1.Not knowing the big picture
Before diving into the design, a designer must take the time to fully understand the overall product vision, functionality, and context. Otherwise, it’s very easy to get lost and make many mistakes. Since designers are the ones that handle every single detail, it’s easy to get buried in the nitty gritty and lose sight of the big picture.
For example, we are building a procurement automation system. To be an effective designer, I always ask our team to take the time to understand what procurement is, what problems we are solving for, and WHY we are building certain features the way we are. Without a comprehensive and in-depth understanding of the meaning of the features, it’s super easy to just follow instructions from product managers and alike but make many mistakes along the way because of a lack of understanding of the why.
2.Letting perfect be in the way of good
Credit on this one goes to our UX Design Intern, Spencer Li. We only learn by putting an MVP into the hands of the users and improve from there. So once we have a general understanding of how the product should look, we should build the MVP and have users test it. Trying to build something perfect out of the gate may sound great conceptually, but it is not the most efficient way to develop the product. Resist the temptation of trying to achieve perfection. Once it’s good enough, test it, ship it, and improve from there.
3.Imagining what users want
One of the things that product managers and UI/UX designers should be wary of is imagining what the users want. Granted, we can conduct research on the user persona, and we can analyze what we think the users might want. However, knowing the path is different from walking the path. For a group of designers to sit in a room and imagine what the users do and want can be very dangerous. This is how you end up with products that contain lots of bells and whistles, which end up confusing the users.
4.Not listening to what the users really want
This point is related to the one above. When users respond to your request for feedback or tell you what they want, really listen. Listen and understand how they use the product from their perspective, not how we imagine they use it. When a user tells us a feature is bad or a button doesn’t make sense, take notes and correct the issues. It doesn’t matter how big our company may become, we will always be on the front line listening to users, their preferences, and their needs. User empathy triumphs over any other value at our company.
5.Putting aesthetics in front of utility
As designers who have an eye for beautiful design, we can obsess over aesthetics and forget to put the user's experience first. Of course, it needs to be aesthetically pleasing, but it can’t be at the expense of functionality and efficiency. If the font is gorgeous but the users can’t easily read it, change the font.
6.Not taking the shortest path
This point is related to the last: focus on the easiest way to complete a task. Don’t let your imagination of what users want or your own aesthetic preference be in the way of helping the users complete a task in the most efficient way. If they can click one button and finish something, don’t offer two or three buttons. If an instruction can be clear in three words, don’t use five.
7.Not using real-world content
B2B products need to use industry-standard content, such as buttons, pop-up windows, etc., and often require very technical and professional terms, like sourcing in procurement features. When designing products, designers should always research first and check terms with users to see what kind of content they use most often.