This is a continuation of Part 1, please start by reading that first.
6. Forgetting Context of Use
As people who primarily sit in front of a screen pushing pixels or inside a studio with other likeminded creative folks, it’s easy to get into bubble of who the user is and how they are using your product.
Avoid this mistake by: Consider site visits or apps that let you follow the user as they experience your product journey. If you’re designing for mobile, consider the demographic of your audience, the emotions and thoughts they may be having, the distractions they encounter and the people they interact with while on the go.
Repeat this mantra to yourself:
You are not your user.
Unless you’re making that app just for your niche need to order and get breakfast delivered to your office at 3pm, and play that one pop song you really like from the radio over and over. Then kudos to you, you are your user. But generally this is not the case.
7. Avoiding the Possibilities
Curiosity is an asset for any designer. Not only is openness to learning and failure a part of the design process, a failure to explore possibilities at the beginning of a process can stifle the potential innovation that is possible through exploration.
8. Not Standing Up for Your Work
No one will stand for your work except you.
Don’t apologize. Be proud of what you design and design things that you are proud of. When you make mistakes, learn from them.
9. Ignoring Brand
At some point of your product cycle, your design needs to add value (leading to monetary return) in order for the business to continue running. Value can be in the form of social good, ethnical practice or sustainable design but it cannot ignore the business implications of creating value and solving problems.
Brand is the point where your design meets the public eye, through a variety of different touch points and mediums. Ignore at your own peril.
Avoid this mistake by: Making the voice and style of your brand consistent in an entire product’s evolution. Realize that every touch point is a platform for promoting your brand.
10. Communicating Poorly
This can mean using language above the comprehension level of its audience. Avoid terminology when possible and speak in human terms.
Poor communication can be showcased in spelling mistakes, errors in grammar, or overcomplicating a simple concept. The little errors in typing can indicate laziness and unprofessionalism when you communicate with a client, and they can decrease the value of your brand when your design has been published or printed for the world to see.
Avoid this by: Proofreading. Get someone else to look at it.
Brush up on visual communication (drawing, sketching, wire-framing, prototyping), writing, speaking (presentation, negotiation) and through active listening.
See more of my design work here if you’d like. Or check out more of my work on my blog— thanks for reading!