Your job as a designer is not to create mockups

Your job as a UX designer is not just to create functional designs. It’s to bring value to the user and the business by creating experiences that are meaningful, delightful, and useful. And this involves a lot more than just putting pixels on a screen.

Your job as a designer is to:

  • To increase clarity in ambiguous discussions
    This requires the ability to ask probing questions, synthesize information, and present ideas in a clear and concise manner.
  • To imagine clever solutions to user problems
    This requires a creative mindset and the ability to think outside the box to come up with innovative solutions to complex problems.
  • To identify constraints and systemic issues
    Whether they be technical, budgetary, or otherwise.
  • To educate your stakeholders on opportunities and risks
    Stakeholders may not have the same level of understanding or expertise as the designer when it comes to the UX process. A designer must be able to communicate the potential benefits and risks of a design decision in a way that is clear and easily understood.
  • To unblock developers by proposing well-thought-out software ideas
    A UX designer must be able to collaborate with designers (not propose solutions) to create technically feasible solutions that can actually be implemented.
  • To create interactions that can scale and degrade gracefully
    A designer must create interactions that can be adapted to different devices, screen sizes, and platforms. As a designer, it is your job to think about and ensure that the interactions can gracefully degrade in the event that a user’s device or internet connection is slow or unreliable.
  • To create product narratives and tell business stories
    Your job is to create compelling product narratives that effectively communicate the value proposition of a product or service. This requires a deep understanding of the target audience and the ability to tell stories that resonate with them.
  • To deeply understand your users’ motivations and represent their interests
    To design a great user experience, a designer must have a deep understanding of the target audience’s motivations, needs, and desires. This requires conducting user research, testing designs with users, and incorporating user feedback into the development process.
  • To elevate aesthetics and create attractive products
    No further explanation needed.
  • To be a good sport
    Collaboration and teamwork are essential to the success of any design project. A designer must be able to work effectively with others and be willing to receive feedback and incorporate it into their work.
  • To be reliable

Being a designer is a challenging and multi-faceted role that requires a wide range of skills and responsibilities. Your role encompasses a wide range of responsibilities that require a deep understanding of user behavior, technical constraints, and business requirements.

To be truly successful, focus more on the softer skills than the craft that is on the surface.

Anders Toxboe Author

Based out of Copenhagen, Denmark, Anders Toxboe is a Product Discovery coach and trainer, helping both small and big clients get their product right. He also founded and a series of other projects. Follow Anders at @uipatternscom.