This blog post, written by Aza Raskin, the prodigal son of great designer, Jef Raskin lays out a great list of resources to learn from if you are interested in growing as a UX designer (or researcher).
One quote that especially resonated with me was the following:
Great designers do design all of the time. They get mad in an elevator when the buttons are in a confusion order, or when the buttons on a ATM are incorrectly labeled. Then they take a picture and blog about it. If you don’t love creating and designing, you shouldn’t be in the field. You’ll need thousands of hours of practice to rise to the top of your game. In the end, you are designing for people so you need to intimately know people, and people are messy.
I am that guy! Getting ruffled by the terrible layout of the buttons at the gas station, taking a picture – blogging about it. I think about how these things could be improved – and I wonder why no one else is thinking about this stuff. The most frustrating part about it is that Shell (the gas station) isn’t that interested in fixing their buttons!