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3 things I learned about UX design

by manifesto

4-minute read

3 Things I Learned About Ux Design

User experience design is the process of creating digital solutions that provide meaningful experiences for people.

In 2017, I joined the team as a User Experience Designer working on projects for large charity organisations, cultural institutions and commercial start-ups.

My time working at a faced-paced agency, with a wide variety of clients, helped me hone skills that enabled me to take a step forward in my career and start my own venture.

What is UX design and why is it important?

User experience design is the process of creating digital solutions that provide meaningful experiences for people. Instead of designing digital solutions subjectively, a user experience designer is responsible for translating user needs into intuitive digital experiences that help companies increase revenue and optimise product success. User experience is critical as it ensures that a user's needs are met during their digital journey, which leads to increased loyalty and ultimately increased business success.

UX Design at manifesto

UX designers play a key role in every project and are part of each step of the journey, from initial research to website launch. Every project begins by ‘laying the foundations’, led by the UX designer who works with both internal and external stakeholders to capture all requirements for the project. This initial stage of the process typically includes activities such as user and stakeholder interviews, behavioural/ analytical review, technical audit, brand analysis, usability testing and development of prototypes.

The goal of the ‘foundations’ stage of the project is to gather all website requirements ensuring the final solution is designed and built to satisfy both user and business needs. It is crucial for UX designers to be able to empathise with end-users, understand business requirements and translate both into viable solutions. Throughout the project, the UX lead is responsible for clear communication with internal teams as well as the clients.

3 UX learnings which helped me as a founder

1. The user comes first

Naturally, people involved in projects will have ideas on how the problems need to be solved. At manifesto, user centred design is at the core of every solution. This means solutions are not designed out of subjective suggestions but rather informed by research into what real users want. Running my own startup as a UX designer I often believe I know the answers to every question but having gone through the user centred process several times has forced me to always take a step back and to put personal opinion aside when it’s not backed by research.

2. Storytelling is an essential skill

When presenting solutions to a client, simply sharing outcomes with the reason “because I think it is good and users want it” isn’t sufficient. I have learned how to take people on a journey, help them place themselves in the customer's shoes and understand the value the solutions will add. I have become a good storyteller thanks to my experience of taking clients and internal stakeholders through these journeys multiple times. This skill has been extremely beneficial for me when speaking to my team; not assuming the same level of understanding and making sure I take everyone along on the journey. Good storytelling skills are also great when pitching to investors.

3. A product is never finished

Working with clients that were obsessed with improving the usability of their sites taught me the importance of iteration in design. The constant cycle of building, releasing, and testing features is a key element for businesses that strive to be the best and provide their users with a seamless experience. Seeing how clients benefited from an iterative and agile approach made it impossible for me to ignore the importance of making continuous improvements to my own business products.

Final word

UX Design is an amazing skill that can be beneficial in many aspects of business. When working on digital products, such as websites, it can be tempting to take easy shortcuts. manifesto taught me that it pays off when you don’t take these shortcuts. The combination of best practice and agile processes works wonders for manifesto and being able to learn these and apply them in my start up has been invaluable.