Trust (is) the process: Why following a framework doesn’t guarantee good results

State of UX 2022

Trust (is) the process:
Why following a framework doesn’t guarantee good results

Abstract shapes representing the design process
Illustrations by Manoel do Amaral

Following a process lends structure to our thinking, and can help shift our focus from our individual ideas to our shared goals. A well-established process allows our team to scale, makes our work more predictable, and reduces financial risks for the company. There are good reasons why the design process is a hot topic in our industry.

But… are we over-indexing on process to compensate for lack of trust? It feels safer to trust the process than the designer. A lack of trust can occur between team members as well as between company leadership and their design team. And sometimes we focus too much on the process because we lack trust in our own judgment and skills.

Just because a framework helps you arrive at a decision doesn’t mean that decision is the right one. Following a set of steps can streamline the work, but sometimes the right call is to pause, zoom out, and start over with a different approach. After all, no process is linear.

Don’t copy what is broken.

Cookie-cutter design frameworks can be problematic (e.g., you inherit their biases) and don’t guarantee results (since what works in one context doesn’t necessarily work in another). Instead, find what works for your team and your users.

Tools, not conveyor belts.

We should start from the problem, not from the process, since lots of teams end up killing great ideas simply because they don’t fit in a job story. How can we take more risks in our ideation and thinking? We need to trust our intuition, go wild and deep into our ideas, and focus on what we ultimately want to achieve.

Build trust by delivering.

Exploring, refining, and improving things is at the core of what we do. By delivering something every day (whether a conceptual flow or a UI spec) we start building trust in one another and change the focus from the process to outputs and outcomes. Let’s create room for random ideas in a corner of our design files to flourish.

As a website visitor I want to be blocked from entering the website so that I can enjoy a better experience with the native app, a post from shit user stories

2021 Highlight: Shit user stories

A good reminder that while filling out a template to “follow the process” is easy, it doesn’t necessarily lead to great products.

Are you ready to rebuild? Read the full 2022 Design Trends report or listen on Spotify.

The State of UX in 2022

Trust (is) the process: Why following a framework doesn’t guarantee good results was originally published in UX Collective on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

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