For a design to be great, everyone should be able to understand the point of the design, regardless of their background, experience, and taste. Achieving that level of clarity, however, is incredibly difficult. Within the context of the software, a designer must be empathetic to the user’s pain points. They must then extend to a more important place – understanding. Understanding not only the problem, but the context in which it exists, and how to fix it.
A designer who continuously works at their craft will undoubtedly get better. While the quality of her work will keep increasing, practice alone doesn’t make a good designer great. What differentiates one from the other is not a difference of quality, it is a difference of kind.
Remember Not what to make, but how and why to make it.
First, let’s understand a little more about Good Designers and Great Designers.
Good Designers are generalists.
Being a generalist is great for at least 80% of cases where a designer is needed. Jack of all trades generalists makes great freelancers and great employees at design agencies or small-to-mid-sized companies. Most companies don’t need full-time specialists all of the time. In many real-life situations, you don’t need to be master of one discipline of UX, you need to be competent at a number of disciplines, and be able to switch between them. This is also important from a team perspective as well.
Great Designer is specialists.
All of the expertise we have in the industry came from specialists who spent years getting better and better at some niche part of the profession and then spent more years talking about it at conferences and writing articles and books Specialists draw from the deep well spring of new ideas and spread that knowledge to the masses of generalists. I’m talking about people like Luke Wroblewski, the expert on mobile design. Or Alan Cooper, the man who invented most of the UX research techniques which we use today. Once you acquired that level of mastery you can if you like, go to the designer’s highly specialized skills are needed like Google, Apple, Facebook or Netflix etc.
Now you understand the difference between a Good and a Great UX designer, now it’s time for quick tips:
Think more, design lessGreat designers know that not all the information provided is necessary for the user. Through their expertise and multiple validations, they manage to limit all information to the most necessary.
- Communicates well
“The idea that a good idea needs no explanation is a myth.”
If you’re a bit of an introvert (like me), this idea might sound a bit scary and uncomfortable, but it’s a actually easier than talking to strangers, at least I speak for myself.
- Don’t try to reinvent the wheel
“A great designer… Knows the principles”
When you really know them, you’ll react instinctively when you’re designing or reviewing a design. Design principles are really a means to an end, which is to make your design feel right.
- Kill the Designer’s Ego
“Don’t discard someone’s feedback just because it’s their personal opinion.”
As a designer, asking questions should be in your DNA and it’s nothing to be ashamed of. A designer is not paid to know the answers, they’re paid to find them.
- Know the whole process
“It’s very important to know more than just design.”
Great UX designers understand the ideas of developers, clients, and team members. They look for solutions and involve the expertise of everyone involved in the project.
So, I hope you get an idea of what you are looking for. What do you want to be?