I’m an engineer turned designer who loves to design products that are highly functional, usable and have, zero to the bare minimum learning curve for the end-users. The following are the mistakes I have committed and things learned in my year and half of experience as a designer.
A Little About Me
Previously, I worked as a User Interface Designer at a startup called OutreachCircle which is a friend to friend outreach platform. Currently, I work as a UI/UX Designer at MatchMove Pay which offers Banking as a Service and has the adrenaline rush of a true startup.
Being in this startup culture, I learned many things and took up responsibilities which I wouldn’t have got if it wasn’t a startup. I’ll list out my mistakes and why one should not commit them.
#Mistake 01 — Reinventing the conventions
This is one of the greatest mistakes I used to commit. Whenever there was a problem thrown at me. I used to invent my solution to that problem without considering any existing solutions. This practice can greatly impact users in understanding the new solution when there is already a widely used conventional solution for the same problem. Since humans are limited with their memory and their limitations in their cognition. It is always advisable not to “re-invent the wheel”.
#Mistake 02 — Not giving a fu*k about accessibility
Inclusiveness in design is the foundation for a usable product. Your product is worthless if it’s not usable by a wide spectrum of users. Design products in a way your product is usable by the majority of the users. Always try your best to address accessibility in your designs. Right from making sure your designs are compliant with WCAG 2.0 guidelines to things like button size, legible font, and font size, using simple language, accommodating left and right-handedness, avoid as much cognitive load on users and lot more. Make your designs universal.
#Mistake 03 —Lack of empathy for your target audiences
Never be biased as a designer. Your personal preferences don’t necessarily reflect your target users. Always try to understand your users and their mindset. Empathy is one of the qualities designers should inherit to come up with a great product. Welcome feedbacks and critics for your good and shape yourself as a better designer.
#Mistake 04 — Failing to meet user expectations
Always come up with the MVP (Minimum Viable Product) followed by features and enhancements. Prioritizing things based on user’s expectations and coming up with a product, fulfilling things in the first cut is far better than a heavily bloated application struggling to meet user’s expectations.
#Mistake 05 — Absence of a Design system
My understanding of a Design system is that it is a living document whose lifecycle is the same as the product. It is the only source for the design patterns, UI components, and guidelines that every designer should adhere to ensure consistency, reusability, and scalability in the product. It always requires a lot of work to set up a design system but trust me, it’s all worth it.
Thanks for your time. These are my learnings while adopting smart layout to my design system. If you want to collaborate, talk about design or just wanna talk, you can mail me