Some conversations with Jaap Stronks for the terminology and the rifts between UX designers I am witnessing more and more on events (dConstruct, The Web and Beyond) sparked this model below.
The Guerilla UX tries to do the most damage with a minimal amount of resources. They either work in a small web shop in an UX role for clients without any budget or in a larger company that doesn’t recognize UX as a field to allocate proper resources to. The guerilla UX person may be stuck in a related role, or may have to take heroic measures to secure funding and room to get any UX work done and implemented.
The upcoming book Undercover UX seems to exemplify this style.
The Enterprise UX works in an organization that has buy-in into UX and ample resources to allocate people, time, usability labs and other elaborate contraptions to the UX problem. With all this latitude to operate providing good UX is still a daunting challenge because bureaucracy, poor management and lack of organizational vision may each in some measure stymie the end result.
The Frontier UX does stuff that most other people in the field hardly recognize as being the same discipline or having any value at all. This has has consequences for the kind of work and clients practitioners in this field can get. They do their part in advancing the field pioneering new methods and implementations in the face of uncertainty and rather poor odds of survival.
Where do you fit on this triangle? Where do you want to be? And better yet, can you do more than one at once or are you firmly entrenched?