It’s the same in UX consulting. There are constantly little things falling all over the place. If you’re not able to analyze and focus on the right patterns, you’ll end up buried. If you focus on catching every little crisis before it touches the ground and festers, you’ll constantly be putting out fires. Neither of these outcomes is a good place to be, and it requires the right character and personality to strike the correct balance.
Leaders and Doers in User Experience
We usually divide people into two groups: the big-picture people and the detail-oriented people. Sometimes, we break these groups down even further and talk of there being leaders and doers. Leaders are supposed to be strategic visionaries who are creative in their approach and who do big things for an enterprise. All too often, however, they blaze a path of destruction to get where they’re going, leaving many bodies and relationships in their wake. When you are a consultant, that is definitely not the way to become successful.
The doers are the people who focus intently on the details. They often plan and plan and are exacting in their approach to solving problems. Yet, in all their planning, they may focus too much on small details and lose sight of the big picture and a broader perspective. They are the tactical workhorses upon whom leaders rely, but they’re not the ones you look to for strategic vision. For a UX consultant, who has been brought in to provide user experience vision, this is not the way to become successful either.
These days, people make much of the idea of a so-called UX Unicorn. This mythical creature cannot just draw pretty pictures, but also knows exactly how to make those pretty pictures a reality. Find that person, so the fable goes, and your UX problems are solved.
But I don’t really think this type of person is that hard to find. In fact, I have a number of these types of folks on my team now, and I am grateful for them every day. They are able to blend the creativity of design with the technical skills that it takes to make their designs scalable and maintainable for the enterprise.