Sorry, marketplace. I refuse to specialize.

I spend a good deal of my time networking. Despite my introvert ways, I genuinely enjoy meeting new people that have clear interests and a strong point of view.

I have recently had the pleasure of meeting quite a few designers. I’m not gonna lie, when I looked at their twitter profiles part of me just cringed. Everyone was a UX, UI, digital blahblahblah who specialized in whateverthefuckiscool.

Something about this just rubs me entirely the wrong way. When did design become an assembly line profession? At what point did it become crucial to employers that a designer only perform tasks A and B, but thats it! Task C is only for the next guy.

Then you read all these articles on twitter about how UX and UI have to work hand in hand with Branding and Social design (and so on, and so forth). The whole thing is laughable, really. You should work with these other branches of design, yet in a job interview you should pretend you only do “one type” of design.

And not only that, but you should eat, sleep, and breathe that one discipline. Having experience is fine but not too much!

See how stupid that sounds? With product rapidly becoming a design discipline, why should designers be relegated to pure specialties? With the rise of flat management structures, it doesn’t even make any sense to specialize. Sure, you’ll be really great at one thing, but you create another void in the team that must be completely filled, 365. What happens when that guy goes on vacation? Or has a family emergency? Oh right, the assembly line stops.

It saddens me that well-rounded designers get benched so often. I have come to adore my multi talented team, who can often pick up my projects where I left off, or understand the best way to supply assets, so that I do not waste time reformatting and preflighting.