10 problems and tips in UX/UI and web design | UX Planet
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10 problems you will face in UX/UI design
Howdy traveler, and welcome again. Today I want to tell you about a couple of things that made my grinds gear during my last years goofing around with UX. I’ve both worked in solo and team projects, and even if I’ve been into designing (especially web) since 2016–2017, these 10 little UX/UI
inconveniences keep tormenting me.
Today I hope to give you another of my famous pessimistic opinions about this world, trying to prepare you for your best. Let’s not lose time!
10. Forgetting things
I’ve repeated the same processes dozens of times. I’ve coded the same websites over and over. I’ve recreated the same UI components in Figma multiple times. And guess what? I still forget how to do them.
Sometimes is just a small change brought by an update, sometimes it’s just bad memory… but you will forget what you’ve done so easily in the past.
My tip? If you find out an easy way to do something, write a report about it. Every baby step you’ve made to do it. Because it’s frustrating to open up youtube tutorials after 5 years you’ve been coding the same flexbox. Much easier to give a fast read of your own documentation.
9. Your design will not work somewhere
There is always a particular condition you haven’t tested. And guess what? Your design will break exactly when it shouldn’t.
Maybe a different mobile phone brand than the one you own, or even a different browser version could break everything you’ve done. People say that you must comply with all media, but that is extremely time-consuming.
A great example is how badly Firefox deals with 3D and WebGL, and how horribly Chrome crashes your PC with Positional Audio (extremely useful for exciting videogames).
If your designs instead work every time and everywhere, well congrats. It never happened to me.
My tip? Get and test every device and browser you have access to. Sometimes something completely logical breaks completely on other media.
Sometimes I hate Fire-foxes.
8. Hundreds of different platforms
Every company or team likes using different platforms. You’ll end up screaming at Slack, Invision, Figma, Miro, XD, Google’s suite, Canva, Photoshop, Illustrator, Office, Dia, and many others (these are only a selection of what I’ve had to use). Every designer loves forcing you to use their favorite unknown personal platform, which will require additional learning hours.
There is nothing you can do except be prepared to fight for your favorites or die drowned in the world of collaboration platforms.
platforms, platforms, platforms.
7. Black ducks with white feathers
Often people love to dream about their products, requiring an infinite plethora of features, which could even contrast with each other.
“I want a simple and minimal website with traditional photography and an extremely unique and creative look, please”
Sometimes you will be asked to design something that is incoherent or extremely hard, and there is only one way to face this situation: having tons of UX/UI design knowledge.
There are thousands of websites you can look for out there, and having many high-quality references could help you solve the riddle. Basically, you have to “copy” the one that seems to reflect the absurd features you’ve been required.
Sometimes finding it by yourself is a wonderful challenge, but just know that dreamers will dream.
6. Teens that are ten times better than you
Prodigies exist in every field, but since UX/UI design can be so vast, there are also many skills you can master to beat your competition. UX design is also both a technical and an “abstract” field that attracts many people who want to change their life because of an annoying job: maybe you’re in your 30s and think “UX is more a mindset thing, I can reinvent myself!”, but then you find out 18 years old boys and girls that started coding and 12, and can both design and develop their mockups, while your designs suck.
Welcome to a field where you can integrate mockups with basically any other digital skill, from coding to motion and 3D.
This also brings us to the next point.
5. Your designs suck but you don’t know why
Presentation. The most probable reason why your designs suck is how you present them. Want proof of this?
- Screenshot a website you love;
- paste it into Figma and recreate it;
- start the presentation;
- it sucks.
Your UX and UI skills are good. What you are missing is the context and the presentation of those mockups. That’s why precocious kids beat you: they have mastered multiple skills (especially coding and motion design) that allow them to bring static mockups to life. The same design made brought to life with code introduces real interaction, while animated mockups in After Effects seem a lot more professional. That’s pretty obvious in some sense: the more effort you put into something, the more it will increase in value.
My tip? choose ONE accessory skill and master it to help you present your work. Options are:
- Coding/Web dev (Wordpress, Webflow et cetera could be good too)
- Motion Design (After Effects. Stop losing time with Figma animations)
- 3D (Blender)
- Graphic design (Illustrator if you want to include complex graphics)
4. Something is off in your design
You have designed something nice, but there is always something that feels off and disrupted your whole composition.
I know, it drives you crazy. And you can’t find it. How to fix it? Easy. Go on awwwards.com and look for a similar website. Find a similar content section and clone it. Fixed.
Probably you’ve set wrong spacings, something isn’t correctly aligned (maybe a couple of pixels only) or sized to fit comfortably into your design. This happens to me every single day, and still have to find a design I like and copy it. Even if I perfectly know the standard rules for typography, spacing, and composition.
3. Everything is fine but your design still sucks
Well, you probably have huge standards. There are some otherworldly designers out there, who never miss a shot. But we, common human beings, do. You’re probably not that talented and you’re asking too much from yourself. Also, consider that the most beautiful websites and apps you see around are often made by multiple people. Sometimes even UX/UI designers ask other designers to design their own platforms. Being alone sucks, and probably if you find another person willing to enhance their portfolio, you can collaborate together to create projects with triple the value.
I am a lone wolf too, and guess what…my website sucks.
2. Concept over function
Remember about the dreamers who dream senseless designs? they also love concepts. Often, concepts are noble but need to be translated into functional design: no one wants to use something frustrating for the sake of moral values.
Maybe you need to design a quiz app that needs an exact amount (a large one) of data to present your accurate results or a poker videogame that devolves a tip to a third-world country. Nice ideas, but probably no one will complete your quiz if it’s too long, or if the automatic donation tip is too large.
But dreamers will think that people are inherently good and always ready to sacrifice their time and resources for a good cause. Believe me, even if they're good, they already have their own problems.
As a UX designer, you MUST explain to your manager that often functionality is more important than concepts: since you are a creative, your job will also be finding a creative compromise between the “what” and “how”.
1. Redesign means redevelopment
You will hate your design once completed. hundreds of times. You’ll start positive and end up completely broken by what you’ve done. The worst part? You’ve probably already handed it to your development team.
How can you even think to say to them “please, I’ve made everything wrong but I didn’t notice. Do this instead”.
Developers will kill you and eat your flesh.
My tip? I’ve multiple ones:
- Look for references before even starting. You need to design a mockup similar to something you love.
- Think like a developer. Design reusable and repetitive modules. If a fix has to be made, it’s a lot easier to change some CSS rather than the entire HTML structure.
- Embrace the idea that you made something horrible. Everything can be perfected with infinite amounts of time: you did not have infinite amounts of time.
- Sometimes a small change fixes a lot. Especially typography. Try.
Hope this story helped you understand what is waiting for you, or what you are already facing. Cheers!
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