With over 15 years of industry experience, I have worked with a diverse range of companies, from start-ups and well-known design houses to A-class technical firms and multinational brands like Samsung.
Throughout my journey, I have gained valuable insights and learned important lessons I would like to share with you in this article. In the following 10 points, I will distill my experience and offer practical advice that can help you navigate the challenges and opportunities of the professional world.
1. Mastering minimalism, why less is more?
“Simple can be harder than complex: You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it’s worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains.” Steve Jobs
Every design is a tool to achieve goals. A simplified design is essential to engage users’ needs and product owners’ objectives, this approach can be applied to various aspects of life, including UX design, art, fashion, and even decision-making. By embracing minimalism, you can enhance your creativity and productivity and find more fulfillment in the things that matter most.
2. Storytelling is the key to a memorable impact
“People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it” Simon Sinek
Building a deck explaining your design decisions is mandatory to convey your ideas. User research, competitor analysis, and benchmarking are well-known UX steps and are a must to include in your design process however, wrapping your finding in a well-crafted story will portray you as a top-tier designer.
3. Develop Empathy for Product and Business Owners
Empathy is a crucial ingredient for success. It helps you gain insights, identify pain points, and build stronger relationships.
Developing empathy involves a genuine interest in understanding the product and production processes. By doing so, you will earn the trust of the product owner and build winning relations.
4. You learn something new every day
There is always something to learn from everyone, and you should not be shy or hesitant to seek knowledge and understanding from others.
Asking many questions can be beneficial as it allows for a deeper level of understanding also reflects your interest in the product's nature and the bussiness perspectives.
5. Being proactive beats reactive
Being proactive in UX design means taking the initiative to anticipate problems, identify potential improvements, and find solutions before they become issues. Moreover, seeking constant feedback, keep up with industry trends, and take charge of a project by anticipating user needs and pain points.
6. Not your monkeys, not your circus
You have been hired for designated duties, a clear process is essential for everyone involved to streamline work and set expectations. It’s best not to get sidetracked by unusual demands from someone who isn’t willing to do their own job.
7. Solid concepts trump trendy fads
Creating succssful design solutions requires prioritizing solid concepts over fleeting trends. Not every trend will align with your design vision, so focusing on a strong concept and using trends selectively to achieve your goals is essential.
8. Take the bull by the horns (Confidence)
Be confident and stay ready to face any challenge with assertiveness and determination, and don’t hesitate to showcase your accomplishments and abilities. Humility is important, but it’s also essential to be able to express yourself and take pride in your achievements.
9. keep your ear to the ground
“Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.” Mahatma Gandhi
Keep up with every new happening in the industry, and continuously expand your knowledge and skillset through learning, to remain relevant and competitive in a constantly evolving world. By being open to new ideas, techniques, and technologies, you can stay ahead of the curve and be better equipped to adapt to changing circumstances and challenges.
10. Embrace the change
Design is a dynamic field, and new technologies and trends are constantly emerging. Hence designers must be open to change and willing to adapt their skills and practices accordingly.
The change can be challenging when met with doubt, but embracing it can bring new opportunities for growth and innovation and help maintain a youthful spirit.
Why I’m writing this to you?
Well, I love both design and food, and I think they share a common trait. Just as a well-crafted dish can showcase a chef’s skills, good design can also impress people. I started to consider how my love for delicious food could relate to my passion for design. I realized that many people can design, but not everyone can make a perfect design. I believe that paying attention to small details is the key to great design. With this in mind, I decided to create my own series “book of recipes” to help everyone find the missing ingredient in their designs. I have named this series “The Missing Ingredient”. Keep an eye out for the next recipe!