Stop Making These Mistakes and You Will Become a Better UX Designer

In today's article, get ready to uncover the 10 bad ux examples designers often stumble upon. Yep, I've been there, done that, and got the 'learning' badge. So, no more dilly-dallying, let's jump straight in. I will make sure to update this list with new vital mistakes, so please make sure you keep an eye on it, once in a while.

Revealing the Top 10 Costly Mistakes in My Journey

What are the most common mistakes in bad UI UX design?

I want to highlight how important it is to learn from our mistakes, especially if we’re eager to learn and improve. The main idea here is not to avoid making mistakes but to embrace them. In my opinion, the worst thing we can do is not pay attention to what real users think.

They are the ones that use your product that’s why is mandatory to constantly listen, observe, and run usability tests without interfering, and that finally leads to meaningful user experiences.

1. Neglecting User Research

This is a big one guys, which I’ve seen a lot, especially on junior UX designers and even experienced ones, that they often underestimate the importance of user research. They rely too heavily on their assumptions and do not conduct enough user research, which can lead to designs that don’t meet user needs. They know very little details about the people they’re designing for.

They have the feeling that with or without research, the output will be the same and I tell you why. 

When a colleague from another department requests a user report, we’re often left at a loss for words.

Here’s another scenario: We’re about to embark on a redesign journey, and we assemble the team to lay out the requirements. However, we overlook involving the product owner in sharing and testing the new concept with our existing users.

So, it’s all smooth sailing until the PM drops by with feedback from real users, and it’s a revelation. They love some of the old features and have unexpected preferences. It catches us off guard because we failed to consider our existing clients.

Action Items

  • User research is all about connecting with people. Listen, observe, and empathize with real or potential users to grasp their needs.
  • Craft your work based on these insights, ultimately aiming to solve their problems.
  • Involve up to three existing users in the redesign process.

2. Not Addressing Empty States

When we design a digital product whether that is a web or mobile app or just a website, we must cater to both existing users and newcomers. The latter, who’ve just created accounts and are yet to generate data, deserve a thoughtful approach. Leaving them with an empty page can be discouraging.

I see a lot of designers present their work in a perfect pixel scenario where everything looks cool with metrics displayed through huge typography and spectacular charts, all designed for active users with lots of data and activity.

Even renowned companies like Stripe and Notion face this challenge. How they address empty states can provide valuable insights for us.


The prominent progress steps, which feature a concise three-step approach, are designed to guide users to take action. Expanding this number might risk overwhelming the user experience.


This one’s a favorite, as it combines helper texts and icon button hooks for an intuitive experience that guides users to create using common templates.

Google Analytics Empty States
Google Analytics Empty States

In this example, the ‘No data available‘ message on these three cards indicates that something will appear as user activity increases.

Action Items

Team up to address empty states effectively. To guide new users through account setup and ensure optimal product utilization, consider the following:

  • Progress Steps: Clearly define the order to follow, keeping users on track to solve requirements.
  • Hooks: Use button icons or pictograms to direct users to vital actions.
  • Descriptive Messages: Offer guidance on what to do for a seamless experience.

3. Don’t Use UI kits or Design Systems

Repeating the same design work can be tiring. A UI kit is like a productivity booster, making your design process more efficient.

buttons artboard

I used to create buttons, tabs, typography, and inputs from scratch for every project, fearing that starting from a UI kit would complicate things. We all love to start clean, from scratch on a new document where we have total control.

But think about this scenario: juggling multiple projects with tight deadlines. How can you streamline your creative process?

Creating a design system is the most effective solution. It provides predefined elements for use across various projects, such as:

  • Buttons
  • Inputs
  • Tabs
  • Selected
  • Typography styles
  • Color variables
  • Tables

Action Items

Go back to a project where you’ve created the above elements. Drag and drop them into a new project and save it as a Library. Now you can change the style, and adjust brand colors, and you’ll have brand new components you can use everywhere.

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4. Don’t Communicate Enough

Effective communication plays a vital role in problem-solving, with approximately 70% of issues finding resolution through clear and thorough communication. Before investing considerable effort into design or task execution, it’s imperative to gain a comprehensive understanding of project requirements.

My own experiences have taught me the importance of this approach. I’ve spent significant time designing solutions, only to realize later that they didn’t align with the actual project needs.

It’s common for many of us to strive to appear knowledgeable and self-sufficient, avoiding excessive inquiries from our colleagues. However, our primary objective should be ensuring absolute clarity before diving into the task at hand.

Action Items

  • Get everyone in the loop and make sure the information is clear and transparent
  • Resist the urge to send finished and final work, instead send only a tiny feature that you address, it’s still progress and you get instant feedback.

5. Looking for Shortcuts

Like in any other field, whether you want to become a doctor, a lawyer, or an engineer the best thing in order to have an ascending career is to learn as much as you can.

Take courses, read books on UX design, and attend boot camps and conferences. Then you need to find a mentor, take fictitious projects, start an internship, and after that get hired by a company.

What do many UX designers do?

Most of them start with client work, after taking a course. Your main concern here is not the money but striving to become the best asset in the industry.

Action Items

  • Resist the urge to take client work or to apply for job interviews prematurely.
  • Get a deep dive into the learning phase and practice as much as you can.
  • Don’t be discouraged if you don’t get hired immediately. Be persistent and stay positive.

6. Not Considering Corner Cases

Corner cases, often known as edge cases, are those unique design scenarios that emerge in exceptional circumstances. Take, for instance, when you’ve got multiple products piled up in your shopping cart or when you need to showcase a table with an extensive volume of data and numerous columns.

Similarly, what do you do when you’re faced with multiple filtering options that are overwhelming to users? These are the moments that call for design solutions.

Addressing these scenarios is a fundamental aspect of a UX designer’s role. In the realm of cosmetic e-commerce, the majority of users add about three products to their carts. But what if the number increases? It’s time to tap into your creative thinking to devise innovative solutions that bolster adaptability and user-friendliness.

Action Items

  • Think in advance with your team and make sure you raise questions on how we should address these situations in order to stay covered.
  • Maybe your assumptions are wrong, that’s why is best to stay vigilant and perform some user testing to see if stations like this can occur.

7. Can’t Take Criticism

We are working for people in the end, and if you want to stay balanced in this field, you need to know how to face criticism. Let’s say you present your work in front of your team with the product owner, developers, and all stakeholders involved.

Everyone is looking at your work and begins to give you feedback. The natural tendency for humans is to feel useful and remarked, hence they will look for errors. You need to stay calm and act like a pro. Leave your ego at the door and explain in detail what you just created.

Action Items

  • You have to have solid arguments and state your design decisions. Respond with confidence. Let them know that you are in charge.
  • Some of them have good ideas and it’s time to be flexible because after all if this feedback can improve the product, it is welcomed.
  • Take notes

8. Adding Unnecessary Features

From what I’ve observed, there’s an impulse to add numerous features and intricate details, either to enhance aesthetics or because they’re in use elsewhere. Take, for instance, this checkout form in Figma. Why do they prompt users to input their physical addresses?

We’re discussing digital products, after all, so there’s no need to ship the product to a customer’s location. The only plausible reason, in my opinion, is to gather additional user information. That’s the only explanation I can think of.

Action Items

  • Avoid incorporating unnecessary design elements that lack a clear purpose
  • Make sure you have a usable, clean interface.
  • Conduct usability tests to understand your users’ behavior

9. Comparing UI with UX

Well, let me tell you something: there is no such thing. User Interface Design (UI design) is a subsection of User Experience Design (UX design).

While UX is focused on the user’s overall experience, with a complex process that begins with stages like empathy, research, and defining the problem,

UI deals with structure and appearance, basic the actual interface that users interact with.


You’ll have to embrace every stage of the process, because each one of them, is equally important no matter what the order is. You will have to gain insights and learn about the people you’re designing for, in order for you to be able to offer them a solution to their problem.

Action Items

  • Make sure you learn in order to fully understand what is UX design.
  • Don’t overcomplicate things by comparing these two terms.

10. Don’t Collect Valuable Feedback

One of the benefits of using quantitative data is that it helps to identify the issues that your users experience and also determine their severity. This can be a valuable tool in UX design, as it allows you to pinpoint areas that need improvement and prioritize your efforts accordingly.

My favorite tool that helped me a lot is by far Surveys. It enables direct feedback collection from users about their experiences, preferences, and pain points, aiding in pinpointing areas for improvement.


Action Items

  • When creating a survey, it is essential to ask clear and specific questions. These help ensure that respondents understand the question and can provide accurate and relevant answers.
  • Surveys go hand in hand with qualitative research methods like interviews and observations.

Final Thoughts

Ok guys, these mistakes, while sometimes challenging and humbling, have shaped my growth and expertise. They have underscored the significance of comprehensive user research, meticulous attention to empty states, the practicality of UI kits and design systems, the critical role of communication, the need for ongoing learning and mentorship, the art of receiving criticism with grace, and the distinction between UI and UX design.

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