During all my „career” I was doing everything. From searching clients and negotiating theirs needs, through finding best solutions, technology, planning and designing everything, finding cooperatives, third party services and so on to coding, testing, developing…
It was different world twenty years ago, and I HAD to know EVERYTHING. Especially in Poland when you have to be your own accountant, driver, cook and whatever.
Now, when I realized how far I stood behind, I was trying to grasp EVERYTHING again. Learn all this new technology and trends again. WRONG.
This is impossible. Instead of being the middle (or rather poor…) in everything, specialize. And this is exactly I want to do now… I’ll back to what I liked best and I was best in. I’ll back to UI.
All these years I was so called full stack designer and/or developer. Or full stack – full stack… It means I was doing everything from the very beginning to the very end. I made interviews with a client about his REAL needs. Did all designs – logical, data structure, usability, interactions and finally graphic interface – what we call UX and UI today. Then, after thousands client’s „improvements”, I did all coding front end and I did back end. Programing, databases etc. And tests…
So I was very busy, but I could take full responsibility and I knew what possibly went wrong if there were any problems.
I liked it just because of this full control. Of course, I had the team(s) and not all the time and not every time did everything. But it is not the point.
Times changed. Technology change explosively. Every time, every day, every minute almost.
There is no possibility today to be trendy, to keep an eye on all new technologies, tools, trends – you name it. Especially when you are running business same time. And this is why it is the mistake to be full stack in these days in my opinion. Now is time for teams. So yours – perhaps not most needed, but very important – skill should be team building. Of course, you (UX/UI designer) have to (!) know something about all steps of this way. But pick one part and be the best in this area.