7 Reasons Why You Should Date a UX Designer

We're halfway to Valentine's, yo

We’re halfway to Valentine’s, yo

IF you were to date someone purely based on their profession, then consider putting User Experience Designers at the top of your list.

Since User Experience Design as a field is still relatively new, it could use some introduction to stand out from long-established roles such as the engineer,  financial analyst, doctor, or lawyer.

It’s already halfway to Valentine’s Day,  and not too early to think about what you’re looking for in a partner. Let’s dive into the 7 traits that make User Experience Designers a desirable choice when it comes to dating.

#1: We don’t assume.

Or, at least, we try not to. This is one of the mantras that UX Designers live by:

You are not your user.

Don’t you hate it when someone assumes something about you when they know absolutely nothing about you?  Or worse – when someone likes or dislikes something and assumes you have the same preferences? Fear not – UX Designers are trained to avoid assumption.

Just because a UX Designer likes to mountain bike and garden on the weekends, doesn’t mean he/she expects that is what his date enjoys doing.

It’s part of the UX profession to 1) be observant and 2) do research. All in order to understand someone else’s preferences, behaviors and idiosyncrasies. UX Designers ask questions and try to never, ever make big assumptions.

#2: We test things out

Falling in line with the “never assume” philosophy, UX Designers have a mind to try new things. It keeps the relationship fresh and exciting. Variety is the spice of life, as the saying goes…

On the flip-side, when the going gets tough, User Experience Designer’s don’t just let problems sit idle. They test things out and try to find a solution.

Nothing is more ugly than the words, “Well, that’s just the way it is.” If it’s something worth solving, having a UX Designer as your partner can turn an unpleasant situation into a learning experience.

#3: Jack of all trades, master of some.

The list of responsibilities a UX Designer has is extensive, typically starting from research to final design (with or without other artists and programmers). If you want to date someone with skills, UX Designers won’t leave you in want of more.

More and more, UX Designers are expected to have a “T-shaped” skill set. This means having a broad skill set (comfortable with the entire UX design process) but also having expertise in one or more areas. Depending on the needs of a company, it’s not unusual to see UX Designers have expertise in:

  • Visual Design
  • Product Management
  • Front-end programming
  • Researching & Testing

Indeed, UX Designers wear many hats and have a flexible, wide skill set.

#4: Understanding that Things are Interrelated 

Because UX is an intersection of many fields, you’ll see that UXers can hail from a wildly different backgrounds such as library science, business, graphic design and more.

This diversity brings an understanding that seemingly disparate things in life are actually interrelated. How does this relate to dating?

Well, UXers don’t like to put people in buckets and recognize that everyone brings value.

UX-Design-Traits-Interdisciplinary

UX is interdisciplinary. Buckets are for water, not for people.

We’re also the last person to discourage you from switching careers; rarely has anyone been a UX Designer their entire life. Transitioning in and out of different fields and roles is a common thread across this industry.

#5: Empathy 

Dating someone who sympathizes with you is OK. They feel bad that you had a bad day at work. They feel sorry for you that you’re frustrated with your mom. But UX Designers understand that they’d lose their jobs if all they did was lament with customers on how unusable their product is.

Empathy is better.

Being able to “take a walk in someone’s else’s shoes” is essential to the job of a UX professional.

Great designers care. They constantly think about the users and their problems as well as the needs of their teammates. It will sound weird, but… being human is part of the job.

One of the best ways to reach true understanding is to prioritize what users do, instead of what they say.  Actions and behaviors are worth more than words.

Now wouldn’t you like a partner who takes out the trash, instead of saying they’ll take out the trash?

#6: Team-oriented 

No one likes being in a one-sided relationship. Whether she only wants to “date” you online, or he insists on keeping the relationship a secret, it’s not a good time for anyone. On the other (much nicer) side of the spectrum are team-based relationships.

Professionally, UX Designers are expected to collaborate and work well in teams in order to succeed.

Yes, many UXers are “UX Teams of One.” There’s even a whole book written about it. But the title belies the fact that regardless of being the only UX Designer in a job or not, working with others is essential to success.

We work with executives and business to craft strategy. We work with programmers to realize designs in code. Above all, we work with customers to understand their needs and pain points.

If you’re looking for a partnership instead of just a temporary fling, UX Designers may very well have that team-based mentality you’re looking for.

#7: Humility

It’s ironic to end this list of great traits about UX Designers with this trait, but it’s true. Humility is absolutely crucial to this profession.

In many instances, UX Designers have no choice but to develop humility. Having to pitch, explain and defend your designs over and over again means that UX Designers learn to divorce their ego from their design.

Sure, we might have spent 30 hours this week working on a new design. But if business requirements change or compelling user research emerges, then we need to prepare to scrap our designs. And do it all over again.

This means learning to compromise, say sorry and having a small ego. All traits that a good UX Designer is likely to have.

Being a UX Designer requires a healthy amount of self-doubt. It’s essential for having an open perspective and allowing new ideas to flow in.

We sometimes hear people say “that person suffers from a lot of self-doubt”…Clearly, self-doubt is meant to describe someone that is weak or has low self-esteem. However, for a designer, a little self-doubt can actually help them be more open to the possibly that their design can always be improved. A truly good designer will never feel they have achieved the perfect design

_ _ _

AND THERE we have it, 7 good reasons to date a User Experience Designer. This article may have very well be named 7 Soft Skills that make a good User Experience Designer. But you gotta have a little fun sometimes.

Are you a User Experience Designer or dating one yourself? Tell me in the comments below if this syncs up.

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5 thoughts on “7 Reasons Why You Should Date a UX Designer

  1. Fun article! Some other characteristics:

    – Great Eye For Beauty: We know what looks good and will do our best to bring it out in you (especially visual-oriented designers)

    – Purposeful: From CTA’s to planning a surprise party for you, everything we do, we do for a reason.

    – Inquisitive: They want to know everything about you. What makes you tick? What’s your story and journey?

  2. Hmm… I have a suspicion that the author of this article might have been a UX designer. But anyway, I take issue with point 5, empathy. The majority of people I know that use desktops are frustrated that websites and operating systems are moving towards mobile-friendly designs that hide a lot of functionality.

    One thing UX designers seem incapable of understanding is that people don’t necessarily want their desktops to work like a giant smartphone or iPad. There are lots of oversized picture icons with unclear functionality, weird little menus that pop out of an arrow, and an increasing number of pages with sideways scrolling mechanisms that feel weird or jumpy on a desktop. But the same site works perfectly on a mobile device with a touchscreen.

    It seems like people would rather just design every website to work like a mobile app, and expect desktop users to just “deal with it” because they can technically use the site that way, even though it’s less than ideal. If they really had empathy, they would have a mobile design and a desktop design, rather than just foisting a mobile design onto desktop users.

    Wikipedia is the only site I know of that has actually dealt with this situation correctly. Note that I’m not actually a UX designer myself, but I’m already a programmer and studying Computer Science at University.

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