2 Lessons Learned as UX/UI Designer
4 months passed since I’ve worked as UX/UI Designer in a startup company. It’s a very beginning step, I know that. Thus, there’re 2 big things I’ve learned and I think it’sd be better to note it as a checklist so I could continue walking on this path with some guideline for the future.
UX versus Designer
I’ve heard both UX designer and UX researcher role. I’m more interest in the UX design and has practice redesigning many things from the UX point-of-view. But that’s not enough for this role, the real job is to discuss and analyze all requirements, transfer them into tangible form, and it’d be nice if you can test it and keep fixing till everything seems fine. I told myself to study more and extend my view to cover all aspects, both business and technical.
Thus, time passed and my project went beyond the ideate state. I haven’t got a chance to test anything yet. According to time limitation or maybe my lack of abilities, we all stuck at the design process. Changing theme, adding more buttons, and more to come. I took responsibility to take care of these requirements, part of them seems right as my role is also a UI designer. But sticking with the word “Designer” could move your focus. Instead of thinking in all aspects in order to derive the best solutions, I ended up following the business team’s suggestion as it’s little fix on the design and not much effort for the developers. The problem is, the next day when I adjust the UI, I always found the reason why following that suggestion could disturb the usage flow.
Lesson learned: Don’t wear 2 hats at a time. It’d be good if you can professional both of them but if not, think with the UX aspect first. Discuss with team whether their good idea is an actual need for the product or not. Always keep in mind that there’s always a butterfly effect in each UI change. If you can’t think fast, note it as homework and propose them later when you have a better clear mind.
Idea versus Action
It’s good to have good ideas throwing in during the meeting. Especially in the beginning step, but of course, no one can see the clear future since then. In actual, you’d found yourself changing things along the way as more obstacles appear on the journey. Sometimes good ideas pop out, and some ideas require you to destroy everything you’ve done. We’ve been taught not to stick with things we build so far, not to afraid of starting thing over, as long as it comes with the better result.
Thus, the real world has many constraints such as deadline and limited budget. The discard-and-rebuild strategy might not always work for you or your customers. On the day you throw the idea in, you might become the hero for all people in the room. But the day later, you might realize that it can’t be done so you need to push that solution to the next phase and now you’ve solved nothing.
I won’t tell you to stop brainstorming ideas, it’s always good to do that and don’t be afraid to purpose any crazy ideas you have. Just keep in mind that the beautiful picture of your ideas might be too far to be true but you can always find some little steps that could lead you to it.
Also, don’t be too confident on your idea, it proves nothing until the real user uses it. If you keep rebuilding until you’re sure, you might be too late for the race. Launch and learn is an interesting strategy, it could indicate what you’ve done right or wrong. Your idea is important for product development, but you’re not the one who buys it. Listen to the one who does, or willing to.
Lesson learned: Idea without action is just a dream, but it doesn’t mean you can’t daydream. Don’t let idea stay as it is, steps back to find the way to achieve it even by a little. Prioritizing task and importance could also help. And don’t forget to take action!
That’s all for today. This’s only the beginning of my UX path. I know I’d definitely make more mistakes and learn more things. There’re more for me to fail, learn, lost, disappoint, and sometimes give up. Still, that’s part of my job anyway ;)
Feel free to share your experience or suggestion for us to keep forward on this career path. Some of the content I wrote might not correct and I’d appreciate hearing from you.