Designers - please stop arguing

There's something I seem to be noticing more often on LinkedIn these days, and I don't like it. Designers taking pot shots at each other.

Specifically what I'm seeing is individual UX designers, Content designers, UI designers, UX writers, etc dropping posts which, in summary, feel like they're saying what a bunch of numpties folks from the other disciplines are and how very dare they step into 'my' turf by doing a task which has been associated with 'my' highly specialised discipline.

Please stop it. It's not edifying.

But apart from anything else, as Robert A Heinlein said,

'A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyse a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialisation is for insects'.

How and when did this idea of hyper-specialisation enter our industry anyway?

True, there is no questioning the fundamental difference between designing 'the words' and designing 'the shapes', and it's not unreasonable to say that some people might be better at inking and other people might be better at colouring. It makes sense to have people in a production team play to their strengths - or as I've always put it, exercise their superhero special powers.

But beyond the obvious areas where two different disciplines are clearly two different jobs barely related to each other, I'm not sure if this tendency to hyper-specialisation, and the turf wars which appear to be resulting from it, is healthy.

I'm not sure it's healthy for our clients to at best see members of one discipline passing the buck around answering questions and solving problems to the other disciplines, and at worst seeing us arguing amongst ourselves about who has primacy on any given aspect of the design work.

But I also don't think it's healthy for us and our own career development to be so parochial - I don't think it's healthy for us to say 'it isn't that person's job to do this task' and conversely it's not healthy for us to say it's not our job to do that thing. I don't think it's healthy to not only feign ignorance in a related aspect of our wider design discipline, I think it's not healthy to deliberately remain ignorant ourselves in the work of our related disciplines.

To be clear, I'm not saying we should throw the baby out with the bathwater and expect content designers to be designing buttons in Illustrator. What I am suggesting is that five jobs in a User Centred Design team of generalists who have different strengths is going to be a more powerful team than a team of five hyperspecialists arguing with one another about who should do what around here.

I'm hoping I don't lose friends / connexions / followers on LinkedIn over this...