16 Things Great UXers Don't do

3 min read

It is November 2023. I just re-started my YouTube channel and set out on a mission to create a simple product we can learn from.

It’s a screen sharing tool where employees can record short video demos and upload it to our own server.

In order to start the project we need wireframes. So, I hired 4 UX people from a known platform. I gave them all the same fix price and the same task.

When I received the work, I felt like something was off.

Every single one of the four submissions looked too complicated.

Maybe I was wrong?

To be sure, I called up a UX Pro. Katharina Schluck is a professional I have worked with. She knows what a good UX is, and can tell when people go wrong.

The full interview will be released on my channel at one point. For now, I wanted to review what I learned from her in a couple of points.

Let’s get started.


1. They Don’t Over-Polish Wireframes

Wireframes are meant to be a skeleton, not the fleshed-out end product. Over-polishing can mislead developers and result in unnecessary features.

2. They Don’t Design the Impossible

Great UX designers respect the limitations of technology. If the feature isn’t supported, it doesn’t make the cut.

3. They Don’t Do Unasked Work

Every feature must be intentional. Even a ‘free’ landing page can misdirect focus from the primary objectives.

4. They Avoid the Naming Game

Naming is an art best left to specialists. Missteps here can degrade the entire UX.

5. They Work With Time Budgets, Not Fixed Prices

This approach avoids devaluing work and reduces conflict.

6. They Don’t Reinvent the Wheel

Design systems like Material UI provide a reliable foundation. There’s an art to adapting existing elements.

7. They Stick to the MVP

Adding unnecessary features can cloud the learning process.

8. They Don’t Copy Bad Ideas

Instead, they improve upon them, ensuring usability isn’t compromised.

Insert image contrasting original vs. improved designs.

9. They Ask Questions

Assumptions are risky. Clarity is king.

10. They Prioritize the Critical Path

This ensures that if issues arise, they’re resolved early on.

11. They Focus on Functionality Over Portfolio Aesthetics

The end goal is client satisfaction, not just a shiny portfolio.

12. They Choose Real Content Over Placeholders

Placeholders can be ambiguous. Real content brings clarity to the design.

13. They Ensure Every Element Adds Value

Every screen and feature must serve a purpose.

14. They Adhere to UX Best Practices

They never confuse primary with secondary actions, ensure components are accessible, and maintain interface stability.

It’s not just about what you do—it’s about what you choose not to do. That was the main fallacy of these UX people. I should have chosen just one person to work with. And I should have briefed them better.

That’s for the next days.

At least I now know what I don’t want.

Download the slides here

Till Carlos

I'm Till, a senior developer who started a software company. I explain software concepts for people in leading roles.