 45% 45%
  • Events in collaboration with other groups 45% 45%
  • Hackaton weekend 40% 40%