User Experience Designer & Creative Technologist
Bringing together groups that don't speak the same language
I have a general distaste for the term “UX Unicorn”. It comes in many flavors, but the result is almost always the same. For the employee involved, they think of themselves as a generalist without any one area of deep focus. For the company, they are often looking for someone they can pay a single salary and have them take on the responsibilities of three people. The first time I heard this phrase was during my internship at a healthcare analytics company when my manager told me he thought it applied to me well as a designer, developer, and business strategist. The more I talked to others about it, the more I realized it was not quite the best description for those like myself. For us, our mindset is closer to the term polyglot. We consume information, no matter what language or format it is presented in, leverage it to the extent needed, translate the important outcomes to others, and bridge the gaps between the source of the problem and those affected. I am crafting a new term: Skeleton Key. Like the device that can open any lock, we are able to benefit any team we interface with because we can adapt to play an agile role that shifts in a moment's notice. Today we may be playing a design research, the next guiding development efforts while keeping user needs in focus, and yet another crafting a vision that rallies our coworkers to a shared purpose, all while meeting business objectives for sustained growth. We look at problems from every side and holistically. We craft unique solutions that account for these diverse and sometimes competing needs. And when those solutions require a new or difficult skill, we have a proven process for learning and adapting to fluid situations. As leaders we unlock the potential in any team by leveraging individual's strengths to the fullest and understanding how each member contributes to larger team in order to create value. We hear everyone's unique needs and translate them to the larger organization. We can mentor and empathize with anyone, regardless of job title or function. Skeleton Keys have much more business value than a mere generalist: we are the bridger of gaps and connectors of people.
I see myself as the embodiment of this idea. My chosen mediums are effective storytelling (design), compelling prototyping (development), and actionable vision casting (business strategy). User-centered research and design is the glue that holds it all together. What skills do I leverage? Check out my resume. Want to see how this all comes to life? Get a glimpse in my portfolio. Want to chat more about how a Skeleton Key could impact your company? Let's talk!
Thanks for taking the time to learn more about me. I leave you with some selected comments about my previous work. Hopefully we can work together soon!
Ian's leadership was essential for the resilience of our team during particularity challenging moments. Ian was able to bridge the gap between the technology and design elements of the project, and would often translate between the Fjord and Accenture/[Client] teams. Ian is an exceptional teacher, and I feel lucky for his mentorship on this project. It's clear to me Ian is a natural leader and his skillset is best put to use leading projects and client engagements.
[Ian's] Discovery and Framing experience was evident from the beginning as he was able to eloquently communicate the value of a D&F to the client during our kick off and I think truly win their trust from that moment on. He was able to breach sensitive discussions with the client around pushing them to really evaluate the value of the product they wanted to roll out.
[...] what a joy it has been working with Ian. Especially being a pediatric hospital, his relatability, and strength in making leadership and development principals and processes user friendly, has really been an asset to our work here at [Client]. I have observed a tendency among consultants to make everything more complicated than it needs to be and Ian has been able to cut through the complexities and give context and relatability to the information shared with our people
Ian has been the most consistent mentor I've had at Accenture. Ian has given me a great deal of advice in navigating Accenture. Ian's consistent availability to help combine with his open and honest feedback made for a great mentoring relationship as I navigated my first months with the company. [...] encouraging me to believe in the work I was creating and picking me up when I was down.
Ian Wilson 2022