Perspective pieces

Perspective pieces

UX Designers Don't Give Up

UX Designers Don't Give Up


It is natural for UX designers to feel discouraged with the evolving landscape of our job market paired with the arrival of AI. However, it is imperative to remember that the mark of an exceptional UX designer has always been perseverance. This is what takes precedence above any technical abilities or aesthetic talent.

If problem-solving sits at the heart of UX design, then it is crucial to apply such a mindset to all areas of life. Just how a successful design is rarely achieved on the first try, excellence is attained through practice. As UX designers we are constantly seeking new ways to test, refine, and adapt the problems we encounter.

These are skills we have honed through our research and studies, and these are the skills we must apply in the face of adversity. We should take each curve as a pain point to overcome. How can we research, test, and reiterate these trouble areas? This is the perspective that should come naturally to a distinguished UX designer.

It is for this reason that surrendering to uncertainty should become unfathomable. We are the problem solvers and the innovators of resolution.

Research or Iteration?

Research or Iteration?


Through any design process, initial research is the difference between building a product on a weak or sturdy foundation. User interviews, surveys, and competitor analysis give us a larger scope of user needs and frustrations. With this, we can begin working on a solution in such a way that helps us avoid major roadblocks later.

To serve as an example, imagine how a designer's inadequate comprehension of the way users inherently navigate through pages may result in a menu that is painfully difficult. Such a designer will inevitably find themselves struggling with wasted time and a confusing product. This demonstrates how imperative it is to know which issue you as a designer are working towards, and how you will approach your solution, before you begin.

Make no mistake on how iteration serves as my partner in design. With user testing and feedback we can polish the details. We see how people interact with the design, identify problem areas, and through this we refine our solutions. It's like sanding down rough edges until everything works smoothly.

But for me, the excitement lies in the beginning. The more we understand the user landscape upfront, the more focused and effective our solutions become. We can anticipate user problems and design to address them directly. With effective research, iteration becomes about fine-tuning, not major rework.

UX Is Everywhere

UX Is Everywhere


I have a memory of making a drawing for my sister when I was young. Back then I needed to take a moment to consider what I knew about her: her likes and dislikes, her favorite colors, her favorite characters. After reviewing what I knew, I also needed to stop in her room to double-check that information. Then throughout my drawing process, I occasionally went back to her to ask how it was so far. She gave her feedback, I resumed my work, and so it went until my piece was finished.

I was unaware at that time, but I was carrying out many of the fundamental steps to user-centered design. I had crafted a product that was developed with a target audience in mind.

As I grew into my designer years, I came to understand that every product exists in a relationship between producer and audience. This includes mobile applications, desktop interfaces, and websites. But many overlook how this also includes tangible items such as furniture, recipes, and (as demonstrated by my story) the more traditional and visual forms of art.

This is because reiteration is a natural part of creation, and therefore a natural course of the human spirit. We advance, improve, and build upon everything we craft. If this advancement can only be accomplished through testing, then it follows that user experience stands as a fundamental pillar for all man made creation.

The next time you encounter a new product, be it digital or tangible, consider the testing it had to undergo to reach you. Do you think it was sufficient testing if it feels intuitive to you, or do you think it was insufficient? And who do you think such a product is intended for? By considering such questions, you may begin to see how the study of UX can be found all around us.

UX Versus UI: What's The Difference?


UX and UI are often used interchangeably but represent different aspects within the design process. UI is an acronym standing for User Interface and it applies to all the visual assets that the user can see in a product. Examples of such visual assets may involve navigation menus, page buttons, tabs, and logos or icons. In this way, UI is directly related to the way a product looks. It is crucial then for UI designers to possess the adequate skills to create aesthetically pleasing assets and interfaces.

UX, an acronym standing for User Experience, dives deeper and involves itself with the design process at many layers. It is a study which involves itself with the experiences of a user at every stage. This means that a UX designer must muse over what a process must be like for a user from first impressions, through ongoing use, up to completion. To grasp such an understanding, a UX designer must handle user testing, collect feedback, iterate based upon such feedback, and especially target pain points.

It cannot be overstated how essential both UX and UI are for a product’s success. A quality design will require both to support and rely on each other. However, I do possess a personal preference for the research-intensive nature of UX. I am fascinated by the testing and feedback processes which allow me to understand the perspectives of a user. It is this understanding that I believe truly marks a triumphant victory for a product.