I’ve been to a conference about “Data-Driven Marketing” which was mostly about analyzing big data reports, but more than that it taught me about analyzing data, it taught me how little do I know and how much I still have to learn.
I always thought my job as a UX designer is to design better UI, using tools and wisdom, based on my knowledge and research I did on users. However, I realized I’m looking at it from the most minimalistic and comfort point of view. There’s a lot of data that I need to act according to. Design can’t be based only on a couple of interviews or a Google-form I share with a bunch of friends on Facebook, it can’t be based only on my design talent, and it can’t be based on my old assumptions. Good design is based on true data that is learnt from observing behaviors and watching those little insights that might seem like coincidences but really set our mind into the right place. That is the most authentic data we can find and that can motivate us to create the best product.
Where is all this data?
Data is literally everywhere, and there’s always more of it. Business’ data can be found in its internal records, in its social media pages, in other people’s social profiles and much more. The secret is to find out how to understand this huge amount of data and how to learn from it. I know, it sounds so easy when I say it, and it is really hard to do. People study how to find and learn from data for years and I’m saying this like it’s a walk in the park.
I’m no pro when it comes to handling data (yet), but if I’ve learned anything in this conference is that I have a whole world left to explore, and it fills me with excitement. I might find some truly amazing things that I haven’t even heard of last week. This way I can improve my work. Awesome!
And in a more general perspective
We’re all not pros at every single domain, but that’s good! We still have a lot to learn and we can all find a niche we haven’t touched yet, that can improve our general performance, especially in the design field.
In my perspective, good designers can’t deliver just a pretty design, they need to have their own extra spice – artistic inspiration, data researches, technical knowledge, etc. That’s why I think trying and finding different niches will upgrade design in so many levels.
So now what?
I know for myself I’m going to put extra attention on data. As a former programmer, I know the importance of testing your code. Design should also have its testing tools, and the most authentic testing tool is real data from users. So I say this – don’t stop at launching your design. Check it’s impact on users, try to find your users’ struggles, their easy parts and more.
If you have any data-driven techniques or tools, I’ll be super-happy to hear about it in the comments.