Feeling Stuck as a Product Designer

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1. It’s not that I’m bad at visual design. It’s that I don’t think through the details.

This is about digging into and unveiling my weakness. People would directly and indirectly tell me areas to improve on, and I would often summarize them as “I’m bad at visual design.” This is wrong.

I noticed this during one of my interviews. The interviewer asked me to rate specifically the visual design for one of my designs. I gave it a 4/10.

The interviewer asked, “Why?”

I answered, “Well, visual design is something I’m working on.”

“How?”

In that moment, I noticed I hadn’t put much effort towards improving, and I answered honestly that I wasn’t sure. He and I then discussed what feedback I have received before, and I slowly realized that the answers of “how” were always there.

In my case,

  • I need to think outside the box to solve a problem. I need to explore multiple directions and think of multiple designs that could potentially solve the problem in a better way.
  • I need to pay more attention to all the edge cases. I need to think through about how a user would interact with my design and accommodate for more and more use cases.

These statements are all related to visual design, and these are far easier to tackle than saying, “I need to improve visual design.” I need to stop avoiding my weakness in “visual design”, but rather note all feedback seriously, breakdown the weakness into pieces, and confront it one by one.

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