I’ve been trying to quantify what is it that experienced designers do well that beginners struggle with. After a lot of thought, I’ve come up with what I call the “Evolution Spiral”
Everyone knows design is an iterative process. When you design, you’re trying to come up with a solution to help your user achieve their goal. Irrespective or whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned designer, you come up with a draft, take it to your user(s) for feedback, identify what needs to improve, get back to the drawing board, work on it some more and take it back to the user(s). This repeats until everyone gets to “Yes, this is it!”
The difference lies in how many iterations of back and forth one needs. Beginners will need to do a lot of back and forth before they get things right. The more experienced you become, the more your initial designs will start aligning better with what the end design solution will eventually be.
How does that happen? Well, experience teaches you things! It teaches you to actively listen, so you understand better what your users are trying to tell you when you first talk to them. It teaches you to figure out what your users are not telling you, or are not able to articulate well. It teaches you to ask questions: numerous questions, relevant questions, the right questions, the same questions in many different ways. It teaches you to not assume things on behalf of your users. It teaches you that you need not wait until you complete a pass at your design before you can go back and ask more questions.
Designers need to be able to talk about their designs and back their designs by being able to articulate the logic and reasoning behind the design decisions. Experience teaches you to get better at quickly but surely getting your points across.
Designing is intuitive. As you work on more and more design assignments, your intuition improves. You sort of know what approach will work given the situation and the problem at hand.
All this in turn reduces the distance on the spiral that you need to travel from your initial designs to what the user actually wants.
So if you’re a beginner, often wondering “How do they get it right?” about the experts that you work with, be patient and hang in there!!
It will come to you. 🙂