< Back

Specialist vs Generalist vs T-Shaped UX Designers: Unveiling Their Benefits

Published on 21 Jul , 2023

Introduction: In the dynamic field of user experience (UX) design, professionals possess varying skill sets and areas of expertise. Three distinct profiles have emerged: specialists, generalists, and T-shaped designers. Each profile offers unique advantages and considerations. 

In this blog, we will explore these UX designer profiles, their characteristics, and the benefits they bring to the industry.

I. Specialists in UX Design: Specialists in UX design are professionals who have a narrow focus and deep expertise in a specific area of the UX field. They have honed their skills in particular disciplines such as interaction design, visual design, or information architecture. These individuals possess comprehensive knowledge and experience within their domain.


  • Mastery of specific UX skills: Specialists excel in their specific area, allowing them to deliver high-quality work and innovative solutions.
  • Efficient problem-solving within their domain: Their deep expertise enables them to identify and address complex issues with precision and efficiency.
  • Valuable for complex projects requiring specialized knowledge: Specialists are indispensable in projects that demand in-depth understanding and specialized skills.
  • In-demand expertise commands higher salaries: Their rare and sought-after skills often command higher compensation in the job market.


  • Limited versatility outside their specialized area: Specialists may face challenges when working on projects that require skills outside their expertise.
  • Potential knowledge gaps in broader UX spectrum: Their narrow focus may result in limited exposure to other aspects of UX design.

II. Generalists in UX Design: Generalists in UX design possess a broad understanding of multiple disciplines within the UX field. They are adaptable professionals who can handle various aspects of the design process. 


  • Versatility in handling various design aspects: Generalists have the ability to contribute to different phases of the design process, such as research, wireframing, and prototyping.
  • Seamless collaboration and communication with diverse teams: They can effectively interact with professionals from different disciplines, bridging the gap between designers, developers, and stakeholders.
  • Agile problem-solving across different stages of the design process: Generalists can adapt to changing project requirements and contribute at various stages, ensuring smooth progress.
  • Ability to adapt to evolving project requirements: Generalists can quickly learn and adapt to new tools, technologies, and methodologies as the industry evolves.


  • Less depth in specific areas compared to specialists: While generalists have a broad skill set, their expertise in each area may not match that of a specialist.
  • May require additional learning and upskilling: Generalists need to stay updated with the latest trends and techniques to maintain their versatility.

III. T-Shaped UX Designers: T-shaped UX designers combine a broad knowledge base with deep expertise in a particular area. They have a strong foundation in one discipline while possessing proficiency in other related domains. This profile is characterized by a cross-functional skill set.


  • Well-rounded skills with specialized expertise: T-shaped designers possess a diverse range of skills and knowledge, allowing them to tackle different aspects of UX design effectively.
  • Effective collaboration and empathy towards diverse team members: Their broad understanding helps them communicate and collaborate with specialists and generalists, fostering teamwork and a shared understanding.
  • Versatile problem-solving across the entire design process: T-shaped designers can contribute at multiple stages of a project, from research and ideation to prototyping and testing.
  • Better understanding of project scope and dependencies: They have a holistic view of the project, enabling them to understand how different disciplines and tasks intersect.


  • Balancing depth and breadth may require continuous learning: T-shaped designers need to invest in continuous learning to maintain their expertise while broadening their skill set.
  • Team composition and project requirements may determine suitability: The suitability of T-shaped designers depends on the specific project and team dynamics, as some projects may benefit more from specialists or generalists.

Conclusion: In the ever-evolving field of UX design, specialists, generalists, and T-shaped designers play crucial roles in the success of projects. While specialists offer deep expertise, generalists bring versatility, and T-shaped designers combine the best of both worlds.

The choice of the ideal designer profile depends on project requirements, team dynamics, and desired outcomes. Organizations that understand the unique benefits and considerations of each profile can build effective UX teams capable of delivering exceptional user experiences in a wide range of scenarios.

Join Our UIUX Course!

Apply Now