In order to ensure success, experts need to have complementary skills.

I meet more and more New Media Designers for whom Usability is integrated in their way of thinking and working. This clearly shows there is an important evolution in the world of the Internet.

  1. Experts rapidly acquire general knowledge.
  2. Specialized knowledge has become the standard in order to realize winning projects. 

So, what is the relation between a New Media Designer and a behavioural expert? Are their skills complementary? How to use both in the best possible way?

In order to provide an answer to these questions, it is important to understand their differences. 

Experts complementary skills : shared knowledge

The specific knowledge of a Usability Expert is based on common sense. Today, most New Media Designers I meet have this common sense.

This means a good New Media Designer can make esthetical screens, whilst still respecting Usability standards. 

A Designer and a Usability Expert share a number of skills. So, one could ask why you need to work with two persons on a project, if indeed their contribution is similar. 

When a New Media Designer meets an expert in behavioural science, however, the difference is clear. Because the work of a behavioural expert is based on human fundamentals, which go beyond common sense, he has the tools that allow him to objectify human behaviour. 

This difference leads us to another important point: the complementarity of experts on a project. 

Experts complementary skills : complementarity

An analysis of the different projects my team has worked on, reveals that the projects with the best results have something in common, namely the complementarity between the expertise of a Senior New Media Designer and the Behavioural Expert. 

The quality of a project is enhanced by the combination of different skills and different types of know-how. 

That’s why it is so important to evaluate the experts with whom you will work. If you have skills that are complementary to those of a designer and you explain him well how you work and what you will do, both parties will respect each other’s work. 

I also insist that my team keeps on learning. This not only allows us to deliver efficient solutions to our clients, it also allows us to respect the complementary skills of each and every one and how each member contributes to the success of a site.  

In order to make this concept more understandable and easier to use, I have created a simple equation. 

Experts complementary skills equation

Its interpretation is as simple as the formula itself: the complementarity of competences in a project is inversely proportional to the knowledge the experts have in common.

So, the more shared knowledge is present, the less there will be complementarity. 

It takes no more than 2 or 3 questions for whichever expert to determine the level of knowledge and know-how of another expert. If the difference is big and the level of the two experts is very high, this means the project will benefit from the presence of two complementary experts, which will lead to concrete results. 

Have an excellent week,