There’s a reason I call my freelance operation “Polymath Solution.”
A polymath is a person who is skilled in many fields. At various times in my life, I’ve done just about everything a User Experience Unicorn* needs to do:
- Visual/graphic design
- Web coding
- End user research
- Client and other presentations
- Team leading
- Writing documentation
- Teaching & training
I’ve done a lot of other things too. As one of my favorite authors said,
“Specialization is for insects.”
Solution … I love solving problems. And the more constraints, the more I love trying to find a solution.
UX professionals need to work with a huge set of requirements. End users must be able to use the product, it must be able to be coded using appropriate tools, the work must be done on time and within budget, the business goals need to be met … and occasionally, you have to work with the quirks of individual project owners.
Sometimes there is no perfect solution … in that case, I work to find the “least-worst” solution and will present it to the stakeholders, along with the reasons why perfection can’t happen. [I was once asked to solve a finance problem akin to squaring the circle … I had to dive into my college math textbooks to understand why there was no perfect solution, and then I had to explain that math to non-mathy executives. I also offered three alternatives that would work in the real world. They did understand, and chose one of my alternates.]
What I’m doing now
Right now, I’m on a contract doing web coding for a major financial institution in Boston’s financial district. My co-workers are great, my boss is incredible … but my design hat is getting dusty, and it’s too good a hat for that.
* A UX Unicorn is one person who can do everything in the User Experience field. Many of these skills are rare to find in the same person (for example, client training and code monkey skills), so the person who can do all the skills well is as common as a … unicorn.
While I have done all the things a unicorn needs, I don’t do them all equally well. Let’s talk to see if my set of skills fits your needs.