I cannot count the number of jobs I’ve been turned down for because the hiring manager was looking for someone with “more visual design chops.” It’s infuriating and I want to unpack why.

1. Visual Design is Only Part of the Job

I remember my first UX job and assignment very clearly. It was in early 2015 at an online ticketing company. I was tasked with adding a privacy setting so users could choose whether or not to share their contact information with venues. I remember looking at the settings page.

It was hideous. There was a horizontal menu that was maroon red with options literally overflowing across it and wrapping onto a second line. Under that, there was a rectangle that was the color of masking tape. On that rectangle, the text was Arial font… jet black #000. There was no clear typographical hierarchy or grid of any sort. There was an inconsistent and improper use of simple form controls. …


After I presented my first case study, one of the other designers asked me a question that directly pointed out a flaw in the project I had just presented. I was stumped. Without getting into details, it’s safe to say she was right. I had no good rationale for why I would do it my way in light of what she asked. …


I’m writing this quick and dirty guide for my teammates, but I figured it might be a useful post for the UX Community too. This is mainly a collection of the gotchas and things I learned when transitioning from Sketch and InVision to Framer.

I’m going to write this for designers who predominantly do wireframes and prototyping with Sketch and InVision.

…but first let me give a little backstory.

Why I Haven’t Used Framer Until Now

The simple answer is that if I wanted to do high fidelity or functional prototyping, it felt pointless to do it in Framer. …


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An app that simplifies door ticketing, provides security, and needs no scanners.

Created: July 2015

Platform: iOS

Role: Product Designer, Visual Designer

Objective

In 2015 TicketBiscuit recognized a large unserved market for online ticketing: high school sports. The barrier to entry was the complexity of most online ticketing services. While online ticketing is intended to be convenient for users, it creates a lot of hassle for small event organizers, especially in this particular market. …


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PJ and Mimosa Day. (PS I was getting my wisdom teeth out on this day, so I’m not pictured)

I worked for two and a half years at TicketBiscuit. An online ticketing Company in Birmingham AL. This was my first user experience job, suffice to say I learned a ton. While there’s plenty of resources out there telling you how to be a better UX designer, I find most of the information obscure or lacking when it comes to the details of actually working. This is my effort to document the soft-skills I learned, and the things you won’t learn in school.

You don’t know anything

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Your portfolio may be amazing and you may have 1000 followers on Dribbble. That doesn’t mean you know what it takes to succeed at a new company when you first start there. Start getting an idea of who your stakeholders are and what they like. Who are your personas? What user research has been done in the past? Read the documentation. Shadow QA and the developers. Get involved in peer review. Look at the work of your predecessors and get on everyone’s good side. Build those coalitions, and most importantly be humble. Don’t try to be a design revolutionary right away, because it’s truly going to be a while before you have a good intuition for what’s best for the product. …

About

Tait Wayland

Product Designer and Technologist. Interested in the intersection of data science, AI, and user experience.

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