Full Stack UX Designers: What They Do and How They Make a Difference

Lately, there has been a lot of chatter about full stack designers, but if you look closely, for the most part, we’re actually talking about full stack developers. This is understandable as the lines between developers and designers are increasingly blurred.

While both full stack developers and designers can do a lot of the same things, they rarely do development and design at the same time. This can be attributed to the current evolution of team collaboration and changes in product design that go on behind the scenes (to manage UX design and web development).

So it begs the question, who is a full stack UX designer?

Full Stack UX Designer Defined

When we say “full stack” we mean multi-skilled and it comes from the programming arena to imply technological competency. But at the same time, it doesn’t mean that one person does it all.

It just means that being multi-skilled or interdisciplinary will enable the individual to utilize their skills independently to finish the job.

So under this definition, a full stack designer should be able to build the basic project concept and complete the design development work associated with it. So they should be able to complete the following tasks:

  • Prototype design
  • Wireframes
  • Visual design
  • Front end coding
  • jQuery
  • JS

In other words, if you’re truly a full stack designer:

  • You can be your own startup and develop minimum viable product (MVP) on your own
  • You will be loved by developers as you’re also doing some coding
  • You'll have an in-depth understanding of both programming and design, which is always a huge bold plus no matter what you do

Further, a full stack designer can also be a sort of a generalist. They can not only design the product, but they can also write content, engage in problem-solving, do some marketing, and even make videos.

What’s great here is that full stack designers will have a thorough understanding of the project development process. So they will be able to help it move seamlessly from research to the production phase. Further, they can also keep concepts realistic during the wireframe planning process.

So to be a full stack designer, you will have to have an expansive skill set that can be an asset to a business. Think about it, if there is a need during the development process, someone with an extensive skill set can easily jump in a help out in an area that isn’t their focus.

This can also mean having diversified lean teams with a lot fewer people as current members already have a grasp of the whole picture. It’s no coincidence as the booming startup environment and the emergence of mobile apps have essentially created the full stack UX designer.

Key Advantages of Being a Full Stack UX Designer

Having an extensive set of skills means that you’re always learning and willing to learn more. Even having a basic foundation in a skill can highly enhance the chances of learning more about it.

This will also make different areas of the development process more relatable and help you dive in if you need to learn much more about it. However, this doesn’t mean that you have to become an expert in every domain. It just means that you have to know enough to make cooperation a seamless experience.

All this knowledge will also lead to comprehensive thinking which is a huge advantage as limitations of a product can be identified right away. Further, an individual with this skill set can analyze and customize skills based on the needs of the situation. 

So being able to see the “big picture” right from the beginning is probably the biggest differentiator from normal designers. This, in turn, can save money and save time as you will be able to identify the flaws in the product right from the planning stages.

So if you want to be a full stack designer, you have to accept your destiny of continuous learning which will enrich any business. With new tools coming out regularly to keep pace with the evolution of technology, you can expect to learn a lot on a regular basis.

Are you looking to hire advanced UX/UI Talent or build a Lean Team for your in-house / offshore project development fast and with no HR, IT and administrative hassle?
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Andrew Zola is a freelance writer, designer, and artist working in branding and marketing for over ten years. He is a contributor to various publications with a focus on new technology and marketing.

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