A UX designer is like a Potato

A mouth-watering explanation to what the heck a UX designer actually does in your company

James Muriuki
Oct 24, 2019 · 3 min read

Whenever you think about potatoes (If you are like me this is almost all the time) the first thing you think about is a hot, salty pack of good-ol-fries. Who can blame you? It’s everywhere, they smell amazing and taste even better.

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Similarly, whenever most people in a company think about UX designers the first thing that comes to mind is UI design. You know, those flashy screens that are on your company’s, the bright beautiful company colors that seem to blend seamlessly.

But we are more than a bag of fries. We do so much more and I’d like to show you.

We can be a creamy bowl of mash

Before we even think of design we do research. Tonnes and tonnes of research. We try to understand our customers. To see what they see and try to feel what they feel. We investigate what their problems are and also find what their goals are. The customer becomes the sun and everything we do revolves around them. This is what we call human-centered design.

“Human-centered design is a philosophy, not a precise set of methods, but one that assumes that innovation should start by getting close to users and observing their activities.”

– Donald A. Norman,

We can be some spicy Bhajia

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Talking to users is not enough we also need to know what our competition (You can start heckling here) is up to. We go on spy mode seeing what they are up to. We never try to copy our competitors but learn from them. This way it prevents us from reinventing the wheel by creating a super-complex solution for a problem that has been fixed by someone else. But it also prevents us from implementing solutions that seem to have failed.

“Good design is the most important way to differentiate ourselves from our competitors.”

-Yun Jong Yong

We can also be strong Russian vodka

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After we create our designs we monitor them like a hawk. Making sure the really amazing engineering team implements everything we designed to the letter (Or pixel to be precise). We track how the user interprets the new design and track to see if we have actually solved their problem. Once done we move on to the next problem.

“You can’t get what you want without giving your customers what they want. “

- Andrew Kucheriavy

There are so many steps that you might not see before a final design of your company’s product is released. But be assured there is a team of really awesome UX designers working hard to make sure the final pixel perfect design ensures that the customer gets what they want and the company gets what it wants.

So next time you meet your friendly UX designer in the hallways. Give them a hug. God knows they need one.

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