Skip to main content
In the increasingly design-savvy state of the world, it’s never been more important to stand out and develop a unique brand identity through UX design. While most organizations recognize the ability of UX design to be the key driver for customer conversion, they often don’t recognize how to use UX design strategically to deliver new values driven by core business metrics.
Having overseen UX Design-led business transformation at several organizations, here’s my take on the common misconceptions about UX design that can derail you from maximizing its impact on business outcomes.

Misconception #1: UX Design = Design Thinking

In the design world, the two major buzzwords – UX design and Design Thinking – are often considered synonyms. But in reality, Design Thinking is just an integrative thinking process that involves approaching problems in a right way. When you get the Design Thinking right, it doesn’t directly translate to getting the design right. UX Design is a much broader process that begins with understanding the business model, performing user research, and designing the service to fit into the users’ lives in a meaningful way.
Design thinking is all about examining and exploiting opposing ideas and constraints to understand the needs of the audience and empathizing with it. For instance, a leading bank took a human-centered approach in designing their loyalty program. They even went an extra mile to exempt a loyal customer from being charged for a bounced check. Solving a complex customer loyalty problem with empathy is design thinking.
While better use of design thinking methods is useful for any company to solve its most wicked problems, design thinking will not in and of itself drive better design.

Misconception #2: Enabling Better UX is the Design Team’s Job

By imbibing a design-centric culture and by hiring design-centric marketers, engineers, product managers etc., the design team can rely on a bigger team that serves as an extended UX arm. This holistic design-centric team is well-aligned with the UX needs and can easily get started with the build process on their own, rather than waiting for the core design team to initiate the mock-up first. And that’s what makes everything about the product so much better…much more than any individual designer or design team can bring to the table.
“Everybody at Apple is thinking about UX and design, not just the designers.” – Ex-UX Designer at Apple.

Misconception #3: All Fancy New Tech Compliments Design

Anything that requires users to learn new and complex tasks to perform a desired action has little or no chance of resonating with them. Period.
Getting too tempted by the new piece of technology in town, there were numerous app makers who attempted to blend fancy tech with design and made it extremely difficult to master actions. The result? A whooping drop in app/product popularity!
Iconic examples of design failures in an attempt to get too cool with technology are the Gesture control TV remote controls, the seldom used Samsung Eye-ball tracking feature and the fascinating Google Glass.

Misconception #4: Optimized Design Leads the User to the Outcome You Envision

It’s often considered best to overly question user behavior and direct them to the outcome you desire. But redirecting the user who is repeatedly going off the rails with an intention to set them straight will serve no good. If they deviate a bit, it is absolutely fine to bring them on track but when they do it repeatedly, it’s probably intentional. And you should stop badgering them.
There is nothing more annoying than mobile websites with “Download Our App” messages every other second before you’ve even had a chance to read what the app can do for you.

The Truth: UX Design Has an Incredible Impact on the Company’s Top and Bottom-Line

It is an undeniable fact that innovation drives business outcomes. Just take away the design part of any innovative idea and see what you’re left with!
Any organization that moves beyond an ad-hoc user-centric mindset to a sustained and centralized UX practice will find that a successful UX design has an incredible impact on their top-line and bottom-line.
When design is effectively integrated with business vision, strategy, engineering, etc., it serves as an influential force that helps businesses stay closer to customers, and in return, you can monetize customers for the great experience delivered.
As a continuation to this series, I will explore more on how ROI relates to User Experience Design. Until then would love to hear what other common misconceptions about UX design you have encountered. Share them in the comments below.
This is my guest post on
Check out the presentation here:

This article was originally published on Linkedin


Author Design

More posts by Design