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T shaped people - link compilation

Too many things in the queue to write about, from Nexus for change two weeks ago and Internet User Experience / UXnet last week. And now heading out for the IA Summit, so there will be more things to add to the list.

So I better start addressing the backlog before I leave for Miami.

Here is one: I was very pleased to meet Zach Smith at Nexus U for many reasons. He works in Japan now but we traced back our roots - all of the way back to attending the same elementary school, just a few years apart.

As we talked about what we are doing now, we found a common topic of interest: t-shaped people. At the end of the day with Zach, I had a few minutes to compile a list of links to t-shaped-people-references-from-the-UX-community for him.

Hope you find the list of links useful.


Hi Keith... thanks for the link love!

Gartner calls t-shaped people Versatilists.

Keith, thanks for publishing the list. My team found it very useful as well. Just finished Tom Kelley's book-thanks for the heads up. I'll be linking to this list and expanding on the development of T-shaped people (and beyond) on our blog. Stay tuned!

Keith, It's a good list. They have a principal skill that describes the vertical leg of the T -- they're mechanical engineers or industrial designers. But they are so empathetic that they can branch out into other skills, such as anthropology, and do them as well. They are able to explore insights from many different perspectives and recognize patterns of behavior that point to a universal human need. That's what you're after at this point -- patterns that yield ideas

Zach Smith has expanded on "t-shaped people" to include XGI and HAUO shapes in the form of Capacity evolution. And 2 of his blog posts specifically about t-shapes: The LimiTaTions of T and We Do as We Are (Part 1: T-Shaped People). From earlier this year, just getting around to reading them now.

Peter Boersma helped me find a UXmatters article that adds to the discussion about t-shaped user experience people: Specialists Versus Generalists: A False Dichotomy?. I like how Pabini took it to the next level by emphasizing a well-rounded user experience team.

Nick Finck asked Jess McMullin about t-shaped people on Twitter and some good links from Pimp IA on the history of the term:

In Innovation that matters, Nick Donofrio talks about the role of t-shaped people in innovation.

Peter Morville mentions t-shaped people in the context of Ubiquitous Service Design: "recognition that user experience is a practice led by T-Shaped People".

Bouncing around some of the t-shaped links from his article, I found another good one to add to my list: Generalizing Specialists: Improving Your IT Career Skills by Scott Ambler.

Peter Jones turns T-shaped people into a hub and spoke team in The Optimal Geometry of Social Design.