Amanda Stockwell

“Confessions of an Ex Unicorn”

Session Summary

The mythical UX unicorn; we’ve all felt the pressure to become one, and many of us have gained or are actively pursuing unicorn status. But do we truly need to be masters of the entire UX spectrum? There has been lots of discussion about why everyone in UX needs to be a unicorn and how to achieve this status. Many companies are expecting that everyone they hire be able to single-handedly cover the entire spectrum of UX roles.

The result is that many UX professionals are attempting to be unicorns and either finding themselves unhappy in their process, unsatisfied in their role as a unicorn, feeling unqualified to move forward, or unsure of how to grow their career. There is value to having a unicorn education and having a broad set of experiences, but let’s be honest about the challenges, too.

In this lively talk, Amanda Stockwell and Rachel Daniel will discuss the benefits of a multidisciplinary education, complications of unicorn life, and the varying paths to success.

Session Takeaways
Attendees will leave this session with specific pros and cons of being a unicorn, information about the scenarios in which it makes sense to have unicorns, guidance about how to choose the path that will best serve their interests and inspiration to grow their career into however they define success.

Amanda Stockwell – @MandaLaceyS

Amanda is the VP of UX at 352 Inc. where she leads a team that provides user research, usability testing, and UX strategy services. Additionally, Amanda has unique career advancement insight from her tenure at a top recruiting agency, where she evaluated client needs and associate job descriptions, reviewed and interviewed scads of UX professionals, assessed those candidates for particular roles, and helped individuals shape and advance their UX careers.

She also serves as a mentor to her local UXPA group. When not performing UX magic, Amanda can be found teaching fitness classes, drinking mojitos by the ocean, and sunbathing with her spoiled pooch, Bromer, all of which she likes to discuss on twitter at @MandaLaceyS.

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