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These are the 3 biggest mistakes I’ve seen young UX designers make when entering their first design role.

1. Everything needs to be PERFECT

If there is one thing I’ve learned as my time as a UX designer is that there are always trade-offs in your design. It could be anything from SEO needs more copy or the legal team says there has to be a disclaimer for this or the powers that be don’t like the icon you created…or any other reason that could cause you to make some compromises in your design. This is normal and happens in every company.

I know it’s frustrating…


If you haven’t read parts 1 and 2, I would recommend starting from the beginning.

So now that you’ve read the first two posts in this series you should have documentation that shows different variants of each individual component on your site. The example I gave was CTA’s, so, as you can imagine, you end up with something like this:

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I think we all understand why having this many different variants of a CTA can be problematic. Do they have different use cases? Do they all do the same thing? Is there a reason for this madness?

So now that…


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1. Good usability is good enough without aesthetics

Myth 1 is a doozy… I’ve always been visually inclined, maybe it came from my parents, my mom was always good at painting and calligraphy. But one thing I’ve never understood is when UXers say “Visuals don’t matter” or put less emphasis on Visual Design than Interaction Design or Research. They are all serving a different role within the UX process.

Don Norman wrote a whole book on the emotional connection in design and the impact it has on people’s perception. Rarely, does the rest of the UX process deal with emotions. It’s not till you get into the visual…


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This is a continuation of an intro article about design systems. If you haven’t read part one, I would highly recommend it to help set the groundwork of what you will be reading below.

Have you ever come into a new company and realized that it has little to no guidance on how components of the site should combine. There are so many beneficial things that come out of telling designers about what they can and can’t do.

The idea I petty straight forward, but the actual implementation can be overwhelming and often a time-suck.

The Wild Wild West

The problems that arise by…


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When I got to Blue Nile, I expected a set of guidelines to design around. Call it a style guide, call it a pattern library, call it whatever you want… we didn’t have one. The basic idea was to try and make things look like they were all from the same designer. This sounds easy in principle, but in practice, it’s another story.

Have you ever wondered how some of the biggest companies in the world have such consistent experiences and always represent their brand in a consistent style? Design systems are the answer.

One thing I’ve learned over the…

Andy Layman

I'm the UX Design Manager at Blue Nile, helping build better products. Want to connect? Hit me up on Twitter: @LaymanDesign

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