Our top 5 learnings after a year of UX at Abletech
We’ve had an exciting year of growth in the UX services space at Abletech! With growth comes new opportunities to learn and our team has embraced the change. Here are some of our big takeaways from user experience services in 2022.
1: Don’t assume you know what your users want
There are so few surprises left in life - why not enjoy this one! Ask your users what they want. They may confirm some of what you thought, they may give you insights you didn’t know. Or what you think is the most important to your users may be of no consequence to them. Ideation and discovery with your users is a critical part of the UX process, and will lead you to designing a solution appropriate for their needs.
2: To come to a solution, you must first understand the problem
Given one hour to save the world, I would spend 55 minutes defining the problem and 5 minutes finding the solution. — Albert Einstein
Ever heard of the phrase ‘jump to conclusions’? There’s a good reason why humans do that - we’re hardwired to rely on mental shortcuts to speed along our judgment. Similarly, we tend to jump to solutions, sometimes without fully realising and clearly mapping out the problem. In a new project, we call the part where we understand the problem (and how it affects the users) discovery. And discovery is the foundation of any new endeavour.
3: UX design is the foundation - skipping it is like building a house with no blueprint
It may be tempting to cut out those workshops at the beginning, the user research, those low-fidelity prototypes and wireframes…shave a bit off the cost of a project. It’s a trap! Skipping the parts where you actually talk to the people whom you expect to buy and/or use your idea is not a great way to start. Investing in user experience workshops and research at the beginning of a large scale web or app project will dramatically improve the ROI of your project with direct, and indirect benefits.
4: A UX designer is only as good as the production team around them
Our UX design team knows how to get some great user insight. Our UI design team knows how to craft a beautiful design system. But it would all mean nothing if it weren’t for a team of developers making it a reality and keeping the user front of mind as they do. It’s a partnership and in the accessibility space, for example, a very equal partnership to make a product inclusively designed and built to work for all users.
5: Check out the trends for next year…but take them with a grain of salt
And if Mobile First Design ain’t on it, don’t give it the time of day.
Look, we all know trends come and go. And we’re not saying to avoid the new trends - but when I hear a junior designer designing their next UX project based on what the trends are for next year, I get nervous as a cat in a room full of rocking chairs. Unless your users are asking for it, don’t try and shove it into your design. Keep up with what the industry is doing! And just add it to your arsenal of tools when you take on an exciting project.
It’s been a year of change and growth and a great year for user experience. If Covid has taught us anything in the tech industry, it’s that the virtual experience has to be as rich and a seamless as an in-person experience (or as close as we can get!). And there are still plenty of exciting UX nuts to crack!