Overcoming Common Challenges UX Designers Experience When Developing New Products

There is absolutely no question about it. User experience has become one of the most critical aspects of successfully marketing products. Consumers will not revisit a website or purchase a product a second time if the user experience sucks. Given this, it is one of the most exciting times to be a UX design professional.


Despite this, however, it can also be a particularly challenging time to be a professional within this career path. Things are changing rapidly and new designs and ideas are constantly forcing updates of fairly recent designs. Navigating and keeping up in this world can be a real difficulty.


Of course, that is not the only challenge for UX design professionals — just the start of a long list of many, many difficulties. Other challenges can include things such as getting hired onto a project, testing UX designs on potential customers, and merging the online with the physical successfully. 

Hiring the Right Designer

Believe it or not, the field of user experience is changing so quickly that there isn’t even a finalized job title that is used ubiquitously throughout the industry. In fact, depending upon the job, employers could list any number of different job titles that basically mean the same thing. Likewise, potential job candidates may list something in their resume that is slightly different than a particular job announcement’s title.


There are certainly small differences in job titles, but they tend to be insignificant and shouldn’t interfere with your ability to obtain a job as a UX designer. For instance, if your resume says you have experience as a “customer experience designer,” that shouldn’t rule you out for a job titled “user experience researcher.” Either way you slice the cake, your job experience is relevant and applies.


If you are applying for a job and are worried about the differences in terminology, take a deeper look at defining your role in your current job. What strengths can you build up that will make you an even better candidate for the new job? What makes your professional brand more well-rounded? How can you make tweaks to make the experience you do have stand out more?

When to Bring in the Users

Once you’ve landed the job, the next immediate challenge is getting your feet under you and gaining a greater understanding of the user experience associated with the project you’re designing. It can be easy to test a project that is already on the market and see how it’s doing, but it can be much more challenging to determine user response while still in the design phase.


This is where user testing comes into the equation. User testing should happen early and often throughout the design process — or at least as much as budget constraints allow for. Discovering problems in user experience early on in the development process can save as much as 50% in overall design costs. That’s nothing to shake your fist at!


As a user experience designer, you obviously realize that the user experience is key to selling a product and improving the likelihood of customer retention. This means figuring out how to get into the customer’s mind early on and anticipate exactly the kinds of features and experiences they are really going to enjoy versus those that are just going to be annoying. The more opinions during this stage the better! 

Bringing it all Together

Many people think that the online or website aspect of the user experience is the most important and, therefore, should be the main focus. However, those people are missing out on an equally critical factor. In order to be truly successful at user experience design, it is necessary to combine the online with the physical world seamlessly.


Take this physical world example from Honda. They designed windows that rolled down slightly in order to cool the vehicle on hot days when the key fob was held. Great for hot southern climates, but the user experience was totally different in northern climates. If accidentally pushed on a cold winter day, this user experience feature could spell disaster! 


The fact of the matter is that customers expect there to be a seamless transition between shopping online and in your company’s physical store. Likewise, they expect experiences to make sense for their location, climate, and culture. Understanding the customer journey to your product can go a long way in understanding where to take the experience design. It is a lot to think about! 


Designing the perfect user experience is full of all sorts of challenges ranging from simply getting your foot in the door, to getting user comments, to bringing the online and physical worlds together. These are just a few of the many struggles and challenges that keep the job interesting, fun, and ever-changing. What else comes to mind?