What Matters to Designers

By Michelle Nickolaisen

A few developers working hard can get a lot done, but it takes a well-rounded team with different skills and roles to build and grow a successful software product and company.

But all too often, we find that our teams or team members are working in silos, not fully understanding what others are doing (or why). With our “What Matters” series, we’ll be digging into the various members of your team to help you understand and work better with them all.

This week, we’re talking to designers to see what matters the most to them. Most people have some idea what designers do, but not all designers are exactly the same — working in tech, you’re likely to run into…

  • UX designers, who focus on how the product feels and solving the design problems of the product in a way that’s the most beneficial to the user (with the goal of getting and retaining more users)
  • UI designers, who are primarily concerned with how the product looks and with creating each page/screen that a user interacts with so that it matches the user flow the UX designer has created
  • Visual/graphic designers are what most people think of when they think of a designer — they focus on creating beautiful icons, controls, and other visual elements, and matching them with appropriate typography
  • Interaction/motion designers who design and implement the tiny animations that often take place inside an app (an icon “bouncing” after it’s been touched, for example)

Of course, there are often overlaps between these roles — it’s not uncommon for a UX designer to also do UI work, or for a UI designer to also do front-end development.

So what do designers want most out of their workday? Let’s find out:

Freedom in their process

Matthew Stumm, founder and creative director at Stark/Raving, wishes that more people understood the value of curiosity and following seemingly-random paths during the design process:

“At the core of the design profession is curiosity. The design process is organic which can feel unnerving when collaborating with more linear-thinking professionals. But the combination of linear and organic oftentimes leads to more meaningful solutions.”

Using the language of the “brainswarming” method we’ve discussed before, software engineers are often “bottom-up” thinkers and want to immediately start with concrete solutions to a problem. On the other hand, designers are often perfectly happy being “top-down” thinkers and starting out by discussing the vague big-picture aspects of the problem and related tangents. Both types of thinkers are vital for problem solving — so let your designers run down rabbit holes when they need to, to come up with a solution.

But within reason (because designers need goals & parameters)

Havana Nguyen, a UX designer, finds that freedom is useful only to a point:

“Giving me total creative freedom sounds like a good idea, but it ends up wasting everyone’s time.”

To create a well-designed product, Havana (and other UX designers) needs the following pieces of Go to the full article.

Source:: Business 2 Community

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