Insights and Best Practices for Aspiring Product Designers

If your designs look like they were put together by a monkey with a glue gun, don’t fret – you’re headed in the right direction!

Designing can be a tricky game, much like playing Jenga. You never know which block you’ll pull that will make the entire tower come crashing down. But, unlike Jenga, designing isn’t a spectator sport. You’ve got to get in there and play to win.

Perfection is a Myth: Why Designers Should Keep Trying New Options

First, let’s talk about the elephant in the room: perfection. As designers, we all want our designs to be perfect. We want the lines to be straight, the colors to be just right, and the overall look flawless. But let’s be real here; perfection is a myth. It’s like trying to catch a unicorn with a butterfly net. It’s just not going to happen.

So, instead of waiting for that perfect design to come to you like a kid waiting for their allowance, take some initiative and keep trying different options. Don’t just sit around twiddling your thumbs. Keep exploring other options and working on other tasks. Who knows, you might just come up with something even better than perfect.

The Importance of Feedback in Design

Another important aspect of designing is getting feedback. It’s like playing a game of pinball. You never know where the ball will land on the first try. So, don’t be afraid to ask for feedback, and don’t be afraid to try something different based on that feedback. Remember, designing is a team effort, and everyone’s input is valuable.

Don’t wait for your product owner’s approval before moving ahead. As designers, we often get caught up in the approval game, which can be a real-time-waster. Remember, your product owner is a human being just like you, and they’re not always going to agree with your designs. But that’s okay. It’s all part of the design process.

How to Become a Designer Extraordinaire

To become a designer extraordinaire, don’t just read design books like a nerd (yes, we’re all nerds). It’s important to learn the principles of good design and expose yourself to new ideas and experiences like a sponge. So, go out and sketch like a madman, paint like a pro, analyze cars like a mechanic, observe watches like a jeweler, watch movies like a critic, listen to music like a DJ and observe people like a spy. The more you know about the world, the better equipped you’ll be to design for it like a boss.

But it’s not just about expanding your knowledge. If you’re constantly at loggerheads with your project manager or product owner, try to make them your new bestie. Like peanut butter and jelly, you’ll be happier and better at your jobs. Who knows, you might even start finishing each other’s sentences. You’ll both be happier and better at your jobs as a result.

This is important because having a positive relationship with your project manager or product owner can greatly improve your work experience and job performance. When you have a good working relationship with these individuals, they are more likely to support your ideas and give you the resources you need to be successful in your role. Additionally, you can trust them to communicate effectively with you and help you navigate any challenges that may arise in the project. Furthermore, you are more likely to be motivated and productive when working in a positive environment. Overall, having a good relationship with your project manager or product owner can lead to a better work experience, improved job performance, and better outcomes for the project.

The UX Whisperer: Taming Wild User Experiences with Ease

You are way ahead of the game if you are lucky to have one on your team. You’ve just ordered the extra topping on that pizza and supersized it. 

Nobody wants to look like they just threw on random design elements and hoped it would all look good together. With the help of a UX Researcher, you can be sure that your design meets the needs of your users and isn’t just something you personally like. UX Researchers ensure that you don’t make fashion faux pas such as using Comic Sans or having a website only compatible with Internet Explorer. By understanding user needs and preferences, they can tailor the design, so it’s more attractive, intuitive, and easy to use. 

This is important because understanding the needs and wants of your users is crucial for the success of any product or service. A UX researcher can gather valuable insights about the user’s behavior, preferences, and pain points through various research methods such as user interviews, surveys, usability testing, etc.

Having this information allows a company to make informed decisions about what features to include in a product and prioritize them based on their significance to the user. It also helps to identify potential problem areas in a product before it’s released, which can save time and resources in the long run.

The Personal Trainers for Your Design

Additionally, a UX researcher can help determine the most effective research method for a particular problem or question and provide guidance on analyzing and interpreting the data. This ensures that the research is conducted most efficiently and effectively as possible, providing reliable and actionable insights.

A good UX researcher is like a personal trainer for your design – they’ll push you to make it the best it can be and ensure it’s user-friendly enough that even grandma can use it. Without them, your design is just a flabby mess, but with their guidance, it’ll be a lean, mean, user-pleasing machine.

Breaking Through Creative Blocks: When to Step Back and Try a Different Approach

And finally, remember that everyone in the room is probably bullshitting—including yourself. If you find yourself hitting a wall and don’t know how to move forward, sometimes the best solution is to do something different and come back later. This could mean taking a break, talking to a colleague, or experimenting with a different design approach. By looking back and looking at the problem from a different angle, you may gain new insights and ideas that can help you break through the block.

It’s also important to remember that the door will open eventually. Even if you can’t see a solution immediately, it doesn’t mean one doesn’t exist. Sometimes, the best solution is to be patient and persistent. With time, you’ll be able to develop the skills, knowledge, and experience needed to tackle even the most difficult design challenges.

So Listen up, all you aspiring product designers! If you want to create products that will make users say, ‘Wow, I never knew I needed this in my life!‘ and make your boss say, ‘Wow, how did we ever function without this?‘ then you better be ready to embrace new perspectives like a koala hugs a eucalyptus tree, tackle challenges like a bull charges a matador and be patient like a snail in a marathon. With design principles in mind, you’ll be creating products that will knock the socks off of everyone who sees them (except maybe those who don’t wear socks, but you get the point).

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