The world of User Experience design is a beautiful place. It’s too bad the people who hire UX designers seem to lack an understanding of what they do. This can cause very particular grievances for UX designers. Here’s what makes you pull your hair out:

When They Tell You UX is Just About Wireframes

UX Iceberg Infographic

Wireframing comes in after extensive research, analysis, and auditing; it’s the tip of the iceberg. Before getting any wireframing done, it is vital to know your audience. You need to know who you are designing for to create an experience that fits the way they think. This requires extensive research, surveys, and analysis that need to get done before pen can be set to paper. Then, if you are working on re-designing a website, you need to audit it first and create a content inventory so that you know what it is what you are going to be reorganizing. It is impossible to redesign a website without this. It is a lengthy process creating wireframes and mockups that the client is not aware of; it just happens to be that the UX designers present mockups and wireframes as the result of all that work.

When They Ask You to do Hi-Fi Wireframes and then Scrap it When You’re Done

Hey, guess what? Wireframing is a process too. Wireframes are an architectural blueprint; you need to see it in two-dimensional black and white diagrams before you understand how to build the actual house. Hi-Fi wireframes are done after you have the initial blueprint; you need to work up to high-fidelity wireframes. They better represent the final product and are done to show the client their website one step before completing it.

UX Design Process

High-fidelity wireframes used too early turn design reviews into discussions about font choices, colors, and icons when you should be discussing workflow, requirements, and how the proposal solved customer needs. These are meant to be used further along in the design process, so doing one and having it be scrapped so far along in the process can be a huge waste of time for everyone.

When the Account Manager has You Audit the Wrong Site

The easiest way to annoy UX designers is by making them do the content inventory for the wrong website. This is a tedious and long task that is already a pain; having to do it twice will definitely have a UX designer secretly plotting your death. While this is a necessary task, it is long. You need to go through every single page on the website, take notes, and organize it. On content-heavy sites, it can take days.

“The Axure License has Expired, Use Powerpoint”

Axure Screenshot

Axure is a professional application. It has advanced tools and options that will help the process along more quickly and effectively. Axure has 6 main areas that you work with:

  • Sitemap
  • Widgets
  • Masters (templates, or reusable collections of widgets)
  • Page area – the main design area
  • Page notes and interactions
  • Widget annotations and interactions

It is specifically designed for UX designers and their craft. Powerpoint can be used to make wireframes and do it cheaply. It will work and you can get the project done, but it is going to make the process longer. A tool like Axure can do low- to high-fidelity, include interaction and even conditional logic, then export to HTML/CSS and Javascript in a fraction of the time. Asking a UX designer to use Powerpoint is like asking a graphic designer to use MS Paint.

When They Give You a Wireframe without Flow and Site Map

Wireframes and the flow go hand in hand; you can not have one without the other. The wireframe by itself is just the bare bones of a website and will not be very helpful without the user flow and site map to tell you what happens and where.

Imagine getting handed a few of these:

UX Design Wireframe

With none of these annotations:

App Wireframes

How is anyone going to be able to work with that?

What have been your most annoying moments as a UX Designer?

Share with us in the comments below.

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2 CommentsClose Comments


  • aarusysdotcom
    Posted at 11:08 am 0Likes

    Very informative –

  • Geoffrey
    Posted at 10:17 pm 0Likes

    This article spoke to my heart. It expresses my thoughts exactly.

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