Writen by Giovanni Tagliaro, UX Designer / Visual Designer, in 11/07/2019

16 minutes of reading

Are your UX Designers performing well?

  • 10 ways to spot a bad UX Designer
  • Worst UX mistakes that you should absolutely avoid making
  • Good UX vs. bad UX case studies

In a research from 2017, Nielsen Norman Group, one of the world leaders in User Experience, concluded that 80% of organizations which have got some UX-related role are below the goal of highly effective UX. Check below an excerpt:

(…) most respondents felt their designs were just somewhat good:

Well, something is always better than nothing, right? For those who think like that, please let me show you this:


  • Reminders and notifications for us to remember our appointments;
  • Drag and drop actions so we can visually and intuitively organize our agenda;
  • The ability for us to view other people’s appointments;
  • Ways for us to toggle between day, week, month and year visualizations of our appointments.

It’s simple… Ask them!

Understand what UX designers need to start performing like they believe they should be performing. I’m completely sure most of them will tell you they can’t count on basic resources for the work to have a bare minimum of quality, like access to real users, for example.

UX designer’s performance checklist

  • Are UX designers talking to, collaborating with and learning from people from other fields? Marketing managers, developers, other designers, customers, and users… They better be.
  • Do UX designers ask questions? Do they want to know the “why” behind previous decisions? Are they unsettled? They better be.
  • Are UX designers more worried about deadlines or with the user and business needs being addressed? The latter is preferable.
  • Are UX designers angry at “traditional” project managers? They better be.
  • Are UX designers doing research in a weekly or bi-weekly basis? Are they testing for usability, accessibility, and emotion before final solutions are set in stone? They better be.
  • Are UX designers creating User Personas and User Journeys? Are they doing Task Mapping and helping in definitions of User Stories for each development sprint? They better be.
  • Are UX designers being able to create semi-functional prototypes for people to try out the user flow and the individual tasks? They better be.
  • Are UX designers conducting Design Reviews with the developers? Are they assuring front-end devs are doing their best in order to ship accurate implementations of the final designs? They better be.
  • Are UX designers testing their so-called “responsive” solutions on a wide range of devices before and after development?
  • Do UX designers agree with methodologies put in practice? Have they been able to suggest methods and workflow for the project before it had begun?
  • Do you and the UX designers know anything about UX Maturity and Design-driven companies? Those are winning the race, you know…
  • Do UX designers share knowledge and help those with less experience?
  • Are UX designers being able to sketch and test out numerous options before coming up with “final” designs?
  • What do UX designers talk about most of the time? User needs, business, and strategy? Or style and beauty in the layouts?
  • Are UX designers being allowed proper time to research people, think and strategize, instead of just attending committee-ish decision-making meetings?
  • Are UX designers prioritizing features and tasks based on user and business value — so that what is most valuable is always delivered first? Or does everything they do kind of have the same priority and must be delivered when the initiative/project reaches its deadline?
  • Are UX designers and developers delivering features based on long PRD’s or based on insights from real user observations and interviews?
  • Is the designer-developer ratio in the development team appropriate? InVision, one of the leading design companies in the world, in its Design Genome Project, suggests a “golden ratio” which consists of 1 product manager, 3 designers, and 5 engineers. You can’t just leave some UX person in there and expect it to work flawlessly.
  • Does the team count on various profiles of UX people to help designing solutions? For example UX researchers, UX designers, UX writers, UI designers and developers… Or is there only a single “screen layout guy”?
  • Are designers having to create textual content for the product on their own? They should be getting some help with that from the marketing, branding and communication teams, and from people specialized at UX Writing as well.
  • Do you and the UX designers know about Design Systems? Is there a Design System being managed/updated constantly?
  • Are UX designers having at least some weeks prior to the beginning of the development phase so that they can put some upfront work in practice?
  • Are UX designers comfortably ahead of developers? A sprint or two…
  • Are the UX designers frustrated or feeling that something is missing for them to have a proper workflow? They better not be. Ask them what else could be arranged.
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