Part 2 Designing Salable; how a UI is never really finished and how to use feedback

A photo of two cute cats made out of lego

Interview with Dan Sturman, Salable UX/UI Designer

In part 1 we talked about keeping the user front-of-mind, functionality vs user journey and what this has to do with Lego.

Going back to talking about foundations…even though you’re trying to think of what the endgame has to be, you need room to evolve to that point. I can imagine you’re constantly thinking ‘for now, it needs to work like this — but for the future…how should it work?’

You have to reconcile that some things will be built for day one or even day one hundred. So you can’t always put in what you hope is the cleanest solution or the simplest solution just because it just won’t happen anytime soon. You have to humble yourself, be OK with that.

Because it’s never a finished piece of work, is it?

You should never think of it that way, because you’ve probably got half a bit wrong — the users will tell you how they want to use their products. And then you have to kind of, meet them where they find it.

And so is it an easy thing — in the process of planning and creating — to ‘un-pick’ what’s been created based on user feedback, later down the line?

We in fact are working right now on some feedback that’s actually shaken our little foundation…but it’s very positive. Once you understand it and get your head around what you need to change, it’s kind of delightful. There’s nothing like research to guide! You can be in your bubble….if you don’t get user feedback at the right point, you can go so far down a tunnel and not allow yourself to be able to react positively to it…be open to it.

You’ve described it as delightful, there’s plenty of people that would not feel favourably about feedback.

I think it’s made a little bit easier because we’re a small team. It means that there’s less combative ego stuff going on…which will always occur, especially as teams get bigger. If there was a more competitive culture where there’s three UX designers but only one decides what’s going to make the list, it would be more tricky. It’s so much easier to kill your darlings if you know that you also get to fix it. (That’s something that we probably shouldn’t put in a blog, because that’s quite exposing!)

This feels to me like it’s part of the process, business-as-usual to a UX designer…it’s not outside the job description and therefore not exposing. When you’re at the stage where we are with Salable, you’d expect some unpicking and re-recreating…the rebuild of the lego bricks to occur? Because if you build it and said ‘well, there you go — that’s it!’ What would be the point?

Arms folded, no changes! There’s no fun in that! It’s what makes a product design a different sort of thing to ‘traditional design’, especially if you come from that background…the design is finished when you’re done. But there is no ‘done’ especially if it doesn’t start until the designer has their first ‘run’ of it. The only sort of guarantee is that in twelve months time, it would look nothing like what it started with, and that’ll be true again in another twelve. There’s no guarantees of anything…you sort of trust the process, which isn’t like anything else.

Interview with Louise Walden

Final part next week

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Tweet from Neal Riley saying "Commercial freedom and flexibility is a must for any digitally enabled business. @SalableApp gives you the tools to build your SaaS business."

Tweet from Neal Riley saying "Commercial freedom and flexibility is a must for any digitally enabled business. @SalableApp gives you the tools to build your SaaS business."

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