July 7th, 2011
Content Strategy, Service Design, and Lean UX. These are what I call special collections of skills. Let me explain.
We’ve identified a bunch of skills that make up user experience design.
These include the core skills:
- Interaction Design
- Information Architecture
- Visual Design
- User Research
- Information Design
- Design Process Management
- Editing and Curation
Then there are what we call the ‘enterprise skills’:
- Domain Knowledge
- Business Knowledge
- Social Networks
- Use Cases
- Agile Methods
Beyond that, there are a collection of soft skills:
And these likely aren’t the complete set for many teams. It’s just the starting list that covers that vast majority of teams we’ve studied. (If you’re not sure what these are, I’ve described each of the core and enterprise skills when I talked about our team assessment process and the soft skills in my article, Five Indispensable Skills for UX Mastery.)
These are the skills that a great UX team needs to succeed. When teams are missing some of these skills, the chances they’ll produce a great UX is diminished.
When Content Strategy burst onto the scene a few years back, we asked ourselves if this was a new skill (or set of skills) that we had to add to our list? After careful study, we decided we didn’t need to.
That’s because what makes up today’s idea of content strategy is covered in this list already. Teams excelling at content strategy are applying these skills to make it happen with copywriting, editing & curation, marketing, domain knowledge, business knowledge, information architecture, and others.
Yet, we felt content strategy was something different than what we’d seen before. That’s why we labeled it a special collection.
People who practice these skills while focused on content strategy will gain experience and knowledge that comes from the attention to those objectives. This is experience and knowledge that will separate them from people who haven’t focused on content strategy, yet practiced the same skills.
The same is true for service design and for what people are now calling lean UX. These are also special collections, aimed at specific objectives. The underlying skills are the same, but the focus makes it special.
I think there’s plenty of room for special collections. It’s a natural outgrowth of our field maturing. There will be specific conferences, books, and other skill-growing materials that emerge to support people diving into these specialties.
It all makes sense and fits into the model we have of what it means to create great experiences. Personally, I’m excited about it.Tweet