August 27th, 2009
There’s an on-going debate in the design community: are teams better off with generalists or specialists? Those taking the generalist side argue that a breadth of abilities helps more. On the specialists’ side, they claim it is the depth of specific abilities delivering the benefit.
From our research in what makes up the most successful teams, it turns out they are both right. And they are both wrong.
A team with three people, each of whom has basic skills in visual design, information architecture, and content design, will produce about the same results as a three-person team where there’s a specialist for each area. But the teams that do the best have three individuals, each of whom have advanced skills in all three areas.
The implications of this are clear: if you want to create a best-of-breed team, you need to constantly be raising the skills and capabilities of every team member in the critical design areas. Specializing in three areas is much more valuable than specializing in one.
In this issue of UIEtips, I discuss the interplay that happens between visual design, information architecture, and content design. I talk about how the areas interact and how to ensure you’re creating the best designs. I hope you’ll enjoy the article.
By the way, it’s no accident that this November’s User Interface Conference has full-day workshops on visual design, information architecture, and content design. We recognize these are critical skills for every team, so we made sure we found the best experts to show you what it takes to succeed. You’ll want to bring your entire team. And if you register by Friday, August 28, you’ll get the lowest conference rate available.
What are you doing to boost your skills in these three areas? We’d love to hear from you. Share your experiences below.Tweet