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13 Habits to Improve Your UX Design Skills

13 Habits to Improve Your UX Design Skills

Habits have a significant impact on our life. Habits, not decisions, account for more than 40% of your everyday behaviours. They become more powerful over time.

According to neurobiologists, behaviour is most typically initiated in the prefrontal cortex, located directly beneath our brow. This is the place where we make our choices. 

The behaviour goes to the basal ganglia, roughly in the centre of the skull, when it becomes automatic (habit). When this happens, the brain’s decision-making processes fall into hibernation.

“Successful people are just people with successful habits” (Brian Tracy)

“Your beliefs become your thoughts,

Your thoughts become your words,

Your words become your actions,

Your actions become your habits,

Your habits become your values,

Your values become your destiny.”

(Mahatma Gandhi)

What Is Ux-design And How It Differs From Ui

What Is Ux Design User Interface Designs

There is no generally accepted definition of what UX-design is. In simple words, UX (user experience) is a feeling and emotion that a person experiences when interacting with something. 

From a simple push of the electric kettle button to a complex nuclear reactor startup that requires prior preparation. 

Contrary to popular belief, the UX designer does not design the user experience but creates what can affect that experience, considering usability, ergonomics, logical system behaviour, and error reduction. 

In other words, UX decides how to position and label the button on the kettle so that it’s easy and quick to turn on rather than cause a fit of annoyance.

So what is UI design, and what is its purpose? If UX is about functionality, the UI is about the art of the visual component, attention to form, colour, space in details, and compliance with style. 

UX and UI complement each other but have different tasks. Imagine if UX and UI designers build a house. 

The first cares about how to place the walls, and the second – in what colour to paint them. 

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Even though UX and UI perform different tasks, one designer often calls himself UX/UI. Why is that? UX is trendy, so some UI specialists add the UX prefix to themselves, increasing their value in the marketplace.

Companies also want to be trendy and have both UX and UI on staff while not always delving into the difference between the specialities. 

Often this is driven by a desire to save money and hire a 2-in-1 specialist who will cover the global “we need a designer” requirement. 

There’s nothing wrong with that, but separating UX and UI usually shows a company’s maturity and understanding of the importance of UX and UI design in solution development.

Now the question arises, how to become a good UX designer? Several habits will help you succeed in this area.

1. Start Testing The Product On Users

“Usability is a battlefield of cherished concepts.” (David Orr)

You’re a UX designer, and one of your objectives is to understand your users better. You can stare at the characters all you want, but nothing beats direct engagement with your customers. 

The more real people utilising your goods, the better your designs will be.

2. Have a Dialogue With Others

“UX is no longer about creating results.” The new UX is about substantive discussions. (Chris Telwell)

Chris Telwell posted a fantastic piece about how the modern user experience is all about having conversations. 

He believes that having meaningful conversations with other designers, developers, stakeholders, and customers is critical to determining what we need to create a creative solution.

3. Take A Break From The Computer

“Get away from the computer and doodle when you’re stuck.” (Girard Huerta)

Designers become trapped in their work. Every artist has a coping mechanism. Get away from your workstation and computer, whatever you do. 

Get some fresh air, go for a walk, and chat with a friend or coworker. Don’t fight the obstacle; digest the problem, and when you get hungry again, you can go back.

4. Learn The Fundamentals

“First chip the fundamentals, then add the details later.”

It’s normal to want to solve problems right away, but you should avoid it. Make sure you understand the fundamentals. 

At this point, you’ll notice things you hadn’t considered before. After you’ve done your research and spoken with your clients, you can start working on your ideas.

5. Always Ask If The Design Is Accessible To People With Disabilities

Web Accessibility Statistics

“Good design is accessible design” (Steve Ballmer)

People who are colourblind, visually challenged, deaf, or disabled, for example, may have accessibility difficulties. 

It would help to consider the vast spectrum of people who may encounter difficulties when utilising your technology.

6. Remember That Content Comes Before Design

“Design comes after the content. It’s not a design if there’s no content; it’s adornment.” (Jeffrey Zeldman)

A good interface is appealing to the eye, but only if the information is helpful to the user. Remember, a pleasant appearance is not the same as a beautiful experience.

7. Stick To Your Plan

“Step by step, and you’ll finish it” (Charles Atlas)

It’s a little like travelling across the country without a map when it comes to UX. You can do it, but there’s a good possibility you won’t make it to your target. 

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Make a road plan out of your process. Make it a habit to use it, and be assertive when others try to avoid it.

8. Opinions Of Users Are More Significant Than Yours

“Socrates said, “Know yourself”. And I say, ‘Know your users. And you know what? They don’t think, and neither do you.” (Joshua Brewer)

Designers’ opinions are their opinions. Be careful when you listen to too many points of view from people who are not users of the product.

9. Don’t Always Strive For Simplicity

“The objective isn’t to keep things simple. It’s the result of a solid concept and realistic expectations.” (Paul Rand)

Simplicity for the sake of simplicity isn’t always beneficial. Make sure you’re not making anything that’s too basic yet lacking in content.

10. Keep In Mind That Effective Design Must Accomplish Several Goals

Ux Prototyping

Good design pleases the user, makes money for the producer and does not offend the aesthete.” (Raymond Lowe)

Keep in mind that you’re creating for a larger audience than just the consumer. 

We advocate for the user as designers, but stakeholders have a big voice as well. Even if the user doesn’t want it, we sometimes have to do what the stakeholder wants. 

Highlight all the risks to the business and choose your battlefield wisely.

11. Determine The Context

“Context is the key to comprehending anything,” says the author. (Kenneth Noland) 

If you’re working on something that doesn’t seem to be fixing the problem, find out why they chose to do it in the first place. 

You can bargain with the company after understanding why they want it, even if you disagree.

12. Design For The Sake Of Your Users, Not For The Sake Of Your Rivals

“You’re doing something good if your competition starts imitating you.” (Jay Bare) 

It’s tempting to copy a feature that your competitors have. However, it would help if you had confirmation that your customers want the feature you are copying. 

If they want it, great. If they don’t, don’t bother.

13. Take It Easy

“By significantly slowing down everything you do, you may either restore your focus or take it to the next level” (Sharon Salzberg)

It’s challenging to get around to organising things. Make it a practice to take a step back, calm down, and realise what’s most essential.

“Motivation is the fuel that propels you forward. Habit is what propels you ahead.” (Jim Ryan)

9 Things You Must Forego To Be A Great UX Designer

 “Winners retreat all the time. They just retreat at the right time and in the right place.” (Seth Godin)

Everyone defines success differently. To succeed at the things that are important to you, you have to learn to say no. Give up the things that keep you from being a great designer.

1. Give Up The Idea That You’re An Impostor

“I’ve written eleven books now, but every time I think: I’m about to – and people are going to realise that I’m not worthy of it” (Maya Angelou)

Similar thoughts plague many designers. Imposter syndrome affects 7 out of 10 people at some time in their life, according to research. 

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It’s pretty frequent among those who are successful and creative.

Tanya Livesey has some excellent suggestions for dealing with imposter syndrome:

  1. Be flexible and adaptable to every scenario as you advance professionally and professionally since you will never have all the answers.
  2. Make an effort to find a mentor. They may be a tremendous source of encouragement and motivation.
  3. Our critical inner voice generally arises from a desire to emulate someone, such as when we were young. Tell your inner voice to shut up.
  4. Spend more time seeking out the world around you rather than within yourself. Work on being less withdrawn and introverted.
  5. Proudly accept failure.

2. Refuse To Work For A Company That Doesn’t Do Right UX

“The majority of business concepts are based on personal interests rather than the customer experience.” (Tim Cook)

It is tough to advance professionally if a designer’s firm does not follow a good UX process. It takes time to conduct a thorough UX process. 

If your company doesn’t make time for good UX design, it isn’t a priority.

3. Stop Striving To Keep Up With The Latest Technological Developments

Ux Design Issues Enterprise

 “Let whatever you do today be enough.”

In the realm of technology, a lot is going on. It’s hard to keep up with all of the new developments. Be picky, and don’t get too hung up on anything. 

Find your niche and keep up with what’s happening in that area. Filter out everything else and keep the amount of information you receive at a reasonably controlled level.

4. Give Up Unhealthy Lifestyle

“The mind and the body are not two different entities. The one has an impact on the other.”

You must be creative, driven, and inspired to be an excellent designer. You may not always have inspiration, but your head will be foggy if you eat poorly and don’t exercise.

You can have an unhealthy lifestyle and make good designs, but it won’t last. 

Everything has to be in moderation. Take care of your health to increase your chances of becoming an inspired designer.

5. Don’t Be Concerned About The Instruments You Use To Create Your Designs

“Problems persist indefinitely; tools and templates are merely artefacts with which we are not required to conform.” (Stephanie Engle)

For UX designers, there are many tools available, and new ones are continuously being developed. 

Choose the ones that suit you best. Using tools, you should make the process as simple, fast, and productive as feasible.

Keep your eyes peeled for new goods to test out. Don’t become too attached to your standard tools; you never know when a new one will come in handy.

6. Stop Believing You Won’t Be Able To Acquire A Job At Google, Facebook Or Other Tech Companies

“If you desire something, you must work hard to obtain it. It’s straightforward.

If you want to get someplace, you must first find out how to get there.

To work for the top firms, you don’t have to be the best designer. It would help if you were the most resourceful of the group. Make a strategy and act erratically like a maniac.

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In the video ‘How to Get a Great UX Position,’ Andrew Dougherty explains how his ingenuity helped him land a job at Google.

7. Give Up Perfectionism

Apple Luxury Web Design

“It’s better to make mistakes than to make fake perfection.”

You shouldn’t expect projects to turn out perfect. They are likely to come out raw first, and then you test and iterate them.

You only truly learn when you make mistakes. If you’re afraid to make mistakes while trying to perfect everything, you won’t learn anything.

8. Give Up The Idea That You Can’t Write Content

“You will only become a better writer if you write” (Doris Lessing)

Writing helps designers:

  1. Explore a topic and learn more about it.
  2. Express their thoughts clearly.
  3. Acquire the ability to narrate a narrative.
  4. They should share their expertise with others.
  5. Improve your design skills.
  6. Every week, if not several weeks, I write every day. The majority of what I write is discarded. Much stuff I’m not too fond of keeps coming up again and again. Writing has improved my abilities as a reader, a student, a writer, and a designer. Give it a go. You don’t have to publish what you write; all you have to do is start.

9. Leave Your Comfort Zone

“The ship is secure in the port, but ships aren’t meant for that.” (John Shedd)

Only when you step outside of your comfort zone can you genuinely learn. Once you’ve learned everything you can in that area and are comfortable with it, it’s time to move on.

“You’ll be more disappointed in the things you didn’t do than the ones you did in twenty years. As a result, set sail from a peaceful dock. Use your sails to catch the tailwind. Explore. Dream. Explore” (Mark Twain)

Author Bio: Effie J Franks specialises in writing articles on such topics as Digital Marketing, Social Media, and UX Design. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing and works at resume editing services to help people find their dream job. In her free time, Effie enjoys playing video games, drawing, and camping.

Photo of author

Stuart Crawford

Stuart Crawford is an award-winning creative director and brand strategist with over 15 years of experience building memorable and influential brands. As Creative Director at Inkbot Design, a leading branding agency, Stuart oversees all creative projects and ensures each client receives a customised brand strategy and visual identity.

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