3 problems with short-term designs

3 problems with short-term designs

Everybody was out of the office last week, and I noticed common themes with executing designs in the short, mid, and long term that I'd like to share... first some context...

🙈What is "design is not good?"

  1. When the users of the design say, it's not good. (Obvious? 😳)
  2. When after you've explained the design, people still don't understand.
  3. When the problem has many constraints, you haven't explored all the options, or the problem is beyond your skill level to solve.

There's only one way to get to good design. It's called designing every combo and evaluating them, brute force. 🛸I feel like I'm in outer space, having to explain fundamentals. 👽

1️⃣Short-Term Problems

Mistake: When you launch fast at the expense of innovation. Focusing on design preferences or a specific phase of the user's journey and clueless about the organization's values. ie:

  1. Implementing designs without user validation instead bias on the development timelines and highest-paid-person-in-team opinions.
  2. Develop concepts and bypass stakeholders on the project, breaking boundaries.
  3. Embody lone-wolf mentality, believe you can do another's role better than the person in the role.


  1. What are the organization's values, and why? Any metric to show its impact?
  2. What does success align for you vs. the org?
  3. What is this company's culture of solving this issue that's worked in the past
  4. What makes your solution better than what exists?

2️⃣ Mid-Term Problems

Mistake: When you prioritize design details over benchmarking the value. ie:

  1. Implement design enhancements that are so small it's not 2x different from the original, value unknown.
  2. Designing without any feedback on concepts or optimizing with a self-fulfilling prophecy. ie. Ask the user to verbalize "preference" from the choices you've provided.


  1. More diverse feedback means better work and applying design revisions.
  2. Don't rely on the user's verbal language. Consider body language, thinking, feeling, and empathy mapping.
  3. What's the end-to-end user journey for the user?

3️⃣ Long Term Problems

Mistake: You always start in the middle when you make something new, forgetting about the beginning and the end, causing disjointed experiences. ie:

  1. Spending time debating over what to do in theory and never delivering anything.
  2. Execution in the long term is not measurable or broken down into roadmaps


  1. What's the growth strategy of this product?
  2. Who benefits? New or existing users?
  3. What is the critical outcome for the user and their value prop for trying this out?
  4. What's the engagement rate of the user to come back?


Design is hard.