* As a designer I’ve had many titles: UX Designer, UI Designer, Interaction Designer, Visual Designer and even Webdesigner.
I like to work on projects that solve a complex issue. I like fixing applications or e-commerce websites, and contributing to design systems also scratches that nerdy complexity itch. I’m a challenger of assumptions, asker of 1.000 questions and the one that finds that one weird bug.
I love these projects because it’s like solving a blank puzzle with sometimes missing pieces.
The journey is often complex, and the user’s motivation differs greatly from e-commerce. There can even be a lack of motivation. It’s a goal to create an interface that removes friction and adds a bit of delight in getting the task done.
These projects usually require aligning with a large group of stakeholders and closely collaborating with Business Analysts, Architects, Frontend- and Backend developers. Not only designing deliverables but often just keep asking the questions no one is asking and always finding that one weird bug.
I once read an article on form design, on the art and craft inside the complexity, and it all fell into place when I got my first e-commerce job in 2001. I started working for one of the largest insurance companies in the Netherlands. As soon as I learned, they did A/B testing on printed ads and their Direct Writing efforts. The first thing I asked was, “Why don’t we do that online”?
It didn’t take much convincing, actually, and I got that ball rolling pretty quickly. After that, I developed skills to identify and design experiments and analyse the results. I even contributed to the “Design for Conversion” conferences in 2008, 2009 and 2011.
As soon as you mention “Conversion”, you’ll have my attention, I cannot help myself.
In the past, I might have said things like, “The original design is better than the live version”. It is a real struggle for designers, and there can be many causes at play, but the least of it should be your relationship with your team.
As a designer, you have such a responsibility to be open, to communicate and to onboard the right people into the right discussions. I’ve written an article, “Don’t be a tool“, about the subject. And these days, I go by the motto “Happy team = Happy & Proud Designer“.