The Fountain Institute

Are you stuck in the Delivery Trap?

Published about 1 year ago • 1 min read

Dear Reader,

You're working as a UX Designer, but something doesn't feel right.

There's never enough time to talk to customers. Instead of satisfying customer needs, you spend all of your time delivering on an endless backlog.

As time goes on, you get pushed further and further towards the end of projects. As the deadlines get shorter, the list of "required" screens grows.

You wonder if the only reason you have a job is that you know Figma, and your manager doesn't. You feel under-challenged and overworked.

What's happening here?

You, my friend, are stuck in the “Delivery Trap.”

“Norman’s Law: The day the product team is announced, it is behind schedule and over its budget.”

— Don Norman

What is the Delivery Trap?

When designers are only judged by outputs and speed, that’s the Delivery Trap.

The Delivery Trap is a concept with many names:

  • Product teams that become a “Feature Factory”
  • The designer as the “Wireframe Monkey”
  • Design as “Pixel Pushing”
  • Products that fall into the “Build Trap”

Companies that put design in the Delivery Trap, appreciate design for the artifacts that it produces, not the problems it solves. They understand design from a UI level, but not the UX level.

These companies think that design is only a delivery phase, especially common in the agency world.

These companies may sell you on the idea of user-centered design but when the job starts, it's all about visuals and output...not customer outcomes.

Design should never be a phase of a project. It should be integral to the whole project.

“Design used to be the seasoning you’d sprinkle on for taste; now it’s the flour you need at the start of the recipe.”

— John Maeda

Design isn't gold plating you can add to the end of a project. Design isn’t a workshop you can run with your team.

It's an end-to-end process that turns customer insights into valuable experiences.

How do you escape the Delivery Trap?

The escape is all about discovery...

Until next week!

Jeff Humble
Designer & Co-Founder
The Fountain Institute

P.S. We just announced the first free masterclass of 2023 on research operations called Unlock Your Team's Research Potential

The Fountain Institute

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

Read more from The Fountain Institute

Balancing Freelance Life with Maya McBeath Dear Reader, Last night, we had a roundtable with Maya McBeath, a human-centered designer, user researcher, and workshop facilitator. Maya shared how to maintain steady work without losing your soul. Freelancing can be tough, but Maya's human-first approach is a way to keep doing the work you love on your terms. The down-to-earth discussion includes: How Maya started freelancing Cultivating resilience by diversifying income streams Practical...

4 days ago • 1 min read

Is Poor Communication Hindering Your Projects? By Hannah Baker Dear Reader, Imagine you're in a brainstorming session, brimming with enthusiasm and ideas for a new project. Excitement fills the air as you share your vision with your team and stakeholders. However, as you dive deeper into the discussion, unexpected resistance emerges, derailing the flow of creativity and stifling collaboration. Tensions rise, misunderstandings abound, and suddenly, your project hits a roadblock. Sound...

19 days ago • 2 min read

Design Strategy vs. Design Vision: What's the Difference? by Jeff Humble Dear Reader, There's a rookie mistake that I see design strategists make over and over. They think that a vision is a strategy. But vision and strategy are wildly different. What's the difference, you say? Well, vision is more about where you want to be, while strategy is more about how to get there. Why don't I show just show you? Check it out below: Watch Vision vs. Strategy: Setting Goals & Reaching Them Share it on...

about 1 month ago • 1 min read
Share this post