I just changed my tagline today from ‘UX Professional’ to ‘Full-Stack UX Professional’.  Partly because I haven’t done any new posts in a while; partly because of job application rejections thank you’s with the vague ‘not what my client was looking for’ (i.e. they wanted a visual designer/front end coder who would work for spare change, snacks and a Foosball game.)

Technology stacks describe the front-end, middle, and back-end technology/frameworks for apps/web; e.g. JQuery on Rails on Redis with Joomla on Apache Linux… A ‘Full-Stack Developer’ can work at each layer, though you see the same discussions about the myth of the F-S Developer as the myth of the UX Unicorn

The ‘stack’ of UX Design is the plan – research – design – test activity set:

iso9241-hcd cycle
ISO 9241 Human Centered Design

A Full Stack UX Designer can work at each level:

  • Analyze and create a plan of attack for the specific product/project/problem
  • Do the research and communicate results
  • Design solutions to meet the user needs
  • Evaluate the solutions and iterate

Or in the style of J.J. Garrett’s famous Information Architecture diagram:

Full Stack of UX Skills

So Full Stack UX Designer isn’t really new, it’s a generalist, broad-t shape — what I used to call a human factors engineer..  It’s just applying the startup lingo. Trying to connect with the HR or VC mentality.

I’ll probably change it back.

EDIT: Since I published this, another ‘full stack designer‘ article came out, and the requisite LinkedIn discussions… essentially this guy is regurgitating the “you need to code to be a designer since design = web” argument.   

What the Hell is a Full-Stack UX Designer?

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