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What I Learned about Product Design This Year


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Simon Jones

Wow, what a great post. Ive been in a small business marketing role for a year now and I completely agree with your words. If we start at the usability and ux, a design will come out naturally from our work. Thanku for your article, great read.

Scott Zirkel

Great article! This is something I can’t stress to new designers enough. Design isn’t about how pretty you can make lorem ipsum and curated photos, it’s about how well you can present user data to look like your perfect lorem ipsum and curated photos. Some people think this requires design compromises, but really I think it just requires a different way of thinking about and approaching design.

Of course after 15+ years in the industry, I still get it wrong myself.

Rachel Reveley

I’m just about to start this same journey myself in a few weeks. I am really excited as the company I will be working for has a tool that has been around for around 10 ears and has many featres but has never been looked at by a designer. I have been taken on to improve the usability of the system and to bring it together with a consistent pattern library.

Dave Hall

Great post. I had the same experience as you this year redesigning an app. I really had to let go of certain aesthetic aspects until I could return to them. It’s about keeping yourself sane during the process. Great to know other people share the same concerns.

Steve Amara

So many great quotes I could take from this… Very good piece. For folks like me who are junior designers, it brings some context and words of wisdom about how to approach our work, Biggest insight here is probably about the value of working on both Marketing and Product Design.

Again, thanks for sharing your experience!

Eric Fields

Great post, Meagan. This year, I moved back into a dev/designer role for a product after nearly 3 years of mostly developing/sometimes-but-rarely designing. To be frank, I’m not working on the sexiest-looking app at this new job, but our application’s mere existence saves tons of time for my coworkers, so the value is very real, almost tangible. I dove right in to writing code specifically to avoid having to design all those little error states and edge cases, figuring I’d stop and do some design when I got stuck, but by doing so I wound with less elegant solutions.

So, for a new module on the same platform, I took the time and set the expectations for wireframes and a more formal design process. When designing a product, having the time to think through all the minute permutations of state, of edge cases and errors matters more than anything else. It is a humbling lesson to learn product design the hard way, but very worthwhile.

Jay Ahya

Yes, sometimes being the only UX designer at a company makes you think twice about everything and also you get into the comfort zone pretty easily. Look forward to making 2016 the year to change how I work :) Thanks for the musings Meagan.


This is a great article. I’ve gone through quite a similar process over the past year since I started at my current work. Thanks so much for this!

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