One of the main challenges in the work of the UX designer is the need for constant growth. Every designer should think that he can get better. Such a simple thing as habits will help you with this.
This article contains 15 habits that will help you to level up your skills.
1. Identify Goals
Set difficult goals. Set yourself tasks that will help you work effectively in a limited time.
Prioritize your goals. There is an infinite number of tasks, which you can set for yourself. It is easy to get lost in this sea of possibilities. You must understand that you really want to upgrade, and create the plan of actions.
2. Practice Active Listening
Active listening is a technique that requires the interlocutor to concentrate, understand, respond and then remember what has been said. Active listening is a key element for building successful communication.
Many designers focus on becoming professionals and achieve a high level of craftsmanship. But they forget how to communicate with other people. If you want to be successful or become a leader, you need to learn how to influence people. Communication skills can be obtained only after a long way. Spend time listening to colleagues, give them feedback, discuss problems, be constructive and attentive.
3. Master the Skills of Storytelling
Create storyboards that present only the most important shots that ultimately represent the story. This is the most powerful designer tool for presenting your ideas.
Immerse yourself in the history of the brand. When you do not have enough knowledge about the history of the brand, you miss a lot of ideas and opportunities. Fill these gaps in knowledge as much as possible before you begin to create something.
4. Avoid Professional Jargon
Most people do not use as many technical terms as UX designers use. They have not heard about heuristics or cognitive load. Therefore, if you are not talking to a UX designer, it’s better to use simple words to describe complex phenomena. Build communication clearly and carefully.
5. Never Stop at the First Idea
The first idea that the designer came up with is not always doomed to success. It is better to think well, come up with a few ideas. And only then decide which idea is the best solution for your project. This will help you compare and select the best option.
6. Do Not Strive to Bring Everything to Perfection
Keep in mind the idea that the work done is better than perfect. That is why it is better to do something more or less appropriate than to skip the deadline and then apologize.
7. Learn to Make Sketches
Everyone wants to make something that looks like the final product quickly. That is why we often set aside a pencil and paper and start right away with digital tools. But they often limit our creativity. That’s why one of the main rules of UX design sounds like “First pencils, then pixels”.
8. Take Notes
Do not rely only on memory every time there is a good idea. Therefore, the pen and notebook must accompany you all the time so that you can make a note or sketch in a notebook on time.
9. Rethink Your Work
If you have completed a couple of UX projects in the past, most likely you have gained a lot of insights and ideas in these projects. Do not miss the opportunity to use them for good (for example, to solve new problems). Complete your portfolio with case studies. Write an article in which you share your experience.
10. Cooperate More
Participate in every aspect of the project and try to communicate with the team as much as possible. Collaboration is a great way for a UX designer to develop skills. It also helps designers appreciate the people they work with as a team.
11. Attend Usability Tets
Some designers use analytics and user profiles to understand how people interact with the product. The more you look at the people who use your product, the better you understand the problems they face. Thus, understanding of users is the main task of the UX designer.
12. Stay Inspired
13. Greet Constructive Criticism
You design for users; you do not design for yourself. Therefore, forget the ego and stop protecting your work. Remember that we have much more opportunities to learn something when we make mistakes, rather than when we do everything right. It is not always joyful to receive feedback and constructive criticism, but this is the only way to develop skills and become better.
14. Criticize Other People’s Design Work and Talk About Your Own Work
Criticism is the key to developing design skills.
Ask the right questions. The ability to formulate questions, search for insights and present working solutions is what makes a designer valuable.
Be prepared to defend your opinion. If you said, that it is better to redo something, be ready to provide arguments to support your point of view. Without the facts, you’re just another person with a personal opinion.
It is very important to talk about your work and not be shy to express your position.
This is especially necessary for women, who usually speak quieter than others, and they hesitate to repeat what has been said. This also applies to men. We all formed a culture in which one listens to someone who speaks in a loud voice, and not in a low and soft one.
Therefore, you need to learn to talk about your work and prove your point of view. And it is desirable to do it expressively and clearly.
15. Take Breaks
Turn off all devices and enjoy the opportunity to walk.
Designers often come to a standstill. If you are stuck, do not try to pierce your forehead with a wall. Instead, stand up from your computer, take a walk, and get some fresh air.
Sooner or later, you will be confused, defeated and overwhelmed – please buy yourself a latte! Encourage yourself for the hard work you put into your passion. Stay positive.
If you see that small daily breaks do not work for you, you may need to disconnect from creative work for a while to see the full picture.
Some people advise dividing the day into temporary blocks. This is what helps them to keep their mind clear.
Habits play an important role in shaping our lives. So follow these simple tips, push yourself out of your comfort zone, gain confidence, and grow professionally to become the designer you want to be.