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It doesn't take a unicorn to create rad experiences

F8c11ed34857ab2344451d22107d6686?s=47 Elea Chang
June 15, 2015

It doesn't take a unicorn to create rad experiences

Much like the mythical unicorn of legends past, the "unicorn" designer who can code is considered rare and highly coveted. However, hybrid designers/developers do exist, and aren't nearly as mystifying or elite as the unicorn descriptor might imply. So, what does it mean to be a unicorn? How can we encourage and hire them? And when we're so obsessed over unicorns, what is it that we're really saying?

F8c11ed34857ab2344451d22107d6686?s=128

Elea Chang

June 15, 2015
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  1. Photo by julochka on Flickr Elea Chang @ GIANT conf

    IT DOESN’T TAKE A TO CREATE RAD EXPERIENCES unicorn
  2. …CHARACTERISTICS …TRUTHS …HIRING …GLORIFICATION LET’S TALK UNICORN

  3. Photo by julochka on Flickr unicorn characteristics

  4. UNICORN CHARACTERISTICS DESIGN ` CODING 2 1

  5. ` UNICORN CHARACTERISTICS DESIGN CODING

  6. ` usability testing HTML wireframes CSS mocks JS branding copy

    back-end coding unit testing UNICORN CHARACTERISTICS DESIGN CODING
  7. Photo by julochka on Flickr unicorn truths

  8. 1 YOU HAD THE TIME/OPPORTUNITY TO LEARN DESIGN AND CODE

    UNICORN TRUTHS
  9. 1 YOU HAD THE TIME/OPPORTUNITY TO LEARN DESIGN AND CODE

    (some people choose to learn and some people fall into it) UNICORN TRUTHS
  10. 2 THERE WERE SOME TRADEOFFS UNICORN TRUTHS

  11. 2 THERE WERE SOME TRADEOFFS UNICORN TRUTHS (you have a

    finite amount of attention and time)
  12. 3 CONTEXT SWITCHING IS THE NORM FOR YOUR JOB UNICORN

    TRUTHS
  13. 3 CONTEXT SWITCHING IS THE NORM FOR YOUR JOB (your

    day-to-day varies. A LOT.) UNICORN TRUTHS
  14. 4 DIVISION OF RESPONSIBILITIES GETS MURKY AT WORK UNICORN TRUTHS

  15. 4 DIVISION OF RESPONSIBILITIES GETS MURKY AT WORK (limits &

    boundaries? you’ll need ‘em) UNICORN TRUTHS
  16. 5 YOU DON’T AUTOMATICALLY GET MORE LEVERAGE WITH WORK UNICORN

    TRUTHS
  17. 5 YOU DON’T AUTOMATICALLY GET MORE LEVERAGE WITH WORK UNICORN

    TRUTHS (mileage will vary)
  18. Photo by julochka on Flickr unicorn hiring

  19. UNICORN HIRING DO YOU NEED A DESIGNER WHO CODES?

  20. day-to-day? DO YOU NEED A DESIGNER WHO CODES? what’s the

    business? UNICORN HIRING what’s the product?
  21. DESIGN ` CODING level of expertise? UNICORN CHARACTERISTICS

  22. “I JUST CAN’T FIND ANYBODY GOOD” – HIRING PERSON UNICORN

    HIRING
  23. “I JUST CAN’T FIND ANYBODY GOOD” – HIRING PERSON Good

    employees are not a fundamental right. UNICORN HIRING
  24. “I JUST CAN’T FIND ANYBODY GOOD” – HIRING PERSON What

    are you offering, as a company? UNICORN HIRING
  25. YOU DON’T HAVE TO HIRE TO GET A UNICORN. UNICORN

    HIRING
  26. YOU DON’T HAVE TO HIRE TO GET A UNICORN. UNICORN

    HIRING CAREER DEVELOPMENT
  27. YOU DON’T HAVE TO HIRE TO GET A UNICORN. UNICORN

    HIRING • create opportunities CAREER DEVELOPMENT
  28. YOU DON’T HAVE TO HIRE TO GET A UNICORN. UNICORN

    HIRING • create opportunities CAREER DEVELOPMENT • $$ for learning
  29. UNICORN HIRING - books - tutorials - bootcamps - mentors

    - workshops - conferences • create opportunities CAREER DEVELOPMENT • $$ for learning
  30. DESIGNERS WHO CODE AREN’T BORN. THEY’RE CREATED OVER TIME. UNICORN

    HIRING
  31. Photo by julochka on Flickr unicorn glorification

  32. UNICORN GLORIFICATION WHY ARE WE FOCUSED ON ONLY ONE TYPE

    OF DESIGNER?
  33. UNICORN GLORIFICATION DESIGNER WHO CODES = “UNICORN” DESIGNER WHO DOESN’T

    CODE = ??? designers who code are better than designers that don’t
  34. UNICORN GLORIFICATION designers who code are better than designers that

    don’t Knowing how to code = better designer
  35. UNICORN GLORIFICATION designers who code are better than designers that

    don’t Knowing how to code = better designer Focusing on design = better designer
  36. UNICORN GLORIFICATION designers who code are better than designers that

    don’t Knowing how to code = better understanding of web constraints
  37. UNICORN GLORIFICATION designers who code are better than designers that

    don’t Knowing how to code = better understanding of web constraints Experience = better understanding of web constraints
  38. UNICORN GLORIFICATION BEING A DIFFERENT KIND OF DESIGNER IS JUST

    THAT: DIFFERENT (not better, not worse)
  39. UNICORN GLORIFICATION WHY ARE WE FOCUSED ON ONE PARTICULAR CAREER

    PATH?
  40. UNICORN GLORIFICATION 1 LEARN TO DESIGN 2 LEARN TO CODE

  41. UNICORN GLORIFICATION this is THE way to work one way

    to work VS 1 LEARN TO DESIGN 2 LEARN TO CODE
  42. UNICORN GLORIFICATION learn multiple areas of work hone skills in

    one area of work OR SHOULD YOU… ?
  43. UNICORN GLORIFICATION learn multiple areas of work hone skills in

    one area of work OR SHOULD YOU… ? WHATEVER WORKS FOR YOU!
  44. LEAVE UNICORNS TO FAIRYTALES. LET’S CELEBRATE DESIGNERS FOR THEIR WORK,

    WHETHER OR NOT THEY CODE.
  45. Photo by julochka on Flickr THANK YOU! @elea elea@in-essence.org