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Exploring the T in “T-shaped UX Guy”

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."

For more about me, follow me on Twitter or Instagram.  But know what, you can catch me on YouTube, Tumblr, Google Plus, Flickr and Yelp too. Cool? See you at the Internets!

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Landlords Do UX, Too

Recently I moved into a new apartment, and I realized my landlord was practicing UX … probably without realizing it.  Simply put, he rented us an apartment that had brand new appliances - and he left all the “hey, I’m a new appliance” stickers and stuff in tact.  As I was pulling off the stickers and the plastic and tucking away the warranty cards, my enthusiasm for the apartment spiked.  I found myself feeling giddy, realizing I was proud of my new place, and confident with the deal we’d struck.  And actually looking forward to doing a load of laundry.  So, hey, landlord dude, good job, and thanks for the UX.