As UX designers, we get tasked with creating experiences for an audience that is both memorable and seamless.
But, discovering the balance between joy and efficiency isn’t easy and often feels like immense pressure to produce a perfect solution in a short space of time.
So, how can we learn to avoid perfection, accept ‘good enough’ and put your audience first, all the time?
As a designer, I do believe that it is a good thing to seek perfection but the critical thing to understand is, uncontrolled perfectionism is bad in any profession, but especially in UX design.
“You aren't the standard of perfection, the user is” Becky Birch
The word “Perfect” comes from the Latin word for “finished”. Virtually by definition, our products can never be perfect because they are never truly finished.
The digital product world is crazy and continuously developing – perfection is really out of the picture. I cannot express enough to UX designer’s the importance of constant feedback and user research to get the best out of your product. Start to focus on the user needs in the best way given business goals and technical restrictions.
“If you reject anything other than perfect you will spend a large amount of time and resource on features with diminishing returns”
You may be reading this article as a UI designer, and in honesty, you have more scope to be a perfectionist with the user interface because you already have the concrete deliverables. But, this still needs to be controlled.
How to beat perfectionism
In the beginning, don’t worry too much about the more delicate details because I can guarantee these will adapt throughout the process. Design thinking involves iterations– so many things need to be considered. For example, What is your end goal? Who are you designing for? What will the users benefit from this product? Etc.
Focus on the bigger picture and always have the users at the forefront of your mind rather than what a UI component may look like later down the line.
Get involved in user testing, learn more about your target audience and listen to what they expect from your product. Don’t forget you aren’t designing for yourself; you intend to delight your users.
If you find feedback and research quite conflicting perform some A/B tests to see what is most successful – never make a choice based on what ‘looks’ better. The more knowledge you have, the closer you can get to the ideal solution.
A “perfect” UX design is the one that serves fundamental needs, is delivered on time, and is delightful to use.
You can’t rely on personal preferences; your work needs to be backed up by research and data. Learn from your users and understand what they expect the interface to offer.
Remember products are never finished and therefore can never be perfect.