Skip to content Skip to sidebar Skip to footer

Editor’s Note: The Question of Motivation

There’s an apocryphal story about the famous director Alfred Hitchcock that goes to the heart of motivation. A young actor who was preparing for a scene asked Hitchcock a simple question about his character: “What’s my motivation?” “Your paycheck,” was Hitchcock’s reply. There’s no record of what happened next, but I’m going to guess that the actor nailed the scene.

As UX designers, “What’s your motivation?” is a question we often ask our users, sometimes in person at a usability test or during a contextual visit, or sometimes while performing ethnographic research. Sometimes we make assumptions about motivation based on data or interviews. And sometimes we just guess, based on what we know about our users or ourselves. We fold motivation into personas, task analysis, and use cases, and if you pay attention you can see it in our wireframes and prototypes (and hopefully in the finished product).

There are a number of great articles in this issue that look at motivation from this design perspective. Dave Royer and Ryan Devenish describe several techniques borrowed from behavioral science and psychology that can be employed to influence user motivation, and Luke Chaput de Saintonge provides some sound advice on how to motivate your peers to provide great content.

But I’m also interested in what happens when we turn the motivation question on ourselves in the way that Hitchcock did to that young actor. On one level, a paycheck is certainly a strong motivator. Still, when I read an issue of this magazine—any issue of this magazine—what stands out to me is the consistent dedication of our contributors (and subsequently, our readers), to improving our craft. And this issue is no different, from Lindsey Arnold’s thoughtful look at how UX design isn’t unlike therapy, to Ekta Srivastava’s call for us to start “designing in the browser.” Article after article, UX Magazine helps us hone our skillsets and shows us how our peers are building their careers. I don’t think we’re doing all this just to get a bigger paycheck.

In my own career, I know that I’m motivated to be a strong manager for the people who work for me, and a thoughtful designer for the people who use the products my team and I build. But unlike getting in shape or getting better at playing a musical instrument (neither of which I’m particularly good at sticking to, by the way), those are hard motivations to quantify. I think that’s why I found Ian Swinson’s UX career framework article so interesting. Swinson, a senior director at, has built a structure that makes the outcome of motivation visible and can help us address the gaps in our skillsets. It’s one tool that I’m going to start using right away.

So, before you read this issue, I’m going to ask you to take a moment to answer a simple (but difficult) question:What’s your motivation?您的动机是什么?您的动机可能非常简单,例如获取报酬,也可能非常复杂,例如任何一种心理行为。我们在进行用户研究时询问他们的动机。我们设计的目的旨在激励行为。我们也可以考虑我们作为专业人员、管理人员以及团队成员的动机。

文章全文为英文版동기부여란 무엇입니까? 돈을 받는 것만큼이나 단순하거나 심리적 행동처럼 복잡한 것일 수 있습니다. 사용자 연구 조사 과정에서 그들의 동기 부여에 관한 질문이 주어집니다. 행동에 동기를 부여해보고자 하는 것입니다. 또한, 전문가, 관리자 및 팀원으로서 우리의 동기 부여에 대해서도 생각해볼 수 있습니다.

전체 기사는 영어로만 제공됩니다.Qual é sua motivação? Pode ser simples como receber um pagamento ou complexo como algum comportamento psicológico. Perguntamos aos usuários sobre a sua motivação durante a pesquisa com o usuário. Projetamos para motivar comportamento. E podemos pensar sobre nossa motivação como profissionais, gerentes e membros de equipe.

O artigo completo está disponível somente em inglês.あなたのモチベーションは何か?それは単にお金を稼ぐことかもしれないし、心理学的行動のように複雑なものかもしれない。私たちはユーザー調査の中でモチベーションに関する質問をし、ユーザーの行動を促すためにデザインを行うが、同時に、私たちの、プロフェッショナル、マネージャー、チームメンバーとしてのモチベーションについても考えをめぐらすことができる。

原文は英語だけになります¿Qué te motiva? La respuesta puede ser tan simple como la remuneración económica, o tan compleja como cualquier otra conducta psicológica. Preguntamos a los usuarios sobre su motivación durante una investigación de usuario. Diseñamos para motivar comportamientos. Y podemos pensar en nuestra motivación como profesionales, gerentes y miembros de equipo.

La versión completa de este artículo está sólo disponible en inglés