cft

10 questions all designers hear at some point

It’s only a matter of time.


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Billy Frazier

3 years ago | 4 min read

In case you haven’t noticed, more and more people are getting into UX design.

If you ask me, this is a smart choice for a ton of reasons.

With any industry boom, some practitioners will see this as a bad thing (mainly because they feel threatened) and others will welcome newbies with opens arms (I say the more, the merrier).

If I had to guess, when people who aren’t as familiar think of UX design, they conjure up images of black turtleneck-clad designers adjusting their trendy glasses as they design apps and smartphones for famous tech companies.

As cool as this sounds, the reality is somewhat less romantic and it isn’t always sunshine and daydreams.

If you’re in the industry long enough, you will inevitably hear the same questions:

What exactly do you do?

You know what? I’m not even mad — that’s a fair question. After all, I’m not even sure what I do. I majored in “visual communications” (i.e. a fancy way of saying “graphic design”), started my career by designing posters and CD covers (remember those?) for my friends’ bands, and somehow stumbled into designing websites and apps.

What’s the difference between a website and an app? You know, a website is like a static app and an app is like an interactive website. Duh.

How quick can you get this done?

Oh, you need this tomorrow? No sweat! I’ve been sandbagging you the entire time, waiting for my “design magic” to regenerate. At the end of the day, I’m just combining shapes, images, words, and icons to make a real life app. Sorry, I meant a design of a real life app.

After all, the software developers are the one who actually make the thing which means we can give them all the time in the world.

Is this the final product? When can it be ready?

No, that one button doesn’t lead to anywhere (yet). Nope, there isn’t anyone on this app (yet). And sorry, we can’t launch this (yet). You know what? This is my bad.

After all, I’m so good at my job, I tricked you into thinking this prototype was the finished app. This is what I get for teaching you the words “high” and “fidelity.”

Can you help me with my app idea?

Sure! I don’t have anything else to do. It’s not like I have a full-time job or anything. It’s not like I have a side hustle outside of my 9-to-5 because I don’t feel fulfilled day-to-day.

It’s not like I’m busy with hobbies like homebrewing, making electronic music online, or creating Instagram accounts for my dogs. Let me put all of this on pause and hear this groundbreaking app idea! OK, so that’s actually a really good idea. Let’s sit down and chat…

You know how to code, right?

I mean, I know a little front-end development. Wait, you thought I could design AND develop this entire app? You thought “UX Designer” was a designer who codes?! Where’d you get that idea? Lemme guess, you read “full stack designer” on someone’s LinkedIn profile and you assumed it was the same thing as a full stack developer, right? Yup, that’s what I thought.

Well in this case, I’d say that I know enough to be dangerous…which is another what of saying you probably shouldn’t let me anywhere near actual code.

Can’t we just skip all this UX stuff?

You know what? Why not? While we’re at it, let’s just get rid of your business model, your validated product idea, and anything else that might be remotely useful to creating a scalable business.

What do you mean, “What’s a validated app idea?” You know, the idea that you’ve shown people and they told you they’d use it. You haven’t shown this to anyone yet?! Welp, that explains a lot. Now I know why I’m really here…

Can I talk to the programmers?

I mean, you could, but I guarantee I’m way more fun to talk to. Besides, they’re a little busy building the thing that will (hopefully) bring your company into the 21st century (i.e. they’re building you an application on the cloud).

They don’t have time for meetings that could’ve been emails, emails that should’ve been meetings, and countless questions like, “Where exactly is this cloud?” Oh, and between you and me, you’re saving like a ton of money by talking to me instead.

Why are we doing discovery (again)?

Great question! Who needs to know what the hell is actually going on here! Who cares if you have the right people for the job (you don’t) or if your employees actually want a new tool (they don’t) or if this is even a priority to your executive team (it isn’t). I mean sure, you said you “already did discovery,” but it’s becoming more and more apparent that we have very different ideas of what that word actually means.

It sounds like your plan is to throw tons and tons of money at the problem until it magically goes away, so let’s just go with that.

Why do you want to talk to our customers/users/employees?

Ahh, you caught me red-handed. Even though you hired me, I was going to go AWOL and spill all your dirty little secrets. I wasn’t going to treat these people like real human beings or try to uncover paint points they have in relation to your company in order to create a better experience which would ultimately keep them from leaving and would make you way more money in the long run.

That would be ridiculous! Your suspicious tone and skeptically-worded email are both totally warranted.

Can you help me with this PowerPoint?

Sigh. I knew this one was coming. Even though I’ve prepared a lengthy response that makes Cheesecake Factory’s menu look like a Snapple fact,

I (somehow) have some time to kill and could knock this out in a few minutes…if it wasn’t for the inevitable fact that you insist on using fancy animations and outdated transitions. This is what I get for including “communication design” on my resumé…


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Billy Frazier

I'm a designer & writer who likes blurring the lines between work and play while making people smile.


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