2 Ways to Design with Confidence

publishedalmost 2 years ago
1 min read

Dear Reader,

What if everything you design sucks and people are too nice to tell you?

If you've found yourself thinking things like this, this week's email is for you. Let's start with a straightforward question I want you to ask yourself:

On what do you base your design decisions?

Product design, at its core, is a series of design decisions. If your design decisions boil down to your own opinions, you can't (and probably shouldn't) be confident.

If your decisions are based on UI trends on Instagram, websites on Awwwards, and 2022 trend articles, your confidence will be short-lived at best. Why? Because these sites have nothing to do with your user or the user's problems.

So, where should you look to build confidence in your design work? Here are some super-quick ways to build confidence.

1) Researching builds confidence

Research isn't just a step of the process. It's a way to build a deeper understanding of the visual and strategic work that follows it.

Research data can help you make better design decisions, and it's waiting for you to discover. Here are some quick sources of research if you're strapped for time:

  • Customer support tickets and bugs
  • Desk Research on the company wiki
  • Asking questions on the company's Slack

The confidence you can build with thirty minutes of research is a great way to reduce stress or feelings of doubt during your design work.

2) Experimenting builds confidence

There's nothing like sharing a stat about actual user behavior that you have gathered yourself. Data can be a huge confidence booster.

Tests and experiments are all about generating customer data. If you can gather a bit of data about a design idea, you can increase the confidence level of your product team.

You don't have to code an A/B test to build confidence. Here are some quick ways to generate some evidence for your idea if you're low on time:

  • Open-ended one-question survey modals
  • Click maps of your designs
  • Contextual polls in your app

These product discovery skills are excellent ways to build confidence. And they also make great "T-shapes" or specialties for any mid-career product designer.

Speaking of building your T-shape...

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Next week try to make time for building confidence in your design work!

-Jeff Humble

Designer & Co-Founder
The Fountain Institute

P.S. To make sure you get notified of Fountain Institute courses and discounts in 2022, click here to subscribe to future announcements

The Fountain Institute

The Fountain Institute is an independent online school that teaches advanced UX & product skills.

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