Insights

5 Mistakes That Are Killing Your UX Team: Don't Get Caught Up

While most product innovation happens behind the scenes, the end result-user experiences-is what matters most. UX/UI designers craft these experiences and take care of the look & feel, accessibility and usability of your product.

We make it possible for companies to create beautiful, intuitive and pleasurable user experiences that people love. But if there's one thing UX teams have trouble with, it's avoiding the same mistakes over and over again.

At Zemoga, working with global brands in different industries and developing a variety of digital products, we have learned the 5 most common mistakes that UX teams make that can cause an otherwise excellent product to fail in the marketplace or lose money due to a lack of UX design expertise.

Mistake #1: not listening to users

The UX team's job is to focus on understanding the needs, behaviors and motivations of a targeted group.

As UX Designers, we create personas that represent the target audience in order to better design for them. Personas are created based on qualitative research done with users about what they want or need from the product being designed. They help UX designers translate what they hear about their users' needs into a digital product.

UX teams need to listen carefully and pay close attention to what users are telling them in order to get the job done. To encourage more feedback, UX design processes should include tools that make it easier for users to provide insights from within the app or site.

Mistake #2: not understanding how people use the product

It's important that UX designers map out what people actually do when they interact with a digital product. This is called task analysis, and it helps UX teams understand what elements of the screen are highlighted and how each user interacts with the sections and components in the UI to successfully execute a given task.

They also identify any obstacles or challenges that will get in the way of completing a task successfully. UX designers need to know what tasks are most common for people using their digital product and possible obstacles they'll encounter while doing them.

If UX teams don't understand how people use their products, it becomes difficult to design interfaces that match user needs as well as anticipate potential issues with usability.

Mistake #3: not thinking about the future

Many UX teams get caught up in the process of designing and miss the point that they need to plan for what happens once their design is successful. A UX designer's job is not just about creating a product - it's about creating a beautiful, intuitive and pleasurable experience that people can use.

Popular Apps get typically this many updates in a year:

  • Instagram: 24 major, minor and beta updates in 12 months
  • Snapchat - 37 major, minor and beta updates in the same period of time.

(Source: TechCrunch)

This means UX designers need to plan for how design decisions will affect a digital product's development over time. It's common for key stakeholders to want to change the UX design midway through development without much user insight so this represents another challenge for UX teams.

UX designers need to create designs that can be changed and expanded over time without compromising the user experience.

Take a look at this article about how we have been part of a product that evolves and iterates over time: Boosting PlayStation’s esports presence, one phase at a time.

Mistake #4: not doing competitive analysis

It's important for UX designers to conduct serious research and understand the competition. Fundamental to this is understanding a competitor's strengths, weaknesses, goals, target market segments, product offerings - basically everything that UX design can do better than them!

Here's a list 5 items of what you should be looking at when analyzing competitors:

  • The UX team should map out what a competitor's objectives are and what they do well.
  • How is the product marketed?
  • What type of user experience does the design communicate to users?
  • Who are their target users(s)?
  • Are there any hidden gems or features that UX designers can leverage?

It's important to always keep doing research, this will help UX teams stay ahead of the competition. Read why UX Design Doesn't Stop After You Launch: How to Keep Improving.

Mistake #5: not interacting (enough) with dev teams

UX designers should always be in close contact with the development team. This is because UX teams can't predict what's going to happen once a design reaches production and developers start adding their own elements to it.

Here are some key points UX designers need to master when working with devs:

  • UX designers must be aware of how design limitations affect their work.
  • Cross-functional teams have a much better chance of delivering value and delight to users.
  • UX designers must start incorporating a systematic approach to what they do, and developers are good at doing that.
  • UX designers must understand at least enough about the technology stack they are designing; and they must have clear and useful conversations with developers about all aspects of the product.

UX design is a hot topic right now and it’s not hard to see why. It can make or break your product, but this doesn’t have to be the case if you plan ahead with these 5 common mistakes in mind. Take Zemoga for example – we offer expert services that will ensure you avoid all of these pitfalls before they happen, saving time and money on an otherwise great idea. If you are looking for a partner who understands how important good User Experience Design is, as well as what goes into creating one, get in touch today. Our team would love to hear more about your project so we can help give it the best chance at success possible!

About the author

Sebastián Sierra is a talented design leader with over ten years of experience in Interaction Design and a Master’s degree in Strategic Design & Innovation. At Zemoga, his primary focus has been to bring a strategic approach to our clients’ design projects. His skill set makes him a strong strategist and innovator.