UX Crash Course: Stupid Question 9 of 30

User Experience design is different than other kinds of design. One of the ways it is different is that you can study your users.
And that brings us to our next question:

“What if my design is confusing?”


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When you design a printed poster, or a magazine layout, or when you re-style the UI of your app to look more “current” those are all based on taste.

Hopefully, you and your users share the same taste and everyone will think it looks magnificent.

UX isn’t like that. UX can be proven. And disproven.


The stupid answer:

If it’s broken, fix it.


The real answer:

Most (if not all) designs include something that could be better. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced designer made of pure awesomeness. 

UX is iterative. That means that you will work on your designs by measuring them and re-designing them until you get the results you are looking for.

The hard part is discovering the problems.


Why this isn’t a stupid question:
You have to do research to know your design is confusing, and most designers don’t think that way.

If you know that you’re design is confusing, you’re doing UX right

Good work, seriously.

Whether you have done user interviews, or looked through data, or watched people using your design: you have discovered a problem. 

That’s when UX gets interesting.

In UX, everything is an experiment.


Most designers don’t think in iterations.

In other types of design, the designer works until they are happy with how the design looks and then maybe there is a bit of feedback from clients or whatever, but essentially, that’s it.

With print design, you can’t change it even if you want to!

In UX you should assume that you will change things in the future, when you get better information. Every site/app can be improved.


If you realize that your design is confusing, explore the problem. 

Find out exactly why it is confusing, for which types of users, and then work on other solutions that still meet your goals, but without causing that confusion.

Do users expect something different than what you made for them? Are your features too advanced for your users? Is your navigation hard to follow (i.e. — are users getting lost?)

And A/B test that shit. It’s fun and educational. Like the Cinnamon Challenge.


Tomorrow we will answer the question: “Will men click a pink icon?”