Why UX Designers Must Learn To Be Problem Finders – Sarah Doody - Sarah Doody
Image Image Image Image Image
Scroll to Top

To Top

Design

Why UX Designers Must Learn To Be Problem Finders

Get my weekly UX Newsletter

I’m a runner and my first big race this year was going to be a marathon in May. But, I recently got an injury and have spent the last few weeks trying to figure out what’s wrong. So disappointing! And if you’re a runner, you know how torturous it is to not be able to run.

In the process of trying to figure out what’s wrong, I’ve realized how important it is to be hyper-aware of every little thing I do (or don’t do) and the impact it has on the injury. It’s a constant state of experimentation. Does more elliptical help or hurt? Do certain stretches become easier? Can I hold a plank longer each day? Does ice or heat help? It’s a constant trial and error process. It’s a slow, painful, and annoying process – but it’s the only way to move forward.

As I was zoned out on the elliptical one day I realized this is also great lesson for product development.

For example, if you launch a new feature and it doesn’t go as you expected, don’t freak out or start blaming people. Instead, step back and figure out all the variables involved and then start testing them and trying to isolate the problem.

Too often, when things go wrong, we get paralyzed and start trying to invent a new solution. What we really should be doing is hitting pause and investing time into figuring out what exactly went wrong.

As UX designers, we must learn to become problem finders.

By examining the cause and effect of every single little detail, we’re more likely to be able to pinpoint the problem and then design the solution.

This process of investigation could include a lot of activities – diving into analytics, one on one interviews, usability tests, and more. The trick in all this though is to make sure you’re not trying to test too many things at once. And as you make tweaks, be careful to stay hyper observant and know what’s having impact and what’s not. It’s not easy, but it’s crucial to moving forward and not letting yourself get flustered by a perceived failure.

The trick in all this though is to make sure you’re not trying to test too many things at once. As you go through the process of troubleshooting something and honing in on the variables and their impact, you must methodically consider every step in the process and every single element of the interface. As I always say, the experience is not limited to the screen, it’s how all the screens fit together.

Once you start to identify the key areas that you need to improve, you must be careful to stay hyper-observant and know exactly what’s having impact and what’s not. It’s not easy, but taking the time to identify the problems in our perceived failures of features is crucial to moving forward and not letting yourself get stuck when things don’t go ask you expect.

It’s not easy, but taking the time to identify the problems in our perceived failures of features is crucial to moving forward and not letting yourself get stuck when things don’t go ask you expect.

READ THIS NEXT:
Why Problems Start When Context Stops