What have I learnt from my first week as a UX Designer?

After a couple of months of learning, adapting and applying; I finally landed my first job as a UX Designer. It was a fun ride, as an architect to a UX. What fascinated me the most was, the entire field of UX is all about problem-solving. Compared to traditional design practices like art, architecture; digital design is fast-paced. You can bring a concept to fruition within a few weeks or even sooner some times with more iterations.

First of all, I was lucky to get a chance to work in a place with dedicated teams of UX designers, researchers. I understand how important it is for me to practice a specific core aspect of the design process early on.

Let’s Start!

Someone might always know better.

We all know we should strive to be open-minded and not fixate on our ideas. As an architectural designer, I understood that my ideas no matter how genuine they might seem to be, in reality, sometimes they could be hard to implement, not economical or functionally irrelevant to the project at hand. If you think that the other person has a more rational argument as to why your idea won’t work, it is really a nice opportunity to make a new friend, learn new stuff, critically analyze yourself and grow.

It is no different as a UX designer. I understood from my first day that whoever I talked to, knows something I did not. I found it overwhelming at first because there is so much to learn. So I just went around and asked them about everything they’re passionate about, how they learn new skills, when did they start doing what they do, etc. Ask them out for coffee, join them on their sporting events. I was learning so much from a wide variety of people working in different fields of UX.

No one is perfect.

In these strange waters of design field, like me, you might have come across the infamous imposter syndrome. If you always question yourself whether you are doing it perfectly, then, I’m here to tell you that no one does. No organization is perfect. No person is perfect and we are all imperfect little bundles of stardust that are capable of doing wonders slowly.

Photo by Jimmy Chang on Unsplash

Part of what interested me in my first week was, people were tolerant and forgiving when things don’t go well. I’m not sure about other places of work but here, it was like everyone anticipates problems at every turn they make. They plan ahead. I guess, as UX workforce, we tend to be proactive. They understood that only through mistakes and iterations, can the project be a success. For most of the week, I observed how decisions are being made, how research is being translated to design and how people think and share their ideas. I got a good level of clarity when the senior designers explained about their previous projects.

First Stakeholder Workshop.

Photo by Jo Szczepanska on Unsplash

 

Being assigned to a new project under a senior designer, I was thrilled to be involved in my first stakeholder workshop. We conducted a brief presentation along with the “sailboat exercise” to understand the current product problems, help the stakeholders share their inputs, viable solution methods and so on. I couldn’t wait to come back to our workplace and start brainstorming with a bunch of filled up post-its and markers; because, let’s face it. We are in UX because we love to solve problems and test our solutions. There is always something new to learn every day.

Collaboration

Every single book, article that I have been reading for the past few months, advised me to start talking to developers, project managers and understand their perspectives on the projects that we are working on. I did exactly that on my first week. I got great inputs from developers and how hard they find it when we designers, just change opacity of text with sliders, add stroke to typography or name our layers as 0imgfinal_final.jpg. I understood that only by collaborating with the other teams who share the same goal for the project, I can grow more as a designer. It was clear that I needed to learn how to speak their own language.

Paradox of time

I was under the impression that more time for designing equals better product in any design field. I was wrong. The first week taught me that more time in research is what we need to make the project a smooth sail to our destination island. Research is the most important aspect of design so that the following steps will feel like a no-brainer. Also, when designers have lots of time, we will never come to a satisfactory state. There’s always the “this could be better”. We need some sort of constraints to limit us and work with the synthesized data we got. Also, designing becomes quite meaningful when you can back up every single design decision you have made with the backstage research.

This is an overview of how my first week as a UX designer went. Some of you may have even more interesting things to share with us. Please feel free to do so in the comments. I’m still a student of design and I’d love to learn a lot more. Thanks for reading.

Source: UX Planet