A good UX design requires and revolves around a clear design philosophy and guiding principles. A creative UX designer is aware that UX design has the power to undermine the customer experience (CX), which means the way UX designers approach the design process should never be an afterthought.
Usually, UX designers have no philosophical problem to solve because they are inherently curious and observant throughout the design process. In line with their philosophy, UX designers should still pay close attention to creating accessible, intuitive designs that solve common problems.
A Modern Design Philosophy for UX Designers
Today, design leaders depend on the UX design community to access and share valuable insights. Curiosity enables UX designers to embrace best practices and deliver high-quality experiences. As most UX designers progress in their career, they develop and hold on to a creative philosophy. Their creative philosophy becomes the compass that guides designers in articulating and incorporating essential components of UX design in their work.
The creative philosophy of designers should work in the interests of all stakeholders and be neither too aggressive nor defensive. This philosophy should be mature enough to make design meaningful and embrace the user’s perspective.
Is the content succinct enough for the product or service?
What purpose would this design serve?
Who is the target user of this product or service?
How will the design render value and improve the lives of users?
How will the holistic design concept address the main problem better than the current solution?
When you’re crafting your UX design philosophy, it should echo familiar touchpoints and be precise as well. UX design is inherently, at its core, a process. So master the design rules as a creative artist and follow best practices.
Align and Optimize
Of course, a multitude of elements become part of the design process. Nevertheless, UX designers should align, evaluate, and optimize all design elements because the way you combine your core ideas drives the product’s value.
Integrate personas, desired value, behavior, goals, and opportunity for starters. Failing to align and optimize these design elements can create conflicts around product decisions. You could compromise an entire UX design if you fail to combine these core design elements.
Dual-Track UX Design
Dual-track design is a fundamental aspect of an ongoing design sprint—a five-day or five-phase process that lets you test and validate your thoughts and ideas and solve any problems that might come up when you’re introducing a new product or service. The goal of this process is to reduce risk.
During a design sprint, designers can combine new opportunities, focus on a new target, and reframe design challenges. This design philosophy makes it easier for designers to flesh out, then validate key design details.
The truth is that the UX design process has undergone a gradual evolution. It makes sense for designers to focus on specific elements rather than switch tracks all the time. However, through dual-track design, UX designers can assume greater control over the design process and its desired impact on the users.
Focus on Uncompromised Design Value
Before starting any design project, UX designers should be aware of the opportunity, the quantifiable value of user behaviors, and understand the nature of the target users. To create suitable design opportunities, you must determine what users want and what value they’re expecting, then align their wants and needs with business goals. Remember, value connects all users and gives them choice. Think of creating design value as making the choice to drive the best outcome for your business.
Leverage Design Insights
Since data has become the Holy Grail in the digital era, you should make the most out of valuable insights. Sometimes the volume of data can seem overwhelming, but a variety of analytics tools can help you make sense of both qualitative and quantitative data.
Lacking design data can feel like operating in a vacuum, making it all the more important for UX designers to maintain their innovative drive. Believe in a democratic design process and remain open to new ideas and change. By today’s competitive design standards, there are not any irrelevant points of view or ideas. A data-driven approach can help designers to eliminate unnecessary and unwarranted elements that could surprise or distract users, enabling them to focus on creating more innovative design elements.
Ideally, to make a positive impact, you should combine your creative efforts with the culture and values of the users. Dive deep into users’ feedback and try to understand their different perspectives. Objectively, UX designers are self-conscious beings and must endeavor to be aware of the anxieties and fears of users.
Use the Design Process as a Vehicle
This hallmark philosophy really should be a rule for UX designers. In a seamless design process, you can check what you have already achieved and ascertain what you still need to complete. So use your design process as your frame of reference. It can serve as a vehicle that lets you measure and analyze design elements.
Once you start to see the design process as a vehicle, you’ll no longer get stuck in one specific stage. Ultimately, creativity should be at the center of your design process. You can follow the lead of professional artists and make your design process orderly, smooth, and positive rather than chaotic or negative.
What Makes an Effective Design Philosophy
Professional UX designers establish all the features and touchpoints for mobile and Web user interfaces. The most effective design philosophy combines many ideologies to render the best possible user experiences. The UX design process is a strategic process that UX designers follow. Adopting a straightforward design process can ensure your success.
It is vital that you understand your design philosophy must be instinctive, interactive, and innovative at the same time. UX designers should prioritize function over form to eliminate irrelevant elements from the design process. While, this might seem impossible at first, it is just a matter of how you connect various interactions across objects, interfaces, and users. The clearer you are about these interactive touchpoints, the more intuitively you can design a user interface. In all seriousness, great design should be experienced rather than just seen.
One design best practice is to sketch out various scenarios, then create a design framework. You can validate your design elements and remedy issues with poor accessibility or usability. Once you’ve decluttered a design by removing extraneous features and design elements, you can focus on the ultimate goal of your UX design.
Michael is the founder of Marccx Media, a digital-marketing agency that specializes in search-engine optimization (SEO), pay-per-click advertising (PPC), and paid social media. He works with ecommerce stores, online publishers, business-to-business (B2B), and software-as-a-service (SaaS) companies, driving conversations and conversions across the sales funnel. His clients include The New York Times, Shutterfly, Sotheby’s Institute of Art, and The Truth Initiative. Before founding Marccx, Michael worked in business development at Google, forming digital-media and advertising partnerships in the United States and Asia. He is a long-time contributor to The Huffington Post, Fast Company Magazine, and Business Insider, as well as a podcaster, and is host of You University, an iTunes Top-10 New & Noteworthy Podcast. Read More