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January 23, 2023
Will AI Replace UX Designers?

Will AI replace UX designers? Short answer: Not anytime soon.

Long answer: AI is a powerful tool in digital product design. It can be used to shorten and simplify UX design processes like user research and data analysis. But it has a long way to go before it can replicate the empathy and creativity needed for UX design.

Or, if that isn’t a sufficient answer, why don’t we ask the AI? (If we wake up in the Terminator universe tomorrow, it’s not our fault 😜)

OpenAI's thoughts about the question "Will AI replace UX designers?"

So, if you’ve been lying awake at night wondering “Will AI replace UX designers and put me out of a job?” You can breathe a sigh of relief for now.

But while we’re on the topic, let’s take a closer look at what AI is, address some concerns from creative communities, and examine how designers can use AI to ideate, iterate, and automate processes.

What Is AI?

AI (short for artificial intelligence) is a machine or software that simulates human intelligence by identifying patterns in data. It analyzes and mimics our behavior to answer questions and assist with problem-solving.

Some systems of AI you may already be familiar with include natural language processing, voice recognition, and face recognition. If you’re a smartphone user, AI is probably deeply rooted in your daily routine.

But will AI replace UX designers? Let's examine what AI does to determine if it has the same capabilities as a living, breathing designer.

How Does AI Work?

As humans, we can intake, understand, infer, and apply information. Artificial intelligence replicates organic intelligence through designated pathways designed programmatically.

AI generates results when the input of one function is determined by the output of a previous function. That output is an input of another function, and so on until a decision is made.

For example, humans can recognize the color blue by intaking light waves through objects around us (like the sky or a pair of denim jeans). Someone teaches us that this color is called “Blue”. Now, we understand what blue is and can identify things that are not the same color (for instance, a lemon is a different color than the sky).

When we see the color blue enough, we can infer that different shades are closely related to the color blue and apply that information every day.

AI works similarly. We tell the machine what the color blue looks like by showing it a bunch of colorful pictures so it can process that information through a weighted value. An AI machine built to identify the color blue has HD cameras for eyes and was already trained to know what the color blue is via its neural network.

The AI takes pictures of things in its way and decides whether or not the numerical color value is close enough to what it’s learned to be blue. If it’s shown a picture of a lemon, it’ll pass by it because its “blue value” isn’t high enough.

Colourlab AI color-match technology
Colourlab AI uses artificial intelligence to color-match video footage to save time on the color grading process Source: Colourlab AI (article by PostPerspective)

How Does AI Impact Creatives?

With the way AI has evolved in the past few years, accessibility and integration of this technology have reached their apex. Processing power is relatively cheap and companies have utilized it at relatively basic levels to solve problems and automate processes.

However, the systems aren’t “perfect” quite yet. The advancement of AI has been bogged down by quality control issues, privacy concerns, and especially improper utilization.

Of course, you can’t have technological advances without some ethical discourse. And it’s easy to see why! Remember how Netflix pretty much ran Blockbuster out of business? Or how about the bookstores replaced by Amazon? How many people were out of a job because of them?

For every Facebook friend that posts their AI art selfies from Lensa, you’ll see another post from an artist worried about their work being stolen and losing out on profits. So, what ethical concerns come from AI? And will AI make careers in creative fields (like UX design) obsolete?

Twitter post about AI art theft through Lensa
Source: Lauryn Ipsum on Twitter

Will AI Replace UX Designers, Graphic Designers, and Other Creatives?

We have good news for all those in creative industries! It’s very unlikely that AI will replace UX designers, writers, strategists, or UI artists.

According to The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, “There are ~86 billion neurons in our brain. That's nearly impossible to replicate given our current processing power. It's difficult to put a ceiling on AI because it could eventually be better at thinking than us…or it could collapse because we can't make it any better. After all, our brains just aren't good enough.”

As we said earlier, AI saves UX/UI designers a lot of time and resources when gathering data, generating ideas, and improving features. However, machines and algorithms lack two core characteristics that make the foundation of UX designs: creativity and empathy.

AI algorithms can identify patterns in user behavior. But it can’t tell you how the user feels while navigating the digital product design.

User-friendly products will always need that “human” touch, either through behavioral design, personalization, or branding strategy. UX design requires a high level of intuition, relatability, and empathy for your user. A machine will likely never understand the complexities of the human mind (and if they did, we really WOULD be in the Terminator universe).

As far as graphic and UI design goes, the creative capabilities of AI are limited. It can mimic an art style, but it can’t create art on its own. That’s why AI art software like MidJourney or Lensa needs a prompt or a specific art style to analyze the patterns and produce results.

The same goes for UX writers. AI can capture a company’s personality and vocabulary, but it won’t understand the nuances of their communication style. You can use it to fill in some blanks (especially when writer's block hits), but it’s up to you to retrofit the suggestions to suit the brand voice and tone.

Tl;dr UX designers and other creatives with NOT be replaced by AI in the near future

Ethical Concerns With AI

AI isn’t inherently unethical. The systems don’t create themselves, so whether they’re used for good or bad depends on the person behind the machine. AI developers need ethical frameworks to ensure safe and legal usage.

Safety Of AI

AI algorithms are usually refined and thoroughly tested, but they’re rarely foolproof. Self-driving cars are often marketed as “zero accident autopilot” modes. However, it’s difficult to validate this claim due to the sheer scale of possibilities.

The system’s algorithm can weigh potential outcomes and stop the car if someone hits the brakes in front of you. But it’s not as prepared when a kid chases a ball into the street.

Long story short, nothing is perfect (even computers). If the system is 99.999% perfect, there’s always the .001% of someone getting seriously hurt in an accident.

Twitter post about self-driving car accident
Source: Ken Klippenstien on Twitter (from an article by The Byte)

Bias In AI

AI’s primary strength is the collection of data, and some data used to train AI models could have hidden biases.

However, this data isn’t always set in stone. AI and ML (machine learning) systems can always be modified with more data it gathers, tipping the scales in a more balanced direction.

AI And Privacy

The collection of personal data has been a major topic of conversation for users since Facebook’s data mining scandal in 2018. The use of AI in everyday technologies has only amplified the concern. Since users are more likely to interact with personalized content, how can companies use AI to curate content without violating their user's privacy?

The trick is to remain transparent about data collection and how it’s being used to improve their experience. Take every opportunity to educate the user about the processes and benefits to build a sense of trust when interacting with AI.

Spreading Misinformation Using AI

Fake news this, fake news that. At this point, you’ve probably heard the term “fake news” more than your own name. However, AI and ML can easily replicate templates of trustworthy publications and generate factually inaccurate text, spreading misinformation across the web like wildfire.

AI can be a tool of good or evil. It’s best to create a set of guidelines and best practices for your organization and monitor usage frequently to make sure you’re adhering to the rules.

Grover AI fake news generator
While Grover's AI shows how easy it is to create fake news, it's also a solid media literacy tool for detecting and analyzing fake news.

How Can AI Improve User Experiences

We’ve probably made AI sound like another cold, unfeeling technology that assists in UX processes. But there’s much more to AI than meets the eye!

AI can give UX designs more value beyond user-friendliness. From basic problem-solving to automation and personalization, we can simplify complex tasks, test designs, and generate solutions that fit any business.

Facilitate Faster Decision-Making

You’ve heard about the burden of choice before. Why not relieve some of that burden by letting an AI narrow down the user’s options?

AI models learn from the behavior of other users in the digital product's target demographic. A product they bought or a solution they took would likely benefit you as you navigate a product.

AI is a powerful business tool that can influence customer behavior or help companies predict trends with augmented analytics. Use AI to anticipate, weigh your options, and feel more confident in your decision-making.

Klaviyo predictive analysis
Klaviyo's predictive analysis helps you see when a customer will likely make their next purchase, making it easier to tailor your email marketing campaigns to their behaviors.

Provide Better Assistance

Some user queries require the help of another person to solve a problem. But for more general FAQs, a chatbot saves time and energy for the user and customer service representatives.

Through ML, chatbots gather common questions asked by users so you can understand the problems they encounter while using the product. This helps you provide better, faster assistance while making the user feel like you understand them and their needs.

Human-machine interactions are becoming more life-like through the power of AI with products like Siri and Alexa. With Voice AI and speech recognition, digital assistance is more personal (and convenient) than ever!

Siri voice AI assistance

Customize Experiences

72% of users and customers will only engage with personalized digital experiences. If you’re not working some form of personalization into your interface, you’re missing a golden opportunity to engage ¾ of your user base.

Products like Spotify, Duolingo, Amazon, and Netflix are synonymous with customized experiences. Spotify, in particular, pushes the envelope in tailoring their experience through features like Wrapped and The Only You Campaign.

Personalization is an effective UX strategy that makes it easier for your users to find what they’re looking for. And with all the AI systems available, it’s much easier to customize your interface to your user's behavior.

Spotify Only You campaign personalized experience
Source: Spotify Only You campaign (Article by Prestige Online)

Automate Processes

AI and ML models organize and process data much faster than humans can. This makes it a super useful tool for businesses managing multiple tasks and workflows. You can automate anything from basic processes to complicated data integrations.

Industries from retail to IT have adopted these AI models to handle repetitive tasks and reduce human error, freeing up more time for employees to focus on more important projects.

AI automation is a no-brainer because of its speed and efficiency. You probably already use some form of AI for email marketing, customer relationship management, and business operations. Expect this to become more prevalent as AI grows in popularity.

So Will AI Replace UX Designers?

No. It will be a long time before AI models have the creative and empathetic abilities needed for UX design.

But, to quote the bot, “The future of UX design is likely to be greatly influenced by AI and other emerging technologies. It will be important for UX designers to stay informed about these developments and to consider the potential implications for their work.”

AI is a major asset in improving user experiences for a variety of digital products. And there’s no shortage of innovative features you can incorporate into your product with a simple algorithm.

Just remember that a user-friendly design needs a strong set of ethics and guiding principles to ensure your users can accomplish their goals safely and honestly. Since AI doesn’t have values on its own, it requires some experienced and principled UX designers and developers to make sure it’s used for the right reasons.

Speaking of experienced and principled UX designers…CreateApe knows how to build game-changing websites and apps that use AI to its full potential.

If you have an idea for an AI-driven product that will revolutionize your industry, we can’t wait to hear all about it. Start a project with us today!

Contributor: Ryker Frohock, Software Development Professional

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May 22, 2023
How To Land Your First Junior UX Design Job

We’re not going to sugarcoat it…the market for a junior UX design job is ROUGH! Between stiff competition and unrealistic experience requirements for entry-level gigs, saying that landing your first junior designer job will be difficult is like saying water is wet.

But, that’s not to say there’s NO hope. Many budding designers have landed junior positions after finishing college or a Bootcamp. 

And no, we’re not talking about the guy on LinkedIn that did it by pulling himself up by his “bootstraps.” Don’t listen to him when he tells you to send thousands of unsolicited emails or show up at the office uninvited (P.S. DEFINITELY don’t do that).

The good news is that while the pool of new designers is saturated, the demand for UX designers is still high. In 2022, the Bureau of Labor Statistics projected that the UX design field would grow by 27%. And that number is still increasing in 2023.

On top of the high demand, UX design jobs usually come with job security and solid starting salaries. Entry-level gigs can start anywhere around $65,000 a year, with more senior positions entering the six-figure territory.

It’s easy to see why UX newbies want a slice of that pie. But how do you get your foot in the door in such a competitive market when most entry-level jobs require 3-5 years of experience?

Luckily, our design team has plenty of experience in the job market. And now, we’re sharing our tips on landing a junior UX design job with you!

How To Land Your First Junior UX Design Job:

  • Choose your “niche”
  • Create a sample project
  • Take a volunteer job
  • Cruise freelance job boards
  • Practice different design software
  • Find an internship/mentor
  • Build your professional network
  • Master common interview questions

Choose Your “Niche”

We’re not just talking about choosing a specific industry to specialize in (although learning the ins and outs of B2B, healthcare, or e-commerce is never a bad idea).

The saying “It takes a village” definitely applies to UX design. A fully realized, user-friendly digital product involves multiple creative, strategic minds: UX designers, researchers, marketing specialists, and so on.

Let’s take a quick look at some of the fields you can specialize in under the UX design umbrella:

UX Research:

If you’re a numbers person, then UX research may be right up your alley.

Outside of interviewing users, customers, and stakeholders, UX research requires a lot of data gathering and analysis. Your metrics and user feedback will show clients exactly what they need to do to give their users the best experience possible.

Branding and Marketing:

You’re probably familiar with these terms, but identities and campaigns built around robust user research take them to the next level.

Helping companies understand their core audience and what inspires them to act gives layers and complexity to their marketing efforts. This UX-focused strategy for branding and sales adds a much-needed personal touch to something that’s primarily profit-driven.

UX Design:


A UX designer takes complicated digital product ideas and makes them make sense. This means constructing an information architecture that flows logically and a navigational experience that eliminates friction in achieving a user’s goals.

UI Design:

Nailing down the product story is paramount, but who makes that design “pop” in the eyes of the user?

UI designers take the branding defined by internal creative teams and work it into the design to amp up the visuals. The goal is to create a unique look and feel that represents the company and supports the user through conversion.

Product Development:

Creating an easy-to-use product with an inspired visual design is only half the battle. The product has to work the way it was intended with quick loading speeds, functioning buttons and links, and smooth interactions and animations.

Developers are the final puzzle piece that brings the product to life. They’re the ones who create the codes that link everything together and make sure every component functions as it should. 

In short, a game-changing digital product is NOTHING without a web development team putting all the nuts and bolts in place.

And Much, Much More!:

This isn’t the definitive list, of course. As the UX design industry grows, so will the need for experts in engineering, writing, interaction design, video production, editing, QA, and much, much more!

So if you want to get involved in the user experience field but aren’t sure if design is right for you, keep your eyes peeled. You never know just how many ways you can get involved.

Types of UX Design Jobs

Create a Sample Project

We’ve all seen a post on LinkedIn for an entry-level position where you could get some great hands-on experience and really flex your design chops. The only problem is that they’re asking for a Master's degree in UX/UI design with 7-10 years of experience designing websites for Fortune 500 companies.

(We’re exaggerating for dramatic effect, but you get the picture.)

It’s extremely discouraging when the majority of open positions have the same experience requirements. How do you get involved when seemingly no one wants to take a chance on a hungry newcomer?

Truthfully, the quality of your portfolio matters more than any educational qualifications. But it doesn’t have to be full of client projects. Recruiters just want to evaluate your design chops and awareness of UX best practices.

If you don’t have any official client projects, you can always start by redesigning a digital product of your choice!

Look at a digital product from a brand you know and like. It could be a clothing store you frequently shop at, an app you use daily, an online banking portal, etc. What would you do differently?

Ask yourself:

  • “What draws me to this product specifically?”
  • “Why do I use this product every day?”
  • “What problems do I run into when using this product?”
  • “What are the users' goals for this product?”
  • “How can I improve the experience of using this product?”

“What draws me to this product specifically?”

“What problems do I run into when using this product?”

“What are the users' goals for this product?”

“How can I improve the experience of using this product?”

Once you thoughtfully answer these questions and conduct some solo research, you can create your version and make suggestions to improve the user experience.

The best thing about a sample project is that you don’t have to get approval from the client every step of the way. It’s your vision, through and through.

Sample UX Design Project

Take a Volunteer Job

Alternatively, if you don’t want to create a website or app that won’t go live, you could always offer your expertise on a volunteer job.

This is a great option if you have a friend or family member with a small business or a personal website. You get the hands-on experience creating a product for a client while supporting a friend in their business ventures!

The added benefit of creating a product for someone you know is that you already understand the brand’s story and their business goals. If their users or customers are also in your personal circle or local community, then you have extra insight into their lifestyles and behaviors.

If you go down this route, take some before and after pictures to show how you improved the design. You’ll also want to take note of some performance metrics. Did the new design help increase sales or account creation? Did it decrease conversion drop-offs? You’ll want to showcase measurable success in creating or redesigning digital products.

Cruise Freelance Job Boards

Once you have a few design examples under your belt, freelance job boards like Dribbble, Behance, and Upwork are a great way to find paying clients and build your professional network.

Most of the listings on job boards are temporary, meaning the company needs to bring on an extra person to fill a gap on their team or take care of a one-off project. 

These aren’t going to be the cushy $60k salaried positions we mentioned earlier. However, these short freelance jobs are a great way to pad out your portfolio with the real client work recruiters want.

In the worst-case scenario, you get to work on a client project and get to know some people in the industry. In the best case, the client is SO impressed with your work that they want to bring you on full-time!

Freelance Job Board - Dribbble

Practice Different Design Software

About 42% of recruiters agree that the knowledge of UX tools is a major factor in their hiring decisions.

Let’s put it this way: If a company primarily designs products on Figma, they’re more likely to hire you if you have a working knowledge of Figma. If you’ve already mastered Adobe, find employers that mostly design using Adobe.

Try to learn your way around as many design tools as you can while looking for a job and building your portfolio. You can also work on a sample project using a design system for the first time so you can figure out where all the tools, plugins, and keyboard shortcuts are.

Test out a few different tools and software to see which one you feel the most comfortable using. Plus, it’s more work you can add to your portfolio later on!

Find an Internship/Mentor

If the company you’re applying to wants you to have work experience in a specific industry or agency setting, then an internship may be your best bet.

Think of an internship as a rehearsal for your junior UX design job. You’ll probably have to interview with and present your portfolio to a recruiter, but they won’t expect you to have 3-5 years of experience and proven success metrics under your belt.

The whole point of an internship is to learn from the big dogs (or apes, in our case). You get to see a day in the life of a UX designer and understand how your priorities shift throughout the project first-hand.

For example, at an agency, you could build wireframes for an app at the beginning of the day and conduct user interviews for a new SaaS system at the end. Or you could incorporate client feedback to finalize a product and hand it off to the dev team.

At an internship, you’ll learn to be adaptable and flexible to meet the needs of users, stakeholders, and your other team members. You’ll also understand what it’s like to work within timeline and budget constraints to meet deadlines.

When you finish your shadowing period, you’ll have some work experience to list on your resume (as well as some paying clients). And who knows, just like with freelance projects, you could impress them so much that you might score your first salaried gig! Or just get some good references for your resume.

UX Design Internship

Build Your Professional Network

We’ve dunked on LinkedIn a little bit in this article, but we don’t hate it at all! It’s a pretty neat platform for showing off your work, finding jobs, and getting to know people in the UX field.

Your LinkedIn profile shouldn’t be a place to flex or brag about your work ethic. Instead, use it to give potential employers a glimpse into your professional life. Post about your work experience (projects, clients, success stories, skills, the works).

You can also join groups for user experience professionals to share your work and digitally mingle with UX designers. Comment on posts, share your insights about best practices, offer feedback, and send a few personalized connection requests while you’re at it.

And, of course, there are job opportunities. On the date of writing this blog (05/16/23), there are 6,000+ open positions for junior UX designers on LinkedIn. That’s not even touching other platforms like Glassdoor and ZipRecruiter!

You can narrow down your choices by preferences like location, remote, etc. When you find a job you’d be a perfect fit for, start sending in your applications! Attach your resume and portfolio pieces so recruiters can quickly evaluate your skills and qualifications.

Junior UX Design Jobs on Linkedin

Master Common Interview Questions

Congrats! You landed your first interview for a junior UX design job! Pat yourself on the back.

When it comes to prepping for interviews, it helps to practice with a friend or family member to shake off some pre-meeting jitters. But will they ask you the right questions to help you ace your interview?

It’s hard to know exactly what they will ask you, especially if you’re interviewing for a position in a specific industry. We’re not psychic apes, but we can predict some basic questions they might ask you.

Common Interview Questions:

  • “Tell me about yourself.”
  • Translation: “Do you have the experience needed for this position?”
  • “What is UX design?”
  • Translation: “Do you understand the value of UX design?”
  • “What is the difference between UX and UI?”
  • Translation: “Do you know that these terms aren’t interchangeable?”
  • “What are some of your favorite digital products?”
  • Translation: “Do you understand what makes a good user experience?”
  • “What is your process for creating a UX design?”
  • Translation: “Do you have an organized, strategic approach to projects?”
  • “Tell me about a time you got some negative feedback on a project.”
  • Translation: “Can you take criticism and learn from your mistakes?”
  • “What are your strengths and weaknesses as a UX designer?”
  • Translation: “Will you be successful in this role? How will you continue improving?”
  • “How would you improve the UX of (product name)?”
  • Translation: “Have you researched the company? Are you thinking ahead?”
  • “Do you have any questions for us?”
  • Translation: “How interested are you? Do you want to learn more?”

They may have some more questions, but it’s on you to do your due diligence and research the company. Come armed with the knowledge you need to ace your interview.

And above all, BREATHE! You got this!

Junior UX Design Job Interview

Start Your UX Career Off Right

Looking for a junior UX design job is stressful no matter what. Between the competitive market and outlandish experience requirements, it all feels like a little much.

It’s important to remember that recruiters are looking for someone teachable, not someone they’ll have to hand-hold every step of the way. If you come in with some successful project experience, awareness of best practices, and knowledge of design systems, you’ll be a much more attractive candidate.

Finding the right junior UX design job takes time and effort. But with a few solid portfolio pieces and client names for your resume, you can show potential employers that you have the right stuff to make their projects successful.

Think you’ve got what it takes to make it in the jungle? We’re always on the hunt for UX designers to join our shrewdness of apes.

Check out our open positions and apply now!

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October 10, 2022
Combatting Imposter Syndrome as a UX Professional

Imposter syndrome: An internal experience of believing that you are not as competent as others perceive you to be — a persistent feeling that you have lied or conned your way into your job.

If you’re looking at that definition and thinking: “Hey, that’s me!”, then this blog is for you.

Though it’s not a diagnosable mental illness, it’s incredibly common among professionals (especially in the UX field). It’s not a good feeling. It impairs your confidence, your ability to own your creations, and your willingness to learn and grow.

You went through the interview process, proved your skill set, accepted your offer, and turned in some amazing projects. But no matter how much good work you do, you still can’t help but feel like two kids in a trench coat trying to sneak into an R-rated movie. 

Let us give you some reassurance before we show you how to face your self-doubt:

  • You are not alone! Up to 82% of people experience imposter syndrome at some point. Even the best UX designers in the game have experienced feelings of inadequacy before.
  • You earned your job. Either through years of hard work or an impressive portfolio, you were chosen for the job for a reason.
  • When you get harsh feedback or feel like you’re turning in subpar work, just remember that one bad project does not mean you’re a bad UX/UI designer.
  • No one goes into a job knowing everything. Even the top-earning UX designers still run into trouble.

The CreateApe team is full of experienced and accomplished UX professionals with some impressive projects under our belts. But that doesn’t mean we’re safe from doubting our skills.

Here are just a few ways we fend off imposter syndrome at CreateApe. If you ever catch yourself feeling like you don’t deserve your job, keep these tips in mind for a little self-confidence boost.

Tips for Combatting Imposter Syndrome

Be Transparent

“What helps me is being self-aware when it does happen. It’s usually the case when I’m being challenged and in a space of growth. I think it also helps to be transparent about it and talk to someone whether it’s another fellow designer or lead. At some point, designers will and do go through this at all levels in their careers.” Sheryl, UX Designer at CreateApe

When you can’t will yourself out of imposter syndrome, talking to someone about it always helps. One of your teammates could have some insight, or just be willing to lend a sympathetic ear.

Speaking your thoughts out loud is a great way to put things in perspective. We have thousands of thoughts a day, and they’re not always rational or organized. Give yourself some grace and realize that everyone gets overwhelmed and needs help.

It also helps you build trust and deepen relationships with your design team. Chances are that someone is willing to offer their experience and support to guide you through project pitfalls and further your UX skills.

Keep Practicing

“Something that really helped me was keeping in mind that everyone was once a beginner. Nobody is born with incredible UX skills. It's just like any other skill - you can only improve by practicing and dedicating yourself to learning as much as you can about it.” Aarin, UX Designer at CreateApe

It may be cliche, but everyone starts somewhere. When you have a solid foundation for a skill, the only way to go is up! 

Don’t view your weaknesses as shortcomings. See them as room for improvement. When your imposter syndrome tells you “You don’t know how to do this? You must not be a real UX designer.” reframe your point of view to say “Learning how to do this will make me so much better than I already am.”

Be Open to Change

“I feel I’m going to keep learning for the rest of my life. Even when you master something, there will be new trends and more things to always keep you busy, so it’s more about continuous learning other than really mastering something.” Bea, UX Designer at CreateApe

UX is iterative by design. New technologies, new best practices, new things to learn. Don’t beat yourself up too badly if you’re not up on the latest trends. Every designer needs to catch up at some point in their career.

Keep an open mind and welcome change. Follow design publications or even social media profiles to keep an eye out for trends and think about how they can improve your designs. A fresh eye never hurts.

Take Baby Steps

"Some people aren't able to take these kinds of problems head-on, and that's alright. Taking a step-by-step approach would be much healthier in this case, because if you try to force yourself to change in an environment you're not familiar with, it will eventually lead to burnout." Chris, UX Researcher/Writer at CreateApe

When some people feel overwhelmed at work, they find the best way to meet the challenge is to just charge ahead. But, we all don’t work the same way.

You absolutely need to take a breather when you need it. To help yourself feel more organized before taking on your next big task, sit down and think about the specific things you need to do. Write them down if you must. This will help you visualize everything you're responsible for and hopefully make everything seem more manageable.

Professional burnout is no joke. Not only does it affect your performance, but it also has serious physical symptoms that impact your work-life balance. Remember that no one is invincible and that everyone needs to take a step back every now and then.

Understand That You Don’t Know Everything

“I love learning, I will inhale any tutorial that seems cool for motion topics and learn pretty fast (including interaction design, character design, and such). I think my impostor syndrome comes from the understanding that I can’t know everything there is to know and I can and will make mistakes that can alter other people’s perception of my knowledge.” Ellie, Interaction Designer at CreateApe

Think of the smartest person you know. No matter how knowledgeable they are, chances are that you’re better at something than they are. Elon Musk can build a rocketship, but would you trust him to cook a stunning 5-course meal or sew a dress for a big, fancy gala?

There’s no way for us to be good at everything and no one expects us to be. Trust your skills, but accept that there are always things to learn that will make us better at our jobs. You will never reach that all-knowing status (and that’s okay)!

Focus on Positives

“I actually keep a “Kudos” book on my desk. Whenever a client or a team member compliments my work, I write it down to remind myself that I’m on the right track. Whenever I’m feeling down on myself, I look back on the positive feedback I’ve gotten and it gives me the validation I need to move forward.” Rylie, UX Writer for CreateApe

Everyone needs a pick-me-up now and then to pull themselves out of a funk. It’s hard to not dwell on the negative when imposter syndrome rears its ugly head. Try to reflect on past successes and remind yourself that there will be plenty more down the line.

Remember that imposter syndrome is just a temporary state of mind. It comes and goes just like the weather. Give yourself a break, focus on your favorite projects, and get excited for the next one coming around the corner.

Imposter Syndrome is Creeping in, What Should I Do?

Relax, take a breather, walk outside, get some coffee, and (above all) be kind to yourself.

We take mental health seriously here at CreateApe. Because when we feel good, we put out our best work (and vice versa).

Whether you’re an industry newbie or a senior UX designer with tons of projects under your belt, imposter syndrome can creep up anytime, anywhere. Just remember that you got your job for a reason. No one can pull a random person off the street and have them do what you do.

When you’re feeling underqualified, reassure yourself that everyone feels this way from time to time. Keep these tips in mind, and as the British say: “Keep Calm and Carry On.”

Does CreateApe sound like your kind of place? Think you’d be a great fit for our Jungle? Check out our open jobs and start your UX career today!

Want to brush up on a few UX topics? We have a beginner's guide for how to become a UX designer, a directory of our favorite UX/UI design courses, a comprehensive UX writing guide, and much, MUCH more! Our team is all about sharing our knowledge, so check out those resources and others on the CreateApe blog.

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September 18, 2023
7 Tips for Better UX Design Critiques

Ahhh, UX Design Critiques…Love ‘em or hate ‘em, they’re a vital part of guaranteeing our designs are the best they can be.

As much as a designer wants their creation to be 100% their vision, we occasionally need outsider perspectives to help us spot flaws or reconsider user goals to ensure we’re fulfilling the product's purpose.

Though 92% of people believe constructive criticism helps them improve their overall performance, many employees (in any kind of work setting) struggle with taking and giving it. But why is that when the majority acknowledges its importance?

It all comes down to how it’s delivered. What seems constructive to the giver could be construed as pointed or downright bullying to the receiver (in vice versa).

The fact is that interpersonal communication skills influence the delivery and usefulness of our feedback. So, how can you ensure that your criticisms land just right and lead to actionable next steps?

7 Tips For Better UX Design Critiques:

  • Be straightforward
  • Ask for explanations
  • Offer suggestions
  • Link feedback to goals and KPIs
  • Ask open-ended questions
  • Keep critiques relegated to in-person or video meetings
  • Remove your biases

Why Are Design Critiques Necessary?

UX design has a few too many moving parts for a single designer to handle on their own. Chances are that multiple team members, from interaction designers to web developers, will touch the project to ensure everything works as intended.

Even if a product requires several team members, everything has to gel together to create a cohesive experience.

By building a collaborative culture where cross-functional teams can offer diverse perspectives and keep each other aligned, critique sessions become a valuable asset in communication and risk mitigation.

In layman’s terms, design critiques (when done right) help your team feel supported and spark ongoing learning. And isn’t that what every designer wants out of their career?

Plus, the more your team shares tips and tricks with each other, the better the products will be in the long run. Through frequent critique sessions, designers and developers can continuously improve their processes and methodologies, leading to higher efficiency and cost-effectiveness (project managers, hint hint).

Why Are Critiques So Intimidating?

With as many benefits as critiques have, you may wonder “How could anyone hate getting feedback on their work?”

Listen, digital product designers are artists. And we’re a sensitive bunch! There are a few (valid) reasons why someone would be apprehensive about getting their work criticized:

  • Vulnerability: Designers put a piece of themselves into their work. They fear criticism and rejection.
  • Fear of Negative Feedback: Nobody likes to hear negative feedback, even when it's constructive and especially when it’s something they put their blood, sweat, and tears into.
  • Imposter Syndrome: Designers may worry that their colleagues will see them as impostors. This is true for junior designers or those new to a team.
  • Time Pressure: Tight project deadlines can create apprehension. Designers may worry that they won't have time to make necessary changes.
  • Perfectionism: Designers often strive for perfection in their work, and critique sessions can highlight imperfections. The fear of not meeting their high standards can exacerbate insecurities.

Critique sessions should be a safe space where everyone can share thoughts and not feel judged. The goal is to create an environment where no idea is a bad idea, kind of like an initial brainstorming session.

But how can you manage a collaborative critique session (where nothing’s off the table) and still remain productive?

Setting Up Your Critique Session

Organizing a smooth critique session requires a lot more than just gathering participants. To keep things moving, the meeting organizer should limit the number of participants to the project team and a few design leads. A smaller audience allows people to focus on the big picture and leave space for everyone to share their thoughts.

Unfortunately, critiques can’t always be intimate affairs between close colleagues. So whether your meeting involves a select few or the entire organization, here’s what you can do to facilitate a structured, productive session:

  • Define Clear Objectives: Begin by establishing goals. What specific aspects of the design are you seeking feedback on? What are the desired outcomes? Clear objectives help participants stay focused.
  • Define Roles & Responsibilities: Typical roles include the designer presenting the work, reviewers providing feedback, and a facilitator/moderator managing the session.
  • Set An Agenda: Outline the structure of the session, including time allocated for each component. You should also share this agenda with your teammates so they know what to expect.
  • Time Management: Stick to the allotted time for the agenda. This helps maintain the session's momentum and ensures that everyone has a chance to participate. Use a timer to remind participants when a discussion is running too long.
  • Record The Meeting: Use platform features or special software to record the meeting for participants to revisit later. With all the new AI tools available, you can find something that reviews your tone and delivery to improve your presentation skills.

7 Tips To Elevate Your UX Design Critiques

Creating a no-judgement zone for constructive feedback is easier said than done. After all, the success of your session hinges on factors outside of your control.

It’s not just about the criticisms you give — it’s about how the receiver interprets your feedback and the active participation of everyone in the meeting. It’s more than strategizing products and design processes, it’s an essential team-building exercise that contributes to the ongoing success of your company.

Now that we’ve illustrated the pivotal role of critiques, let’s talk about ways to improve interpersonal communication through criticism.

Be Straightforward

We get it, you’re not out to hurt someone’s feelings when you’re critiquing their work. But being vague or sugarcoating your feedback won’t lead to actionable takeaways.

Now, we’re not telling you to rip someone’s designs to shreds. Instead, try a balanced approach to your criticisms. State the positives, but highlight the drawbacks (sometimes known as the compliment sandwich).

By offering measured and straightforward suggestions, you’re giving the presenter clear feedback, helping them understand the exact issue you’re trying to convey without completely tearing them down.

Example: “I like this color palette, but the call-to-action button color doesn't provide enough contrast with the background, making it hard to spot. For better click-through rates, consider using a more contrasting color to improve visibility.”

Ask For Explanations

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again. What you don’t know is what you don’t know! If you’re critiquing a project you’re not involved in (or the person presenting is handling a different aspect of the project), you might not fully grasp the presenter’s thought process.

If you’re unsure about an approach, don’t be afraid to ask for clarification or further insights. Remember, designers immerse themselves in data throughout the project. They may have sound reasoning or verified metrics to support their design decisions.

Example: “I noticed that you've used a carousel for displaying featured products. Can you explain the reasoning behind this choice? I'm curious to understand how it aligns with our user's browsing behavior.”

Offer Suggestions

Design critiques are just as much about user experience as the products we create — and nobody wants to feel like they’re solving a problem alone. Instead of explaining “what” is wrong and “why” it’s wrong, suggest alternatives and work through their blockers.

By transforming the critique session into a collaborative problem-solving opportunity, you’re encouraging a mindset of "we're all in this together,” where everyone bounces ideas back and forth to find the best solution.

This is also a chance to define user testing flows (or A/B tests) to see which solutions work better for the intended audience. Because you never really know what target users will respond to until you get the product in front of them.

Example: “The checkout process requires users to fill out a lengthy form. We should implement a guest checkout option. This would allow users to make a purchase without the need for a full account setup.”

Link Feedback To Goals

Between iterations and client suggestions, it’s easy for the user’s needs to get lost in the shuffle. That’s why we need our team members to hold us accountable and help us remember the problems we’re trying to solve.

When critiquing a design, referencing research findings and user data bridges the gap between subjective opinions and objective reality. It also helps the designer understand that something could make sense to them logically, but not to the person they’re designing for.

When you present suggestions rooted in user research, you're not just offering opinions but contributing to the user-centered design process. This approach reminds your team of the shared commitment to creating designs that meet user expectations.

Example: “The navigation menu includes a 'News' section, but based on our user research, our primary focus is on e-commerce products. We might want to replace the 'News' section with 'Best Sellers' or 'New Arrivals' to encourage users to explore and purchase our products more easily.”

Ask Open-Ended Questions

Asking open-ended questions during a design critique sparks critical thinking, detailed feedback, and in-depth discussions within the team. Think of them as a thought experiment to improve product designs.

Open-ended questions don't have a single, specific answer. Instead, they invite the designer to provide context, rationale, and insights into their design choices. They also help designers feel less self-conscious about getting involved since there are no wrong answers.

This open-ended approach prompts the designer and other participants to consider various scenarios and user perspectives, leading to a richer discussion.

Example: “How did you arrive at the decision to use a card-based layout for the product listing page? Can you share more about the factors that influenced this choice?”

Remove Your Biases

We all have our own opinions on what looks and feels better. But we’re rarely the exact persona we’re designing for. So if you hate a color, trend, or phrase, it’s probably not useful feedback (unless you can find verifiable evidence supporting your bias).

User-centered design places the user's perspective and needs at the forefront of the design process. Its name alone acknowledges that what may be appealing or intuitive to one person may not necessarily align with the preferences and expectations of the target user group.

Remove your biases to ensure that the design solutions discussed in the critique are grounded in evidence and objectivity, creating a laser focus on the end user instead of personal whims.

Bad Example: "I don't like the color scheme you've chosen for this app. It's too bright and doesn't appeal to me personally."Good Example: "The color scheme should be evaluated based on its alignment with our target audience and their preferences. We should conduct some user testing for color preferences."

Keep Critiques Relegated To In-Person Or Video Meetings

While written critiques serve their purpose, especially for asynchronous communication and documentation, they don’t capture the depth and immediacy of in-person or video meetings.

In-person or video meetings provide an environment where participants can socialize, read expressions, sense tone, and communicate the purpose behind their feedback. Since we know how easily context gets lost over text, face-to-face meetings don’t leave as much room for misinterpretation.

These methods ensure that the intent behind the feedback is accurately conveyed, leading to a more productive and collaborative critique session.

Tips For Receiving Design Feedback

Yes, giving feedback can be uncomfortable sometimes. But let’s not forget that the receiving end can also throw us for a loop, especially when we’re so invested in a project and showing it to someone who’s not as involved.

We can be told to remove our egos from the situation a thousand times, but there’s still that feeling of disappointment when our hard work doesn’t go to plan. Don’t be upset with yourself when you feel this way — it happens with the best of us.

Here are a few tips to help you cope with negative feedback and turn it into something positive:

  • Be Prepared To Answer Questions: Anticipate that reviewers may have questions about your design decisions. Be ready to provide context, rationale, and user research findings to help them understand your choices.
  • Remain Open-Minded: Be receptive to different viewpoints and resist the urge to become defensive. Remember that critique sessions are about improving the design, not personal validation.
  • Take Notes: Keep a notebook or digital note-taking tool handy during the critique. Jot down feedback, suggestions, and questions as they come up. This helps you capture valuable insights and ensures that you don't forget important points.
  • Promote Equal Participation: Show your audience that you care about their feedback by asking follow-up questions and leaving room for discussion. As the designer, you can facilitate this by inviting quieter team members to share their thoughts and opinions.
  • Avoid Immediate Rebuttals: When you receive feedback, it's natural to want to defend your design choices. However, it's often more productive to listen and absorb the feedback first, even if you don't agree. Take time to reflect before responding.
  • Focus On Problems, Not Personalities: Remember that critique sessions are about evaluating the design, not the individuals involved. Keep the conversation centered on design issues and avoid personalizing feedback.
  • Schedule Follow-Ups: After the critique session, schedule follow-up meetings to discuss and address the feedback received. This demonstrates your commitment to improvement and gives you a chance to present revised design iterations or ask for guidance if needed.

Use UX Design Critiques To Your Advantage!

In the ever-evolving world of UX design, one thing remains constant: design critiques are necessary to ensure that our designs reach their full potential.

Designers often invest their hearts and souls into their creations, but the input of outsiders can help spot flaws and realign user goals to fulfill the project's purpose. While many still struggle with giving and receiving it, the key to effective critiques lies in the delivery and communication skills involved.

By mastering the art of design critiques, designers can create a culture of constructive feedback and continuous improvement, ultimately delivering better user experiences.

Design critiques are not just beneficial for team-building; they are a valuable tool in the UX designer's arsenal for success. So go forth, critique, and (as usual) be kind.

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August 21, 2023
5 Industries That Could Use Some UX Design Help

As a design team working across numerous products and disciplines, we’ve seen plenty of industries with poor UX design.

This isn’t to throw shade at you if you feel like your digital product is lacking in the user experience front. Because if we’ve learned one thing in our collective 20+ years, every problem has a solution.

Before talking to a UX consultant or agency, realize you’re not alone! Our research and evaluation phases include a robust competitive analysis, and we’ve seen the same design flaws tank user experiences, no matter how established the product is within your designated industry.

But the good news is that you can capitalize on these weaknesses to benefit your business. With the right strategy and a little know-how on the basics of UX design fundamentals, you can avoid the common design issues in your industry and lead its digital expansion by example.

Full Disclosure

The industries with poor UX design we included in this article are based on our opinions (with a few facts to back up our conclusions).

While we’ve certainly created projects and apps for some of these industries, there are a few fields of business in this list that we haven’t touched yet. While our opinions are formed by research and best practices, this blog intends to get the wheels turning and start a conversation on how to improve user experiences in these vital industries.

Furthermore, we’re not singling anyone out or trying to hurt feelings. While we generally like showing examples of what NOT to do, we’d rather tell you about what audiences feel when interacting with products in that industry to show you avenues for improvement.

If we mention a company by name, it's either a UX success story or to cite a specific case study that illustrates our point.

Now let’s get to the list proper 😎

5 Industries With Poor UX Design

Digital market trends have tipped toward more user-centric experiences for years, but some industries still need to catch up with the times. And you know what happens when household-name companies refuse to catch up.

According to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 95% of digital products fail within the first year due to poor user experience. And NO industry or company is immune from the effects.
Source: MIT

Industries with poor UX design (from video rental chains and office supply manufacturing giants) toppled due to their inability to adapt to the digital age. But while new companies quickly took their place and made our lives easier, the industries listed here aren't going away anytime soon.

While this is good news for the major players involved, it creates confusion and frustration for the users — giving them a sense of dread every time they interact with one of these products. Is that really how you want users to feel whenever they need you to accomplish a goal?

We’re using this space to (gently) call out industries with poor UX design. But we’re not ones to dwell on the negative, so we’re also drawing from our experience and knowledge of best practices to discuss ways to improve them!


You’d think that our federal and local governments could create some less annoying websites with all the tax dollars we pay (okay, we promise that’s the last bit of shade we’ll throw).

Governments have several moving parts, so figuring out where to pay your taxes, update your voter registration, or apply for a permit is already confusing. Digital portals cut down on hectic office visits, but the overwhelming amount of information you have to sift through makes the process even more stressful.

Poor information architecture and disorganized content hierarchy aren’t the only problems with most government websites. The visual designs are painfully outdated — which is a huge factor in a user deciding whether or not they should trust a website.

And unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last seven years, the Government needs to gain our trust now more than ever.

How A User-Centric Experience Saved The UK Government £1.7 Billion In 2015

If you’re a government employee that needs to convince your stakeholders of the value of UX in Government services, take a page from our friends across the pond!

In 2015, GOV.UK transitioned most of its public services to a digital platform. The website itself isn’t the most visually exciting interface. But prioritizing its most visited services above the fold during the two-year transformation program led to a higher follow-through with voter registration, making a lasting power of attorney, and carer’s allowance.

The impact of the streamlined digital transition was stellar. In the following months:

  • 98% of driving tests were booked online
  • 85% of self-assessment filings were executed electronically
  • 12 million eligible citizens registered to vote using digital services

Simple Ways To Improve Your Government’s Digital Services

A simplified sitemap and a clean, legible interface go a long way. But there are a few key things to remember when revamping a website for government services.

  1. Prioritize Service Portals Over News & Updates: We know YOU think the latest Government happenings are super interesting. But users don’t want to scroll through a pile of articles to update their voter registration or get new vehicle tags.

    Conduct user testing to pinpoint the services with the highest activity on your Government’s site. Then ensure they can find those web portals when they first land on the page. Save news and blogs for social media accounts.
  1. Prepare For The Worst: While we don’t like to dwell on the negative, the COVID-19 Pandemic showed us how unprepared our state and local Governments were for disasters. Even though the worst of the pandemic is over (*knocks on wood*), you never know which new fiasco could be around the corner.

    New bills or laws have serious ramifications for your citizens, business owners, and taxpayers. Be prepared to give your site visitors the lowdown with alerts and relevant FAQs — also, ensure your prominent service portals are ready for an influx of users.
  1. Improve Page Loading Speeds: Since Government websites are large products with multiple pages, some may load slower than others. If a user needs to make payments or apply for a loan or permit, you must maintain these pages to function at optimal speeds.

    Quick load times facilitate higher transaction completion and lower checkout abandonment rates. Plus, it relieves a massive burden on your customer support team. Keep a web development team around to perform regular website maintenance and alleviate customer frustrations.
Fixing Government Digital Experience:1. Prioritize service portals over news and updates2. Prepare for the worst3. Improve page load speeds


One word: Paperwork.

While some hospital systems and healthcare practices have websites that make insurance verification and online booking a breeze, it’s no secret that all the paperwork involved makes them one of the most notorious industries with poor UX design.

A study from 2018 by the American Medical Association showed that 70% of physicians spent ten or more hours on paperwork and other administrative tasks per week. This takes away valuable face-to-face time in the patient experience and casts a negative light on the whole industry.

How An Incident Management System Helped Performance Health Partners Focus On Delivering Quality Care

While the patient end of healthcare is paramount, provider burnout has far-reaching consequences for people in their care. It’s not just patient records they’re responsible for — they have to manage their own tasks and report incidents on behalf of their employer.

This example of excellent UX comes from the CreateApe camp! And we’re not just tooting our own horn. We created an incident reporting tool for Performance Health Partners to help their healthcare clients document safety and compliance events within their employee population.

By reducing the time it takes to report an incident and follow the proper protocols, our digital tool alleviated providers of tedious administrative tasks, allowing them to spend more time with their patients, eliminate a portion of after-hours paperwork, and improve overall outcomes for the hospital’s population.

This isn’t just an assumption, either. Our Incident Management System was ranked #1 by Best In KLAS earlier this year after scoring 13.3 points higher than the average KLAS software! A Best In KLAS designation indicates that a digital tool enables a healthcare provider to efficiently meet the needs of their patients and providers alike.

Simple Ways To Improve The Digital Healthcare Experience

  1. Consider Patient And Provider Needs Equally: Provider burnout affects us all. And with the rapidly dwindling number of healthcare workers and increasing patient populations, we need to eliminate as many barriers as possible.

    This could be as simple as asking for patient intake forms when someone books an online appointment or an electronic payment portal. Anything that reduces wait times and after-hours paperwork for physicians — the solutions you implement should be mutually beneficial.
  1. Incorporate Telehealth Appointments: Only some check-ups require an in-person visit. And since the Pandemic turned us into a bunch of homebodies, telehealth appointments are a quick and easy avenue for symptom reporting and prescription updates.

    This may seem obvious since most providers already offer telehealth appointments. But you should always ensure your video conference platforms are optimized and secure. Plus, features like an online waiting room and time estimates can significantly improve the telehealth experience.
  1. UX-ify Patient And Provider Portals: Healthcare portals don’t need to be the most visually exciting thing on the planet, but an organized information architecture and easy-to-navigate dashboard go a long way.

    The patient's experience outside the facility walls can drastically alter the perception of their care. Always provide quick access to patient records, diagnostic results, provider messages, and payment flows. The easier patients can find the services they need, the less burden on your receptionists.
Fixing Healthcare Digital Experiences:1. Consider patient and provider needs equally2. Incorporate telehealth appointments3. UX-ify patient and provider portals

News Websites

Print may be dead, but it’s still alive online! However, whether it’s a huge publication or a niche digital rag, many news sites are littered with user experience flaws that drive people away from their most interesting stories.

A news website doesn’t seem super complicated on a surface level. But when you consider the categories, writers, and archives that go into a user’s interaction with the site, the sitemap becomes much more elaborate.

Couple basic search features and filters with excessive pop-up ads and gated content — you get another industry with poor UX design.

Where News Websites And Apps Fall Short Of User Expectations

We'll use a case study by Sally Chen from UX Collective to demonstrate why news platforms (specifically the Apple News App) consistently rank among industries with poor UX design. By looking at Chen’s findings and user research, we can see a lot of similar problems between other news products.

Through Chen’s audit, she discovered that the app’s functionalities were limited. To make the experience more adaptable to the user’s taste and encourage repeat usage, she conducted user tests to see what consumers wanted from their news sites.

These common pain points were cited:

  • “For You” stories were not relevant to the user’s interests
  • Skipping the “Follow Your Favorites” step due to an overwhelming number of options
  • “Save”, “Like”, or “Share Story” options were too hard to find
  • The search page automatically suggests topics the user is not interested in
  • Way too many notifications
  • No search bar to quickly find saved stories
  • No theme or font options for comfortability and accessibility

Simple Ways To Improve Online News Navigation And Consumption

Chen’s UX fixes focus on news applications, but websites can benefit from these strategies too!

A simple interface that lists your stories isn’t enough for the average news reader anymore. These days, users have too many interests, biases, and reading habits — and they expect those intricacies to be catered to if you want to hold their attention.

  1. Survey Your Users: How can you gauge your audience’s unique interests so you can entice them with new content? A survey is a safe bet, making users feel more engaged with your brand.

    With a survey, you can ask your users various questions to tailor your content to their tastes and attention span, such as their favorite topics, authors, political leanings, etc. You can also use your survey findings to shape your onboarding flows with updates from trusted publications, new pieces from their favorite authors, and localization elements.
  1. Provide (Limited) Free Articles: We understand that news platforms need to make money since physical copies don’t sell well. We also believe that journalists should get paid for the hard work they put into their articles. But still, users are unlikely to purchase a monthly subscription without content previews.

    We’re not suggesting you give away the whole store. But 3-5 free articles a month are sufficient to give the user a taste of your content and let them decide if they want to pay up for more. You can also sweeten the pot with access to exclusive member content when they join.
  1. Simplify Search Bars: It’s okay to recommend the newest articles on your search page, as long as they don’t overpower the search bar. A better approach here is to recommend popular topics or keywords (like Chen did in her Apple News App redesign).

    Plus, adding a search bar to your “Saved Stories” screen will help the user find the content they want to read later much faster (if you’re like us and save too many stories to keep track of).
Fixing Digital News Experiences1. Survey your users (design by Kate on Dribbble)2. Provide (limited) free articles3. Simplify search bars


Whether you’re part of a large firm or an independent practice, many legal websites make the same mistakes — making them one of the most well-known industries with poor UX design. Your legal website should reflect you and your services, but it also needs to speak to the types of clients you serve.

Many lawyers would agree that the hardest part of their job is gaining and keeping their client’s trust. Since the first interaction with a lawyer is through a website, you should show (not tell) your commitment to their best interests.

So, while your website should boast your skills and experience in the legal field, it’s imperative to balance that line between you and your users to persuade them to set up a consultation.

How A Focused Website Design Increased Law 888’s User Base

And another one from the CreateApe team!

Law 888 is an established personal injury law firm in California specializing in immigration, social security, criminal defense, and worker’s compensation law. Despite their excellent reviews, their website was cluttered with unfocused information and branding.

When we tested with their target users, their major pain points were the lack of educational content to help them understand their case (law is complicated, people) and limited translation options for the website’s content (when the majority of their clients were Spanish, Mandarin, or Cantonese-speaking).

Instead of reorganizing the sitemap and translating the copy into plain-spoken language, we updated the branding to reflect their average client. We deeply studied Hispanic, Latino, and Chinese cultures to understand what resonated with them, then translated everything into the new visual design.

The success was palpable. Plus, with some strategic SEO implementation, we increased their website visits by 5,000 users!

What Speaks To The Average Client?

The most important thing to remember for users seeking legal representation is that they’re going through a STRESSFUL time. They’re likely learning a bunch of new jargon and processes on the fly — and all they want is to feel supported.

You may feel compelled to talk about yourself or your practice with your website, but that won't inspire a potential client to get in touch. Instead, use this first digital touchpoint to help them understand their rights and options when navigating the complicated field of law.

  1. Avoid Distractions: We love clever load screen animations or a parallax scrolling effect. But as the kids say, read the room. When interacting with a law site, the user wants to find the information that applies to them quickly.

    Aim for clean and fast-loading search features, content displays, and screen transitions. And this goes without saying, pop-up ads, autoplay videos, and flashing images. The more control you give the user over their own experience, the more trust you subconsciously instill between them and your practice.
  1. Optimize For Mobile: A common faux pas we’ve seen among our legal clients is an unoptimized (or altogether missing) mobile experience. Since 92.3% of internet users access the web through a mobile device, it’s imperative to translate your experience across devices.

    Plus, since users may need to access your contact information on the go, ensure they can find your email and phone number easily for whatever problems they run into while preparing for court.
  1. Use Clear, Concise CTAs: A call-to-action button can make or break a consultation inquiry. So you must ensure they’re not buried too low in the web page or relegated to embedded links.

    Ideally, they’ll have a spot above the fold on your home page. But you’ll want to intersperse them throughout your services and about us pages so they’re easily accessible throughout the user journey. And don’t forget a strong call-to-action on your contact form.
Fixing Legal Digital Experiences:1. Avoid distractions2. Optimize for mobile3. Use clear, concise CTAs


Our list is in no particular order, but we’re putting banking and financial digital products low among industries with poor UX design because most fintech companies keep their platforms relatively simple. Perhaps a little too simple…

It seems counterintuitive for a UX design company to point out oversimplification as a negative. But let’s be real, some of these product designs are snoozefests. As we said earlier in the Government section, looks are everything (especially for tech-forward millennials and Gen-Z’s starting their first accounts).

Also, when it comes to keeping their banking information and assets secure, users need that extra context to provide guidance and avoid misunderstandings related to their money.

Common Fintech Pain Points

Just like the legal field, the finance industry is full of fancy jargon and elaborate concepts that are too complex to explain in plain language. But while some of us may never seek legal counsel (if we’re lucky), we all need to know how money works.

Unless you’re a Wall Street player or an avid investor, it’s hard to make these financial topics interesting enough to help users understand how taxes, interest rates, debt, and assets impact their income. At the end of the day, the average user only cares about making ends meet.

On top of the inherently dull nature of finances, the lack of friction is an unexpected struggle for fintech products. Users want an accessible and easy-to-use product, but it can’t be so seamless that it accidentally leads them to make mistakes with their money. 

With the cost of living and inflation at an all-time high, misinterpreting balances and budgets could have severe consequences. Take the case of Alexander Kearns as a cautionary tale for the effects of poorly designed financial UX.

(We’ll let you read this one on your own. But as a trigger warning, this article does discuss suicide.)

Encourage Financial Literacy & Confidence With An Excellent User Experience

While Kearns’ case is an outlier, it shows us the impact that industries with poor UX design have on their users. It also demonstrates just how far some simple tips, alerts, and notifications can go in preventing a tragedy (or at least recklessness with money).

But how should banks and investment platforms toe the line between easy-to-use and conscientious? Since money is a major concern for everyone, a consumer-first mindset is especially paramount for fintech products.

  1. Implement Extra Security Measures: Healthcare isn’t the only field where digital products store sensitive information. To gain the user’s trust and confidence, reassure them that their account information, assets, and transactions are safe from prying eyes.

    Users generally prefer quick access, but not when their money is on the line. Don’t be afraid to use extra validation methods, such as two-factor authentication or security questions, as a protective barrier against bank and credit card fraud.
  1. Explain How Alerts Apply To Them: Excessive alerts and notifications from your organization are a total turn-off. But knowing is half the battle when it comes to responsibly managing finances. That’s why you should always keep the “What’s in it for me?” angle in mind.

    If your UX makeover just launched, show users where to find their cards, transactions, and other account details. If there was a major change in their balance, alert the user of any direct deposits or overdraft fees. And if a stock is performing well or completely tanking, provide information about the next steps to avoid reactionary mismanagement.
  1. Incorporate Gamification: We know we made fintech UX sound so serious — and it is! But that doesn’t mean your experience should be sterile and boring. They need to be engaged in your content to truly understand their finances. And gamification is a fun, immersive way to help them connect the dots.

    A gamified interface looks different depending on the type of platform. For a banking app, you can incentivize the users to set budget goals and show them how they’re performing from month to month (and where they rank among a percentage of your customers). For investment platforms, it could be social elements or knowledge assessment quizzes for newbies or seasoned investors.

    The goal is to get creative and find what drives that sense of healthy competition (and repeat usage).
Fixing Fintech Digital Experiences:1. Implement extra security measures2. Explain how alerts apply to them3. Incorporate gamification

Feel Called Out?

Maybe…but if you’re involved in these industries with poor UX design, we hope you don’t feel singled out. The industries we discussed here all share a common need for significant improvement in user experience.

It's important to remember that these criticisms are not meant to attack or shame, but rather highlight the areas where UX design enhancements can benefit both companies and users.

As we've seen, even well-established industries with significant user bases can falter without seamless solutions. But these practical strategies can enhance your company’s perception (and your whole industry by extension).

By recognizing the frustrations with your industry’s digital offering, you can capitalize on those weaknesses, ensure trust with your users, and lead by example.

If you feel like any part of this article applies to you and your company, there are two things to remember: you are not alone and it is okay to ask for help. 

Working with a UX designer or an agency (*ahem*...*AHEM*) can get you closer to understanding your product’s flaws and guide you on the proper path to fixing them. Start a project with us today!

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