In response to a thread on the IxDA mailing list about how job ads seeking “Leonardo da Vinci” (that is, someone who can design, do illustrations, and write code) may be trying to pack too many requirements into a single req, Dave Rogers posted a link to an article her wrote nearly a year ago for gotomedia,
The User Advocate: One Size Fits None?, in which he writes:
I also recognize that the “one size fits all” designer is how the Web was won. Because the visual nature of the early Web was transformative, it was natural for visual designers to take the lead. Already savvy users of computer design tools, they added some straightforward HTML skills to their palettes and hung out their shingles. Pioneers are always generalists.
But those days are long past. The settlers have moved in, cities are rising. As business leapt into the Web with its show-no-mercy requirements, the gaps in the early Web designers’ skills-notably in interaction design (IxD), usability engineering and information architecture-became increasingly evident.
Specialists began to emerge. Requirements analysts. Usability specialists. Interaction designers. And information architects.
We’re hiring like mad right now and I’m wrestling with some of these same issues. I gave up trying to find an IA who was also good at functional requirements, specs, and use cases (although “back in my day” we did all those things while walking uphill in the snow against the wind both ways) and now I’m looking for separate individuals: an IA/user experience expert and a tech writer / spec writer.