Sunday, April 24, 2005

T is the new X

It looks like I will be a freelancing UX practitioner for a short time while I'm negotiating with potential future employers.

The question is of course: What services does a freelance UX practitioner offer to potential employers?

Should I position myself as a generalist with 10 years of experience in designing interactive online applications (as I do in my resume) or as a specialist in formalizing processes for user experience teams (the stuff I've been working on for the last four years and presenting about recently)?

As I wrote in UX Generalist vs. Specialist, the good things about being a specialist are:
  • You can do one thing really, really well
  • You can communicate your stuff to others
  • You know when you're no longer needed
Then again, generalists have their advantages too:
  • You can do others things too
  • You understand team members better because you've had their role
  • You are always good to have around

I guess I'm somewhere in between: I like to apply my experience, working with teams on a project's wicked problems, even when they're not directly related to the Information Architecture deliverables I'm asked to create. But I also enjoy it when someone I work with realizes that creating UX processes is my focus and that I will look at the processes in place and most likely try to compare them to models I've implemented or seen elsewhere. I want to be a generalist and a specialist.

I guess I'm happy being T-shaped. But how do I tell my boss?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

How exciting!!! I'm doing the same. My specialist/generalist choice will be dependent on contacts and work. I'd guess I may occasionally go in as a generalist then find they need specialist work or vice versa, so I think it will work out!

1:14 PM, April 27, 2005  

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