The T is a visual representation of the following concept: the horizontal axis represents multiple skills – such as empathy, engineering, information architecture, visual design, wireframing, content creation, user testing, whiteboarding – skills that add to the whole picture; whereas the vertical bar represents the specialization, such as Interaction Designer.
In my case, I started off my UX career as an Interaction Designer – feeling that the thrust of my skills was in interpreting/predicting/enhancing user interfaces (i.e., where the interactions happen in a software application). But I soon came to realize that I wasn’t ready to pigeonhole myself – even though my business cards suggested otherwise. So, I began to modify my personal narrative: “I’m a Generalist – but the perfect jobs are the ones where my colleagues LOVE whiteboarding, and user testing, too. ”
I’ve also come to realize that most of us, including myself, are not a 90 degree T type. My T is a little more like a robust tree with low hanging fruit. I’m not just “Super Duper Whiteboarding Strategist”; I’m also “decent visual designer; strong coder; pretty solid video editor; great writer(?!); rapid prototyped; great user tester and researcher – with experience designing a Google Glass app.”