7 productivity hacks for UX designers
Boost your productivity and get more done in less time with these 7 productivity tips for UX designers
Maintaining a steady level of productivity during a UX design project can seem like an impossible task some days. There are UX designers among us who need a continuous level of coffee siphoned into their body throughout the day to tackle the ever-growing to-do list. Others have the superpower to meticulously plan down to the smallest detail without any stress or anxiety.
Whatever your style of working is when it comes to UX design, we can all use a few productivity tips to make our work flow smoother and go from starters to finishers.
Create a UX to-do list
For anyone who struggles to get things done, writing a to-do list is a great way to boost your productivity as UX designer. It’s effective because our brains like order, so putting your tasks into a list will not only satisfy that part of your brain but propel you to get through the list to feel a sense of achievement.
A good to-do list should avoid being vague – put in detail so you have some structure. Apps like Evernote are chock-a-block with features to make your workflow more efficient whereas Clear has a more minimalist user interface for a more straightforward to-do list. UX Recipe is another great tool when it comes to managing your time and projects.
Set realistic goals
Imagine goals are your destination and that your to-do list is the map of how to get there. Goals should be detailed and when you set a goal, you should know how to get there by breaking them down into manageable, digestible chunks. It’s good to have lofty ambitious but sometimes a goal can be too overwhelming if we don’t tackle it right.
Say you’re a UX designer who fancies their hand at learning coding (let’s not get into that debate). It’s an admirable goal but ‘learn coding’ is vague and with no clarity, it will be difficult to achieve.
Breaking your goals down – by using themes or strict timelines – and being specific (which language do you want to learn, for example) you will be able to make the small steps necessary to achieve what you set out to do. Behind all the thinking should always be a why: why are you doing this? What is the reason? Is it relevant? Understanding those questions will help you persevere.
Reach your UX goals with Justinmind prototyping tool
Create user personas
This is a great UX design productivity tip. Sometimes it can be like we’re walking in the dark when we tackle a design problem. A user persona will help illuminate your users’ needs and goals so you can understand better who you’re designing for thereby speeding up your workflow.
Thankfully creating a user persona takes no time at all and anyone can do it. It just takes a little research and some analysis but doing this before you start an interactive prototype will pay you dividends in saved time.
Prototype your UX design ideas
Rustling up an interactive wireframe might sound like a daunting, time-consuming task. Don’t let it be. In Justinmind, you can benefit from the pre-built widgets for both iOS and Android as well as the pre-made icons mixed with the drag-and-drop user interface means you don’t need to spend one second designing anything if you don’t want to – it’s all there for you to use.
No, really. As UXers we are often scrambling to meet a deadline or turn around a quick rework. This can lead us to spending far too much time hunched over our desks, staring intently into the depths of our screen for hours on end.
It’s good to take UX design seriously but don’t let it hurt your wellbeing. Studies have shown that going outside and walking in nature can improve short-term memory by 20% and boost creative solving problem by 50%. Not only does basking in nature help with memory retention, there are plenty of other cognitive benefits. It has been shown to improve concentration and creative thinking – absolutely necessary for conjuring up UX solutions to tricky design problems.
So next time you need to take a break from designing, turn off Netflix and grab your coat and take a long walk surrounded by lots of greenery. Who knows, you might get an idea that can change the world.
Learn to manage your time effectively
Are you wasting precious time? Poor time management kills productivity. Without good time management, it’s likely you will suffer from a lack of focus and prioritization which can lead to missed deadlines, poor-quality work and, perhaps worst of all, anxiety and stress.
UX designers want to create work that is easy for people to use and gives a great user experience. By setting out clear goals, breaking down those goals into manageable steps and mindfully reviewing your progress, this can help foster better time management.
It takes a little perseverance to avoid procrastination but creating positive habits pay off. Charles Duhigg in The Power of Habit writes that “there’s nothing you can’t do if you get the habits right”. Make time management a conscious habit and you might find you can get a whole lot more done than you thought you were capable of.
Understand the benefits of user testing
Knowing how real people use the mobile apps and websites you’re designing is an important step in creating a workable and viable product.
User testing can help you iron out any problems early in the prototyping process so you can avoid work taking longer than it needs to and make UX decisions backed up with the right information. Discover trends and carry out studies so that you can create data-driven UX design.
With tools like UserZoom, UserTestingand Validately (all which are fully integrated with Justinmind), you can boost your productivity by designing right the first time around.