- Stay close to the user: Comprehend their context, background, the tasks they need to accomplish, constraints, and challenges they encounter.
- Understand the problem: While people may want faster horses, our role is to dive deeper and understand the root cause of the problem they aim to solve and their actual needs.
- Pick your battles: Devise a strategy and prioritize designing for the most impactful use cases and user groups; then, extend your focus to the rest of the user base.
- Breathe the product: Become an expert in the space by using the product extensively, exploring competitors, and staying curious for new ideas.
- Done is better than perfect: Solving the user's problem takes precedence, and reaching the ideal solution is a gradual process that necessitates iteration.
- Take shortcuts when you can: Whether it's an off-the-shelf plugin or a prebuilt app/system, consider efficient solutions that expedite the development process.
- Build things that don’t scale: This is crucial for validating your idea.
- Communicate through visuals: This is essential for aligning everyone on the same page. "A picture speaks a thousand words." Sharing rough sketches of ideas can often foster alignment and spark new ideas.
- Prototype first: Test out ideas quickly and effectively using design prototypes or, even better, real rough working prototypes. This is a cost-effective way to validate ideas and hypotheses quickly.
- Constraints are good: They stimulate the creation of better and more creative solutions.
- Don’t make me think: Avoid uncommon design patterns, keep tasks straightforward for the user, maintain concise messaging, and ensure clear calls to action.
- Design not UI: A web/mobile app is merely a medium for solving a user problem. There are various ways to address user issues, some of which don't require a UI at all.
- Great design is invisible: Great design should be unobtrusive, effectively solving the user's problem without drawing attention to itself.
- Visual hierarchy and good typography are key: When in doubt do a squint test.
- Design spec’ing is an art: Well-crafted specs lead to effective implementation and successful outcomes.
- Share early explorations & involve the team in the process: Getting early input from all the stakeholders leads to better outcomes and encourages exploration of more ideas.
- Brainstorm offline: Avoid live brainstorming sessions with large groups, as they tend to be time-consuming. Instead, encourage each participant to brainstorm ideas independently, then convene as a group to present and discuss the best ideas.
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