It’ important for a UX designer to always envision the future beyond your current project. Let’s say there’s a new upcoming feature that is scheduled to launch next month, and you are a UX designer working on it. It’s worth stepping back and ask yourself these questions.
- What is it that this new feature is trying to accomplish?
- What user problem will it solve?
- Is that the most ideal way to solve that problem?
- Are there any other design solutions that can solve the problem better?
- Is the current solution chosen based on a thorough understanding of a user’s pain points?
- Did the team have a chance to do a user research to find out answers to these questions?
In some cases, these questions might not have been asked during the process.
In another case, maybe there wasn’t enough time and money to conduct user research sessions.
In another case, the decision might be purely based on business goals.
Whichever the case might be, there’s always ways to make things better towards the future.
Even though you might be so busy working on today’s project and product, a UX designer should always be thinking beyond what you are working on, and envision the future beyond your current project.
Paradoxically, this additional work towards the future gives a UX designer an extraordinary power, energy and motivation, which fuels your creativity.
It helps you get through the current crunch that you are deeply in, even if that’s far from ideal.
Thinking ahead into the future allows a UX designer to focus on user’s problems and user values at a fundamental level, rather than getting caught up in a feature level nitty-gritty details.
And whenever you do, you can always come up with various ideas and concepts beyond what is currently being planned for the next release, which is typically very constrained by practical limitations.
Then, you can start to paint a picture visually by laying down various ideas and concepts along the timeline towards the future, starting from where you are now.
This exercise forces you to step back and see a bigger picture of achieving an ideal user experience that solves a user’s problem, and how you can get there.
You may not be able to get there right away.
The reality may not progress in the way you laid out.
A deeper look at the problem may end up redefining the user problem that was defined previously.
And that’s totally fine.
In the real world, there’s always various constrains, pushbacks and setbacks.
The most important thing is, that you don’t lose sight of “always aspire towards the ideal user experience to solve a user’s problem”.
A strong drive towards what’s ideal will always push the product towards the right direction in the long run. A UX designer can and should be that drive within a product team.
Always envision the future beyond your current project. This might inspire your team members. And in the long run, you will start to build your credibility as a UX designer within a product team a lot more than when you only work on what you are told to do.
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Highly related article: #47 Visionary vs. incremental approach