14 Responses

  1. Pleasure and Pain » Recent Reads – 1/30/2011

    […] UX… It’s Time to Grow Up | Lis HubertJack of all trades, master of none […]

  2. Swiss
    Swiss at |

    hi Lis, thanks for the interesting post! nnIt seems pretty fluid, or maybe cyclic, to me…for the past 3 or so years “kitchen sink” positions have indeed proliferated, but prior to that, there was more differentiation among job roles (was that when there was more money? before management were certain they knew what was required to “get design done” and reduced positions from 3 to 1? before a flood of new folks started pouring into the market hungry for whatever gigs they could get, thirsty to learn all? not sure). But maybe it’s a pendulum swing, and we’re simply in a generalist phase .nnbtw, I agree with you that IA isn’t IxD. I’m a pretty multifaceted IA but on the spectrum that IxD sometimes claims from coding/building to visual design and everything in between, I expertly cover some of that in between waterfront, as well as research (which sometimes is/sometimes isn’t baked into IxD). So, all that to say: (1) I have been able to find specialist jobs–and I still see them in the market tho there are indeed more amalgamy jobs; and (2) it may be cyclic–there are tangible benefits/drawbacks to the jack of all trades paradigm, as well as to specialization. It also is a drag when you’re in a situation where the researchers are on another floor and visual designers have wireframes tossed to them over the wall, and coders are in their own little world.

    Reply
    1. Lis Hubert
      Lis Hubert at |

      You’re very welcome… thank you for reading! You bring up some really great points to think about indeed.

      Reply
  3. marten
    marten at |

    “We have some phenomenal programs out there today that teach UX.”nJust curious as someone who thinks about moving into UX: What programs are you thinking about there?

    Reply
    1. Lis Hubert
      Lis Hubert at |

      The 2 that come to mind are SVA in NYC http://www.schoolofvisualarts.edu/index.jsp and SCAD down in Savannah: http://www.scad.edu/. I know that this has been talked about a lot on the ixda.org discussion boards as well, so you might want to look there for suggestions. I know there are many other programs that the ones I mentioned, but those are the first that spring to mind.

      Reply
  4. UX Machina: On Being All Things To All People All Of The Time — MK Anderson

    […] Jacks of all trades and how, unless they want to go into management, this is career limiting (see UX… It’s Time to Grow Up). Among many cogent points, she wrote: …by us being jacks of all trades it can stump our own […]

  5. A.Nonymous
    A.Nonymous at |

    For a future career path, why not consider a senior position in Marketing or Product Development? In a way, you have to anticipate your user or customer’s needs. Would seem to translate well from UX.

    Reply
  6. Victor Lombardi
    Victor Lombardi at |

    It might have been Jared Spool who drew a comparison of UX roles to film production roles. For a small documentary in Nashville, maybe there’s a 3-person crew of generalists. On a giant Hollywood production, it’s a giant list of people, titles of which you and I probably don’t understand, but the people that hire them know what they do. Maybe we’ll end up like that.

    Reply
    1. Lis Hubert
      Lis Hubert at |

      I remember that comparison…. I’m so glad you brought it up. Maybe we will all end up like that afterall

      Reply
  7. Anonymous
    Anonymous at |

    I agree with you on the need for more specialization, and the ensuing benefits and longevity it lends to the discipline. nnWith that said, there are some market dynamics that drive this. As technology markets mature, the need and ability for more specific levels of specialization start to appear. In a market like London or New York, where there are higher dollar technology projects with project managers who understand the breadth of the UX field, I think this specialization is excellent, and should be encouraged. As you said – it only makes the work and the field better. nnWhere things break down are in the less mature markets. In a place like Nashville, where I live, UX is an almost nonexistent field. I’m one of two independent UX professionals that I know in town, and that scarcity is there for a reason. The companies spending money on technology here don’t understand – and thus, don’t invest in – user experience work. In a market like that, specialization can hurt the overall adoption of UX within that market, as companies can’t afford, or don’t understand the need to pay for, specialized sub-UX skills. In that scenario, a more broad-brushed approach to UX is often necessary to get hired, and to prove the value of user experience in general.nnAs we see these nascent technology markets mature, I think that we’ll see an increasing level of specialization, which I think will only help to make the discipline better.

    Reply
    1. Lis Hubert
      Lis Hubert at |

      This is a great point and one I failed to think about… thank you so much for sharing this… it adds a whole new, and very valid, dimension!

      Reply
    2. Nickolas
      Nickolas at |

      Absolutely, exactly what I was thinking. 

      I’m in Fresno, CA – located in Central California – mostly considered “farm country”.  UX is definitely an afterthought. Companies here are still needing to be sold on the idea that a “website” is crucial to their success!  Its amazing to me how far behind we are here when it comes to the latest trends in web disciplines, marketing and technology.

      I want to learn more about UX (wanting to leave the Fresno market to the more progressive and up-to-date market of the bay area, or San Francisco area), which is the reason I’m on this site.  I do nice design and have done so for almost 10 years now in the Fresno market but am concerned now that these new trends have passed me by, forcing me to come to blogs like this in search for more info.

      Had an interview today with a company from SF that liked my work, and then he asked me the question… “Do you have examples of UX work?” Honestly, I didn’t even understand the question – I never heard of the term or thought it would apply to me.  I guess I do now.  I’m thinking, well I’m to blame for not having found the correct and specific definition of the term as of yet, or the Fresno market, for keeping me stuck – still educating companies about the need to get email accounts or twitter pages in 2011! Really?

      Point, search available UX or UI positions in Fresno – you’ll be lucky to find ONE!  Do the same search for San Francisco and you’ll find hundreds of positions available in the 6 figure range. 

      Reply
  8. John Labriola
    John Labriola at |

    Amen sister! Completely agree!

    Reply
  9. Tweets that mention UX… It’s Time to Grow Up | Elisabeth Hubert -- Topsy.com

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Chris Sandoval. Chris Sandoval said: RT @lishubert: New Blog Post: UX… It's Time to Grow Up http://bit.ly/hDSOXR […]

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