9 Tips to Simplify UX by Jenna Abdou

The first time Chase showed me a mock up of our homepage I told him it looked great and that I was excited see the final product at the end of the week.

Eager to see the new design, I was disappointed that the new features weren’t up on Friday and shocked that they would take a few weeks to implement. 

A few months later, I started working on the back end of our website and was quickly exposed to  the ridiculous amount of time engineers and designers obsessing over tiny details to craft an exceptional user experience. 

Julie Lorch, the Director of UX at DoSomething.Org, is one of those superheroes. After championing the site’s redesign to display 200 campaigns for their 3 million members, she shares nine tips that helped her simplify the process. 

  1. More users warrant more options. Commit yourself to providing a variety of choices as your user base grows. 
  2. If you’re running a content heavy startup, make creating a simple and efficient search engine your top priority. 
  3. When possible, build all features in house so team members can actively watch company goals come into fruition. 
  4. When it comes to UX and website design eliminate the phrases “I like” and “I love” from your vocabulary. Replace them with specific reasons why a new feature should be implemented. Try: This feature is beneficial because _______________.
  5. Prioritize cross functionality to lead efficient projects. For example, sharing a new feature with an engineer immediately alerts you whether or not it’s possible. This will save you time in the long run. 
  6. To cultivate design thinking, institute weekly or bimonthly design sprints. Set goals, work fast, and iterate daily. 
  7. Use daily stand ups to emphasize accountability, maximize collaboration, and eliminate road blocks. 
  8. Involve the entire team in website decisions to  give each team member a stake in the final product.
  9. Recognize that not every new feature will be successful. Try implementing DoSomething’s Fail Fest, where employees present their learnings to the team, to overcome failure as a unit. 

For more details on Julie’s work tune into her episode of 33founders and read her two posts on the redesign here: "I’ve Got 99 Problems, and Two Week Design Sprints Solved a Considerable Amount of Them" and "8 Steps for Building Products that Don’t Suck."

Further Reading
  • Seedling Relies on Childhood Curiosity to Inspire a Creative Team — On a recent flight home, I spent over an hour browsing a children’s play website, completely enamored by sets like Design Your Own Superhero Cape and Invent Your Own Insects. After sharing Seedling with everyone I know, despite few of my friends having children, I wondered why the brand struck a such a meaningful chord with me.
  • How to Make Flexibility Your Startup’s North Star — When Alexis Maybank discusses how photographers utilize Project September - an app making the visual world instantaneously shoppable - she describes it as a “living portfolio where they can unlock new relationships with viewers.” The demographic is different than the fashion bloggers and influencers the New York-based team expected.
  • How Exo is Taking Cricket Flour Mainstream — If you follow Exo on Instagram, you’ve encountered photos of customers enjoying their cricket flour protein bars in a variety of delicious combinations. Founded in 2014, the New York startup pioneering the education and consumption of cricket flour, as well as insect protein at large, has cultivated a significant following much faster than the founders were expecting.

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