The importance of others' opinions for a UX Designer
In the past year or two, I have increasingly needed to hear opinions about my work.
It is not because of doubting the quality of my work or because I am afraid of not meeting customer expectations.
Listening to the others' opinions is part of the entire UX process. I always tried to escape criticism, since I was a teenager. I dreamed of growing up and being my big boss, delivering the job I needed to do, and living a peaceful life. Then, I discovered Design and, more recently, UX Design.
Visualizing my work in the hands of unknown people, from different places and with such different lives has become a goal. UX Design seemed like an incredible path, but also with some curves, daily learning, and with a lot of opinion from other people. Does that look bad? Not even a little. The fundamental part of UX is all about asking people how they are, what they work with, listening to them, and discovering different realities than mine.
A digital product, such as an App or a website, can be used in infinite ways. The users may not have a lot of time, want something fast and efficient, or they may have a lot more time, and use the app calmly, before bed. The user may have children, want an app that makes their day-to-day easier, or they may be single, and need a solution exactly for that, stop being single. People have infinite realities and problems, and an app can be a helper for, or almost, all of these people. Finding this intersection point is critical. For the product to have as many people using and having their problems solved, their opinion needs to be taken into account in the process.
The interesting thing about this practice of evaluation in my projects is that it ends up escaping this working sphere and enters in other spheres of my life, such as social. As a teenager, I had a lot of pain listening to criticism. Today? I think it is primary. I wake up every day and deal with myself inside this body, seeing everything from the inside out. The mirror is my first vision break, in which I can see myself from the outside. Throughout the day, talking to clients, family, and friends, listening to their opinion about me, compliments, suggestions, even the disagreement of opinion makes me learn a lot. It is as if daily I am understanding my use in this society, my use in my family, also my use in helping my friends. So, I am a product of myself.
These last two years I have perceived myself much more listener. Distinct songs show me what different people may enjoy listening; news about my country, or the world, situate me on how this immense agglomeration of different people has dealt with their lives, with creativity to create incredible things and also to cause problems. Watching movies and playing games also help me to visit strange situations that expand my way of seeing the world. UX Design has a unique process of listening to people. How can we be so helpless, often with a government that does not solve the problems of its users? Sorry, I didn’t mean to go that way.
I understand UX a lot as a translation job. To zoom in on people’s realities, get to know them without any form of judgment, understand them, and find out how to help them have their problems better solved with technologies, and with the best experience possible. Everyone carries a smartphone with them. It is an impressive device to solve communication, learning, and localization needs, and it is also a way, in our current reality, to bring solutions to some people’s problems through websites and applications.
Thank you for reading!
Want to discover more about me? I’m Cristian Garske, a UX Designer at Mocka and an Apple Developer Academy student. Also on LinkedIn and Instagram.