UI/UX Articles and Interesting Tidbits of the Week



Hope in UX. Interesting reflection from Vivianne Castillo for The Fast Company on the state of UX, and the fact that Designers should maintain hope in their craft and in their paths, particularly in times of uncertainty. A few additional reflections of my own pertaining to this article and to some of the statements of this author. The uncertainty and anxiety the author alludes to, touches upon any professional in the workforce, considering all the upheaval that is occurring across multiple industries, and the possible recession all economy experts pontificate upon. Designers are not in a bubble, they exist within the same organizations and teams than many of the individuals that are being let go actually do, and are indeed impacted by these changes that are occurring. One of the best ways to deal with this uncertainty, and I have personally gone through layoffs previously, is to be ready. Have your materials always updated. Resume, portfolio, everything that tells a story of who you are as a Designer. Secondly, being a Product Designer (or any variation of that role within that discipline), requires a methodical approach to staying relevant and maintaining a competitiveness on the market. This competitiveness happens in any industry, however for Designers, it becomes even more acutely important, since our role is to be constantly aware of the evolution of Users/Consumers habits, of technology, of techniques which improve our storytelling abilities. Being ethical, transparent, and just importantly, self aware are all very important traits. But the truth still remains, that for Designers, this field will always be one met with challenges which demand a constant investment. This field is not an easy one, and requires consistency, investment and ultimately passion. Thirdly, and as a reaction to some of the statements in the article, I’ll say. Don’t judge other professionals lightly, and never assume anything. One never knows the challenges others go through, and each professional has their own stories and difficulties they had to face. Portraying some professionals as simply villainous is reductive and misleading. If anything, inform yourself before making statements of any kind. Highlight of the article includes:

“As designers, we must be intentional in our practice of hope because of how it shapes our understanding and approach to ethical design. The commitment designers make to investigating the hefty problems they face while designing products (the potential for a product to encourage harmful behaviors, for example) is, in part, determined by the values they hold. These values that bring a sense of perspective, meaning, and purpose to our lives also bias our understanding of ethics, some for the better, some for the worse.”


Copycats Don’t Solve Problems. Very interesting article from Peter Ramsey for The Smashing Magazine. It specifically addresses the topic of copying design solutions that have been implemented for other Organizations. The author gives some good examples of noticeable copycat solutions on the market, while also providing explanations on why that path should be avoided. It’s a rather shallow read, but the ultimate recommendation I can personally provide goes as follows. Performing benchmark and competitive analysis, allows for Designers and their peers on the Product Design Journey to understand patterns users are familiar with. However being a copycat, ultimately fails to address what users really want as far as a solution is concerned towards a specific problem (while also disregarding the specificities of different industries) . Being innovative also means understanding pain points and solving them in manners that are useful, worthwhile and which resonate with users. Worth reading. Highlight of the article includes:

“I doubt many designers sit down with the intention of copying Airbnb, Apple, or Stripe. But they’re such beautifully-designed experiences that it’s hard not to be inspired to some degree — even subconsciously. Whilst the limitless optionality of a blank Figma board can be overwhelming, the answer is rarely to copy someone else. The plagiarism issue aside, it’s tough to replicate the magic of another user experience and not lose the magic that makes it work.”


The Importance of Listening to Users. Matthew Keir wrote this article for the UserBack Blog, and it’s one worth reading through. True its content is a bit akin to the statement “rain is wet”, in the sense that the topic itself is rather self explanatory and any Product Designer and Product Team should implicitly be doing that. But it’s always a good reinforcement for everyone to keep in mind that product solutions should be crafted with the user in mind, contemplating their wants and needs, not simply operating in a vacuum or in a somewhat myopic slant informed by one’s particular needs or points of view. Highlight of the article includes:

“Getting a new user is only half the battle, sustainable businesses are built on customer growth, low customer churn rates, long customer lifecycles, and profitability along the way. By listening to user feedback, organizations can address the second element in that success equation and reduce churn rate as the feedback they gather is key to understanding user needs and making changes to fill the gaps users require to succeed.”



I’m a Product Design Professional. http://canhenha.myportfolio.com • https://www.instagram.com/canhenha • https://www.patternsbypedrocanhenha.com

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