Nathaniel Davis has just had an article published on UX Matters titled UX Design Practice Verticals. It expands on an idea first posed by Peter Boersma in 2004 about how UX (or IA, as it was more popularly known then) overlaps or entails some aspect of every form of professional practice in design and development of computing interfaces. It certainly does a good job of explaining why UX Unicorns are like hens teeth!
In the last few years Nathaniel has done some great work with concepts like the T-Shaped Professional and the design skills that can be expected from a maturing UX practitioner. The resulting UXD Practice Verticals is a pretty useful "snapshot of the activities that are necessary to architect and design human-computer interactions":
- For doing your own individual skills assessment
- For use as bank of handy UX design methods
- For finding any gaps during evaluation of UX design methods
If you'd like to see how you match up to the model of a mature UX pro, or would find it useful to pinpoint your UX skill gaps, then I'd encourage you to read Nathaniel's article for a good overview and then download a copy of his chart published by DSIA.
And if the UX Design Practice Verticals float your boat, then you'll also like the UX Mastery Self-Assessment Sundial which works on the same principles but lets you save and share a neat little graphic. A massive thanks to Thomas Yung (@thomasyung) for development of this interactive tool and for sharing it with the UX Mastery community.