Get Yer Pens Out

For my first post, I wanted to tackle a subject that I’ve been thinking about for some time now: writing skills as a job requirement for UX professionals.

There has been a lot of discussion about the UX skillset—what it is, what it should be, and what it doesn’t necessarily need to be but might be nice to include. However, these discussions tend to revolve whether UX folks need to be able to code or create comp-level visual mockups. While worth debating, these issues won’t really affect most people’s day-to-day lives.  If you’re an employed UX designer who can’t code, you’re fine; just don’t apply for jobs whose requirements include creating interactive prototypes (duh).

However, you’ll be very hard-pressed to find a UX gig that doesn’t require you to create documentation of some sort, most likely with fairly extensive written specifications.1 So what does this all mean? Basically, if you’re the business of creating these specification documents, you have to ensure that they’ll be understood by those tasked with taking your specs and transforming them into live products.
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  1. The ‘Lean UX’ movement/process seems to be an exception to this, but I’ve never experienced a process like this, so I can’t really comment on its prevalence—or efficacy.  Check out Jeff Gothelf’s article on the subject here: http://uxdesign.smashingmagazine.com/2011/03/07/lean-ux-getting-out-of-the-deliverables-business/  []