Penelope Rance

My UX research & design ramblings

The Best Advice

How often have you been asked to do something new but it looks really hard so you have put it off or tried to get out of doing it. I know I have.

But as a UX designer this is not a good way to look at things. Everything I get asked to do is new and never the same as what I have done before!

I do not think I could have made the switch to UX designer without this piece of advice from an old manager.

"Don’t confuse unfamiliar with complicated or hard-to-do"

And you know what? This is so true. The number of times I have thought of this quote as I have been looking at a new task to make myself just get on and do it. (In fact it is stuck to my monitor as a reminder as you can see below.)

And when I have got started it generally is not as hard as I feared.

For example I have been working on designs for a project since Christmas. I finally had a full set of wireframes which everyone was pretty happy with, but now they wanted high fidelity mockups to show a stakeholder.

Photo of post-it which reads Don’t confuse unfamiliar with complicated or hard-to-do
A reminder

I am no UI designer and so although the task was assigned to me I made it very clear that I was not sure how well the mockups would come out.

I had created my wireframes in Adobe XD, so continued in this programme. And I surprised myself. It seems that I can copy really well and so although I was designing a new feature I had been deliberately reusing current functionality so I could copy how these things currently look just adding my new content.

My mockups came out really well and although I would not want to have designed anything from scratch, just adding new functionality to a current page was easy.

Every time I do something new I learn something and I build on my confidence. And this works right across my life, not just as a UX designer, but as a knitter/crocheter trying out new stitches, as a cook trying out a new recipe or a sewer learning how to make a pair of trousers.

By changing my mindset anything is possible.

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