The UX Unicorn Myth

A lot of job ads these days call from what’s called the “UX unicorn” or the person who can do everything about user experience in a project.

But, as the actual unicorn is a mythical beast, so the UX unicorn is a mythical employee. Because there’s no one person who can be great in all these different things that constitute user experience. 

In UX, if you hire a dedicated user researcher, someone who specializes in how to do research, they are going to give you really deep insights into user behavior. And they’re going to derive really great recommendations for how to drive your project forward.

Or if you hire a dedicated interaction designer, then the workflow will be so much smoother, the interface will be so much better designed. 

Or if you hire a professional information architect, then your website will be really well-structured, as opposed to somebody who kind of dabbles in IA on the side. It’s gonna not be nearly as good. 

And the same is true for all these different, many different disciplines that constitute user experience. 

If you have one guy and he knows a little bit of everything, maybe he is pretty good, but it’s still a prescription for mediocrity in your product compared to having a team of people who are great at specializing in each component. 

That’s how you get an excellent user experience.