You won’t notice that! The common blind spots of UI/UX designers

Blinds spots often result in mistakes. UI/UX designers may think they can complete tasks with objective methods and mindset, but sometimes they will be blinded because of designers’ characteristics. Accordingly, mistakes occur. Sometimes, the product quality or even the teamwork or corporate culture will be affected. To the worse, it may lead to wrong product development. We are afraid that readers may have the same problem so Jeremy makes a list of common thinking blind spots of UI/UX designers during produce development.

Common thinking blind spot:
1) Picky

▲Source: https://eurofree3.files.wordpress.com/2014/03/nitpicking.jpg

“Picky” is the common image of designers among the public. The general public regards pickiness as a negative word but designers may feel happy when someone say they are picky. A picky designer insists on details and quality. This characteristic is helpful in product and brand development. However, when a “picky” designer insists on making some revision, he/she often forgets considering available “resources” (time, money and manpower) and “resources” are the key of survival for start-ups.

UI/UX designers should think like a service designers at the early stage of fast-changing software development. They should consider related parties and business modes in addition to take care of users’ needs. They should not be bound by the trivial modification of an element, such as background colors, word size or perfect layout. Instead, they should focus on whether the game runs smoothly to bring MVP. In other words, designers should have commercial awareness and know their roles at different stages and the service they can provide.

Surely when the business model is recognized by the market, the designer can become very “picky”. They can make minor modification together with growth hack to test users and make adjustment based on the result in order to optimize the benefit.

It is a good thing to be critical to product quality but may cause significant loss if they are too picky!

2) Arrogant, stubborn and mean

▲Source: http://hbz.h-cdn.co/assets/16/14/1600×800/landscape-1459776449-hbz-anthony-vacarrello-00-index.jpg

When seeing pictures or reports of designers, we may feel they are exceptionally supercilious and their eyes blink with the shine of high expectation and disobedience under the name of genius. The public sees the brilliant outlook of designers and may feel there is a gap between them. Good designers are also good marketing experts. They may deliberately manage images and dress up to show good sense in order to present a professional and clean-cut look. Don’t be fooled by their external images. Arrogance is not a necessary feature of designers.

In the software industry, designers are not the only ones who determine the success of products. Therefore, an advanced UI/UX designer should have good communication and integration abilities in addition to designing profession. However, arrogant designers may overly insist on something and refuse to make any compromise, leading them to lose the chance of finding a win-win solution. Arrogance does not show designing profession. Instead, stubborn designers may destroy teamwork.

Because designers often have a singular aesthetic sense and different insight, they may be sarcastic and biased if arrogant. Accordingly, they may be subjective and have no chance to understand others’ perspective and have more development.

3) Insist on original creation

▲Source: http://content.wallpapers-room.com/resolutions/1920×1200/B/Wallpapers-room_com___Be_Original_blue_by_Adam_Betts_1920x1200.jpg

Designers especially hate “to copy” and “to honor”. They believe that product design should be unique, to respect intellectual property, and maintain dignity. And yet, it is difficult to find really original interface and interaction in the software field. Most products are produced through adding or modifying quality products, (such as the operation optimization of input boxes). Moreover, there are many free templates available so the products on the market look similar. Besides, an innovative original design may not be user-friendly because user may not know how to use based on previous experience and have bad experience.

The copied interface may produce different results in different industry. Take Tinder-a software allowing users to select friends through sliding-for example. Many APP designers do not notice that it is popularly welcomed because of the original interaction before copying it. They do not consider whether the design is suitable for their industries. (For instance, e-commerce users prefer to see multiple pictures at the same time instead of one-by-one.) As a result, they cannot reach the expected result. Therefore, Jeremy suggests that designers should not insist on “original creation” at the first time when other people copy your work or when you consider whether to reproduce the design in honor of other products. (Do not misunderstand what I said. I did not ask you to copy other’s work completely.) Instead, you need to think whether the service or product you provide is suitable or whether there is a better or optimized design.

From the commercial perspective, Jeremy deems that designers should think how to use patents to protect and strengthen the design instead of talking about “original creation”. Nowadays, Layouts, continuous UI changes and icons can be protected by patents in many countries (US, China and Taiwan). Patents can manifest the value of design but UI/UX designers do not care or do not know that.

If readers are interested in design patent, please refer to “Intellectual Property Easy-go; 3-minute to Understand Design Patent”.

4) Like or dislike only

▲Source: http://jsleeper.com/DM203/@DM203_IMAGES/_0000_1.jpg

Many designers are cool and have a strong personality. They are clear about what they like and what they don’t like. They will greatly compliment what they appreciate and attack what they dislike (such as the fight of skeuomorphism and flat design) and tend to overlook a happy medium. The extreme dichotomy may create unique style but it sometimes seems that the designer walks alone and there is a gap between him/her and the public. More things need to be taken into account for commercial products. Commercial products cannot be designed based on the preference of designers. If the designer insists on their preference and overlooks what is more important or superior, he/she may destroy teamwork and miss the chance to success.

Moreover, designers may lose the chance to have better inspiration if they only focus on preference because the happy medium can be more flexible. Their preference restricts development, such as style, direction and techniques. In addition to relying on intuition, designers can verify or adjust based on statistics, (such as the result of UX interviews and A/B Test conducted by marketing teams.) The fact may surprise you.

Big ego-Stubborn

5) Only design

▲Source: http://c.fastcompany.net/multisite_files/fastcompany/imagecache/1280/poster/2015/11/3053357-poster-p-1-the-3-key-traits-of-an-exceptional-designer.jpg

Designers often have surprising passion and insistence in design. When they talk or do designing, people will be amazed by how they look. However, they show no interest in other different industries or even reject them, such as programs, finance, education, media or medical care. The passion for design drives them to pursue higher skills and knowledge but also confines their thinking, resulting in blind spots in decision-making. Besides, the client or user they serve may be different. How can they discuss or cooperate if they don’t have enough knowledge? Then, how can they produce marketable and ideal products?

More living experience and broader knowledge facilitates inspiration and thinking change. Thus, you will become more mature and professional after understanding foreign fields, knowledge and people.

6) Believe design can change the world

▲Source: http://www.dumblittleman.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/change-the-world.jpg

Most designers have great ambition to improve products, build brands or change the world before joining the team. However, they later find out that the development personnel don’t care you. The company is in a mess. Your design cannot attract attention or no one may use your products. These obstacles destroy your dream. They feel underappreciated and begin to complain about everything and feel so depressed that don’t want to make contribution. But why so? Every organization and product is a different stage, and we develop and learn at different paces. Designers should bear the responsibility practically and should not have great ambition to change the world with design. Instead, they should try to change the organization or products step by step. With this attitude, even if they do not reach expected achievement but win the respect from team members at least. (Jeremy has changed a company which they called designers as artistic workers through communication. Gradually, the company realizes the value and effect of design and no longer call designers as artistic workers.)

Don’t think you have done a good designing job or feel good if your products or service are welcomed. There are many elements determining the success of products, such as time, market scale, marketing strategies, techniques and funds. Design is only one of them. For example, Airbnb is successful because of the design, unique commercial pattern, growth hack marketing and economic environment. 

Designers are important but should not set high goals. Pragmatism, humbleness and intelligence lead the way to success.


I write this article with no intention to trigger an argument. (Some may say designers are not like that.) Jeremy simply shares what I have seen and experienced in the workplace and reminds that all designers should avoid these blind spots. I believe that UI/UX designers must can comprehend what I have said and avoid the blind spots after accumulating enough experience. The readers may leave a message below if they have any idea about the blind spot of designers. ^^

The article is copied from Design tongue

About Design Tongue
Design Tongue is a content platform focusing on user experience issues, including UI, interactive design, user experience, product design trends, and service designs in an attempt to enable the readers insights into the designer’s mind and promote design thinking.

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