Common mistakes of junior UX designers

Torresburriel Estudio
4 min readJul 3, 2024

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It is increasingly noticeable that more and more graphic designers, psychology specialists, marketers (and other disciplines) have decided to focus their professional work on the world of user experience. Over the years, there is a growing demand for junior positions focused on digital UX design.

Photo by Mapbox on Unsplash

The signs indicating that user experience implies a significant “before and after” in achieving business objectives and in user feedback around a digital product have led to this demand being accompanied by a supply of jobs in the sector. UX provides many job opportunities for a variety of profiles, from those with years of expertise to those just starting and at the beginning of their journey into user-centered design.

As with any job, it is common for UX designers who are just starting, or commonly referred to as “junior,” to make a series of mistakes or errors that can cause frustration and block them in the course of conceptualization, research, definition, or even design tasks.

However, many of these mistakes, which may initially seem like real problems, end up being as common as necessary for all designers to identify, define better work habits, and iterate on their methods to keep improving as designers until they find their place in the team.

Doing too many tasks at once

When we start, we are always eager to do everything, and as junior designers, we can make the mistake of doing several tasks at once, which implies a loss of focus and can hinder the performance of processes.

Doing many things without being able to concentrate for hours to carry out research, a flow definition, or any other task can lead to inconsistencies in the process or a need to regain focus, prolonging its duration.

Learning to prioritize and carry out tasks one by one, in short phases, reduces the risk of losing focus and helps less experienced designers adopt a healthy, effective, and agile work method.

With practice, we will be able to multitask in our work, but it requires practice and experience.

Focusing on rapid Improvement

As in all disciplines, focusing on rapid improvement and progress can cause frustration for those starting to work in design.

The truth is that understanding, adopting, and mastering all the techniques and branches of user-centered design takes a lot of time and effort.

Dedicating time to being patient and improving through practice will encourage true progress in the professional field.

Losing practice

In some situations, junior designers need extra time and dedication to adopt all the specializations they will require in their professional journey.

As a junior designer, it is common to work on different processes that can last days or even weeks, and when returning to another type of task (for example, moving from research that lasted several weeks to designing a user persona), they may have lost practice in how to proceed in the best way because these processes are not yet consolidated.

Therefore, it is always recommended to practice on personal projects to improve one’s portfolio.

Investing a few hours is crucial during the learning process, as it will achieve a better understanding and adoption of the necessary techniques to become a better designer.

Focusing too much on UI

This is the most common mistake we find in junior UX designers. In many cases, junior UX designers decide to jump directly (or very soon) into the visual aspect once they receive the context of the problem.

However, UX design is not achieved by focusing primarily on the solution: the problem, the user who suffers it, their needs, and the various scenarios must be studied.

Strengthening the habit of research and understanding the problem is the real goal of the user experience designer’s work. It implies much more to have a less visual but solution-aligned interface than a beautiful interface that may be unusable or unable to meet the user’s needs.

At the end of the day, we must prioritize effectiveness over aesthetics.

Avoiding risk

While there are certain procedures where we must listen to our more experienced colleagues, one of the mistakes junior designers make that prevents them from progressing is avoiding independence.

Taking the risk of performing a task more autonomously, making decisions, and defending them in front of more experienced colleagues helps less experienced designers progress in their autonomy and builds greater confidence in their work.

Working in isolation

Conversely, it is also common for less experienced designers to work more solitarily. Within the productive process, we must consider that our work comes and will go through different hands: developers, testers, business…

Inviting different work teams to participate, maintaining active listening, understanding the needs and opinions of the various actors within the productive process marks a before and after in our work efficiency.

In summary, all of us who work in UX have been juniors, and the mistakes made are an essential part of the learning and professional growth process.

And we, the “seniors,” have the duty and responsibility to foster an environment where experimentation and collaboration are encouraged so that new talents learn to manage their time, prioritize tasks, and put users at the center.

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Torresburriel Estudio

User Experience & User Research agency focused on services and digital products. Proud member of @UXalliance