21 Things I learned interacting with UX Pros in 6 months

A good read for young enthusiastic designers

Interacting with working professionals has always been a wonderful experience of learning for all the beginners and young designers. It sounds exciting that design education from design professionals helped to get on to fabulous careers in different creative fields.

In last exciting 6 months, I have collected a lot of useful information and have tried to get my queries solved relating to UX while having discussion with great UX professionals. Here are 21 of my thoughts on how to approach as a young designer, in the tech industry.

User’s perspective and User research

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1. To become a good UX designer, you have to start with gathering deep understanding of users’ behaviour, needs, and motivations by conducting in-depth user research (user interviews, Online surveys, User testing).

2. Try to understand the behaviour of the user by putting yourself in their shoe. It is the most important part of work in UX design, and you must never try to change or influence the behaviour of users with your hypothesis.

3. You must be aware of design principles, techniques and tools used to design awesome experiences. Tools like Photoshop, Sketch app, Balsamiq, CanvasFlip amongst other are must to have a hand on experience.

4. Creating user story is extremely important as it helps designer understand the flow of the user’s work and how the interface will fit into it.

5. Keep yourself updated with the latest trends of market by reading books, magazines and blogs. Never try to duplicate other’s work but learn and understand what has already been done.

Prototyping

6. Once you start designing, it’s not necessary that everything goes fine with it or it comes exactly the way you expected it to be. So, it will be better if you start with prototyping.

7. Prototype is not the final product but the interactive mock-up whose main purpose is to check the flow of your design at different levels. Medium and high fidelity prototypes also helps you to test the feasibility and usability of your design.

8. Several prototyping tools can be used for building prototypes. You can build paper prototypes by using paper and pencil, and for click through prototypes, there are numerous tools you can use, but my tool of choice for this is CanvasFlip.

User Interface (UI)

9. UI includes series of screens, pages and buttons or icons through which user can interact with the designed product. A good designer must have reason for every element on the screen.

10. Allow UI to be flexible and interruptible so that user can easily enter and exit the screen without applying much effort.

11. Labeled button, icons and other UI elements should act as a contextual cue to teach your users.

12. Presenting users with lesser options avoids distractions and helps them focus on primary goals. Each screen in your design must have only one primary goal which you wish your user should perform.

Selection of colour & contrast

13. Try good combinations of light and dark colours as it affects users’ attitude and behaviour. As colour association vary from person to person, research carefully which matches their industry standard and evoke the emotions of users.

14. Avoid using blue colour for text but can be used for hyperlinks. Red signifies importance whereas green represents growth and success. So, choose colours according as per the taste of user’s.

15. If you want your user to click on something particular, then make it stand out using different contrast colour. The colour choices should affect users in a way you expect them to.

Time & User testing

16. Sum up the number of days you exactly require for completing your project and start by prioritizing your work accordingly.

17. Test your prototype again and again until you get the most refined version of your design having better functionalities.

18. Test by sharing your prototype to different users and collect the feedback from them. Once you get feedback on your designs, it’s important to analyse and identify the feedback which can help our design to improve and lead to an effective product.

19. A/B testing is done to measure user’s preferences, whereas usability testing aims at measuring user’s behaviour.

( I test my designs early and often with CanvasFlip. Tried it out yet? )

Design Hand-Off

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20. After completion of all the design process, the designer’s job is to hand-off the design to the developer’s team in an organised way by sharing each and every story related to user’s need. During the whole process, designer should have a constant communication with the developer so as to avoid any confusion or risk.

21. Tools should be used which could enable pixel perfect design handoff between design and development team so as to achieve more realistic final output as an app/website.

(Hey guys, did you’ll try out SPECS? I love it for handing off designs)

Conclusion

Well! Nothing more to say but if you are really interested in learning UX designing, I hope you find these learnings useful and can help you in designing awesome app/website experiences.. You can easily follow these tips in your design career and it will proved to be of great help in future. You must be having lot of other interesting UX tips which you may want to share with young UXers, do share in comments below.