Rachel Daniel

“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.

Rachel Daniel – @RainbowliciousD

Rachel has been involved in the UX realm for more than a decade and is a self-proclaimed Ex Unicorn. She’s covered everything from visual design to user research, interaction design to coding, and usability testing to prototyping. Rachel now manages a multidisciplinary team as Director of UX at MaxPoint, a leading business intelligence and digital marketing company that enables national brands to drive local, in-store sales.

Over her long career, Rachel has worked at companies large and small, producing award-winning designs, growing collaborative teams, providing ongoing training, and crafting user experiences for a variety of products and applications. She has been influential in the UX community through sharing her knowledge at both international and local conferences, including UX Scotland, Interaction South America, Big Design, Grace Hopper, The UX Lab NYC, and Ladies That UX. When not producing high-caliber designs or mentoring team members, Rachel looks for every opportunity to travel the world.

Follow her ideas, topics, and travels on Twitter @RainbowliciousD

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