Full day training course

The One-Person UX Team Tool Box

Usability techniques and strategies to maximize your impact when you are the sole UX specialist on your project or in your organization

Plenty of books, conferences, and websites give professionals information on how to engage in user-centered design when they have sufficient time, budget, and staff, but few focus on what to do when you constitute the entire user experience team on a project or in an entire organization.

One-person User Experience teams have unique challenges: 

  • Few, if any, resources.
  • Strategic and creative isolation.
  • Lack of time.
  • Organizational misunderstanding and even resistance.

The sole UX specialist must focus on the UX methods and results in addition to building the UX team. As a one-person UX specialist you must determine where you can make the biggest impact, who your allies are in your organization and which methods to concentrate on.  You need to generate your research and design ideas quickly and use other members of your organization to help you.

This session will give you insight into how you can operate as a one person team or as a consultant with a small budget, limited time and resources. We’ve compiled techniques used today in companies around the world; many of these techniques are not commonly known because the people using them seldom publish their secrets.

As the only person responsible for a big, multi-disciplinary field, you risk becoming the "jack of all trades but master of none" and being spread so thin that you have no deep impact and don't get any management recognition because you only generate superficial design improvements. This course shows how to avoid these pitfalls, so that you (a) gain more job satisfaction and (b) produce more value for your employer and (c) grow your team, both in the short term and the long term.

"A very practical course on how to do the UX all by yourself. This gave me a lot of confidence."

Werner Curunda
Pixels in Stereo

Topics Covered

Topics Covered

  • Establishing your role in your organization
    • Defining UCD and UX in your organization - What can you realistically achieve?
    • Solving the challenges of being a one-person group
      • Whether you are in an organization or consultancy
    • How to make an impact with limited time or budget
    • Capitalizing on opportunities to gain recognition and respect
    • Picking projects for maximal strategic impact
    • Handling too-many requests for your time
    • Identifying your usability allies and creating internal advocates
    • Targeting your role and where to focus your energy
    • Getting respect in your organization
  • Research Strategies
    • Big Studies or Quick Fixes?
    • Focus of a one-person team (design, content, architecture, widgets, etc.)
    • Building a lab or informal research
    • Strategies and Techniques for getting user results - quickly
    • How to obtain quick usability and design solutions when your organization needs answers
    • Methodologies and research techniques you need to use
      • User testing, field studies, card sorting and other proven methods as a one-person team
    • Choosing research methodology combinations that produce synergies
    • Taking advantage of automated testing tools
      • Including a description of testing tools and their benefits
    • Real users or best practices?
    • Analyzing and choosing the best research and/or design method for your project
    • Recruiting guidelines and alternatives
      • Building a database of participants for fast research
    • Participant compensation
    • Acquiring equipment with little budget
  • Effective Communication
    • Delivering timely and focused results
    • Using reports, lists, videos, and presentations to speak for you
      • Suggestions for which data to focus on in your results
    • Publicizing project plans to increase organizational awareness
    • Communication styles and tactics based on your audience roles, responsibilities and power levels
    • Short and long-term strategies for growing your group
    • Demonstrating your ROI
    • Getting respect within your organization
    • Creating your 60-second UX message



The course is mainly in lecture format with a couple of group exercises to reinforce the learned principles and guidelines.

The course also includes:

  • Screenshots of testing websites and tools
  • Videos of usability research methods
  • Examples of focused usability reporting
  • Opportunities to ask questions and get answers

Presented Twice in Amsterdam

Presented Twice in Amsterdam

Due to large demand, this course is now presented on two different days at the Amsterdam UX Conference:

These two presentations are identical, so it would be a complete waste of time to register for both. Please only register for the one day you prefer. (If one of the days fills up, this will be clearly stated on the sign-up page and you will only be able to select the day that still has seats available.)

Participant Comments

Participant Comments

"Great, reaffirming to hear from and learn with people in the same boat as me — practical help to give structure to my role, how to prove its effectiveness and how I can be more effective myself. Plenty of new ammo to use every day."

Susan Ferguson, Woolley Pall Gyro

"Loved the course and instructor, excellent — I felt quite nervous about attending (as I'm a lone worker!) but felt at ease as soon as Garrett started talking — and I've learned so much, thank you!"

Sian Fording, Academy Wales

"Outstanding breath of fresh air and hope. UX for reality!"


"The course was valuable — it covered a lot of ideas and techniques to evangelize UX and grow head count. It gave me some ideas on aligned vision, optimizing kick off meetings and growing UX presence that I believe will make a big impact in our organization."

Cristine Cravens, Hobsons

"I really appreciated being given a list of tools and even a website with templates that I can use later.  I checked them out briefly (I was learning) and could already see things I can use."

Daphne Adebayo, Career Builder

"I believe this is the most helpful NN course I have taken to date. I am not a one man team, but this course gave tons of advice and tricks for evangelizing UX in our organization as well as some cool new tricks for speeding things up for our team. Thank you!"

Paige Brannon

"Garrett is a good presenter who is full of energy and personable. I gained a lot of tips/tricks to use in my projects as the sole UX designer. I particularly liked Garrett's real world case studies."

Nikki Kerber, Booz Allen Hamilton

"Highly recommend for those who are just starting out the UX practice in the organization.  The course gives a clear direction and practical tools to grow UX in the organization."

Natalia Tsymbalenko, Eastbanc Technologies

"Garrett is warm, friendly and highly knowledgeable. I particularly appreciated his approach of crafting rationales for different audiiences within an organization. Thank you for a great day! P.S. his warm sense of humor keeps the day moving along."


"This is a very insightful course, packed with vital information that can be put to good use immediately. Garrett is a great presenter who interacted with the class. This is a valuable course."

Amrita Bharij, London, UK

"This course was amazing and gave tangible advice I can implement immediately into my workflow. Thank you!"

Sara Bafundo, TPN, Chicago

"I'm not alone! I have been struggling in my organization and I feel a weight off my shoulders knowing others are having the same issues. This course helped focus me to work on the things I need to do to help my organization understand the value of UX."

Courtney Wagner, SaskPower

"I discovered tactful techniques for dealing with UX immaturity within my office and with outside clients. I also learned countless tools that will help make my workflow more efficient."




Garrett Goldfield

Garrett Goldfield is a User Experience Specialist at Nielsen Norman Group with 20 years of practical experience. At Nielsen Norman Group, Goldfield has consulted for clients in a broad range of industries, including e-commerce, automotive, health care, financial, media, telecommunications, education, art and non-profits, as well as highly specialized B2B sites. Read more about Garrett.

Page Laubheimer

Page Laubheimer is a User Experience Specialist with Nielsen Norman Group. He helps organizations focus on delivering outstanding user experience in order to achieve their strategic goals. He combines his expertise in website usability with experience managing a team of designers and developers to successfully implement UX best practices across a range of platforms. Read more about Page.

Currently Scheduled

Currently Scheduled:

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