Modern problems on the web require innovative UX solutions. As each day passes, new challenges emerge on the horizon for the witty UX designers to tackle and solve. The entire design process is filled with ups and down. All of which are regular parts of the creative process. What separates the best UX designers from the rest is their willingness to push thru obstacles and boundaries that may happen on the way and make stunning breakthroughs as the reward. But how to obtain such a mindset? How can you re-invent the wheel? That and much more we will cover below, so let’s start!
When solving any UX design, put yourself in your user’s shoes. By doing so, you can get inspiration because you are viewing the situation from a completely different angle. Users do not have all the knowledge and training you do (we will cover this in the following paragraphs) but are regular internet users. Users wish to get information fast and without much hustle in between, and it’s your job to make it happen.
When making any part of the overall UX design, ask yourself “How many people will find this clear?” or “Is this obvious enough for their problems?” Imagine yourself searching for answers, being desperate or in a hurry. Then you will realise the importance of a streamlined UX design and how empathy, as a tangible and physical emotion, can translate into the digital world.
2. The Curse of Knowledge
One of the biggest pitfalls in modern UX design is the curse of knowledge, which becomes more apparent with years of experience. There is no doubt in our mind, that you, as a seasoned UX designer, can solve any challenge. But is such an approach the best way to handle modern UX challenges? The fastest solution may not be the best, and reaching back to your principles can help you find an optimal solution.
UX designers with years of experience under their belt, tend to complicate things as they yearn for a challenge. Trying to top themselves with new and groundbreaking solutions, they dive too deep and get lost by doing so. All that knowledge of their craft becomes a burden rather than a gift. We recommend recalling when you were beginning and how the simplest of choices made the greatest outcome.
3. The more, the merrier
Two heads are smarter than one. Sometimes you can’t change your outlook on the current problem, and you may feel like you are stuck. Projecting yourself into your customer’s shoes does not work, a fresh start leads to a new dead end, and all seems hopeless. What you need in that situation is a friend to come when you are in need. The obvious solution may be right in front of you, but you can be stuck and blindsided by it. When you call in for help, whether from a colleague or an SEO agency, you get a fresh perspective that can shine a bright new light on your situation.
Outside help is not burdened by the entire process so far, and get to start at your already-made results. With that, they have a clear and vigorous stance that can offer unusual insight into your UX problems. And as our experience led us to believe, nine times out of ten, the solution was right there for you to see. You just needed a helping hand to nudge you in the right direction.
4. Feed on feedback
Don’t be too proud, and soak in all the feedback you can. Feedback from your users is worth its weight in gold as you are getting direct responses from paying customers about what you need to build for them. Their needs come first, and by acknowledging any feedback you get, you will soon realise how simple your UX design can be. Why reinvent the wheel each time, when your customers can tell you what they want? All you have to do from that point is combine their wishes with your expertise and make the customer’s dream come true.
5. Use data
Apart from your expertise and user opinions, you can also rely on cold, hard data. Nothing can dispute the scientific method, and all the data you get and process from it go towards making your UX job that much easier. Holding focus groups or sending our surveys, comparing option A with option B, and taking part in online communities all help you gather invaluable data. With the three combined into your work, you will have three arguments to call upon at any time. Sometimes the right answer lies in designing by what the data says, and other times you have to go with your heart. There will be times when you will listen to your customers and let them take the wheel. Whatever method you use, the outcome will be stellar.
6. The Methodical design
Rome was not built overnight, and neither will your site. We understand that sometimes deadlines are inevitable. All the time between the start of your project and the deadline is yours to do as you please. Don’t rush into any projects, and don’t think of UX design as a race. UX design is a marathon, one where you need to let your creative juices flow and ferment. Such processes need time, more for some, and less for others, but time non the less.
When you explain to yourself that you are not in a rush, you take the edge of the creative part of the brain. Try to break down the entire process into steps, and fragment it into bite-size chunks. By doing so you will see which parts need more time and which need less. Having something concrete to work with, gives you options to delegate the time required for each step. And step by step, you will reach your final goal!
7. Bare necessities
From time to time, it’s a good idea to take a step back and look at how far you’ve made it. While your PC for UX design may be top of the line, with all sorts of useful apps, there were times when you’ve done the work without all that help. Tracing back, you will realise that there was a time when you started your projects with a simple pen and paper. A humble UX sketch can reveal hidden paths and roads to discoveries and solutions.
By going back to your roots, you are letting go of all modern restraints and breaking down the entire UX design process to its core. Sketches can be roadmaps, where you follow a line of steps and goals. Or you can start brainstorming and get creative, wild and exotic with ideas. We can always move more freely on physical paper than on digital one. Once you are done with your physical scratch, the time comes to translate it too digital.
8. Leap of faith
Let’s say that you are halfway done and proud of your accomplishment. There is still work to be done, but you can see the light at the end of the tunnel. Where to go from here? You can always reach out to your customers and do a mini presentation. Finding out if you are on the right track and if your customers are satisfied with the overall progress, can be the gust of wind you’ve needed to finish the job. Praise or complaint, whatever it is you get, you can use it to improve and continue. Be careful not to become overly clingy and spam your customers with relentless emails about each minute detail. Customers don’t pay to be bothered but to have a solution to their problem.
9. Never stop asking “Why?”
Last but not least, always be on your toes. If you’ve done a good job at something, don’t settle for praise, but be daring and ask “Why was this good?”, “Why did this work?”. The same applies to the negatives and all other situations. When you question each step and try to break it down, you will in return get valuable answers. There is a good reason why something is considered “Good” or “Bad” and why we attach labels. While it may not be obvious, the devil is in the details. All those details can become obvious to you by asking “Why?”. Over, and over again until you are satisfied with the answer.
Each customer represents a unique story and a challenge on its own. No two UX design jobs are the same, and approaching each one with an open mind is a good first step to make. All problems have a solution. Some come to you sooner, others will appear later. What you need to do is be consistent, endure and work thru blockades, because at the end of it lies the grand prize. It’s never about the money, but the greatest rewards come from a happy customer who stands in awe of your UX creation. And such an accomplishment is why we are in this business. We wish you all the best!