A few questions about UX design


I’m Roland, currently I’m in the final year of High School. I have to make a research project about the profession I want to do later. Therefore, I have a few questions about UX design.

  1. Why and how did you become a UX designer?
  2. What do you like the most about your job?
  3. What is (in your opinion) the biggest mistake you can make in UX design?
  4. To what extent do you let a client co-determine the direction of the UX design?
  5. How do you process the information you’ve gained during the user research?
  6. Where does your inspiration come from?

Thanks in advance!
Roland van Rut


Hi Roland. Welcome to UXMastery. You’ve got some great questions. We’ve got some wonderful people here to answer your questions. :sunglasses:

Hi Roland! I’m happy to answer your questions:

  1. You can read about my journey into UX here. The short version is that I was working as a call center rep at a time when I also didn’t have a place to live. I realized that the systems we used to access and share information in my company weren’t great, and that I had the skills to make something better. Working between calls, I built a tool that made the job of our call center reps easier. I eventually pitched this tool the company CEO, who promoted me so that I could make my vision a reality. It was my first experience finding and solving problmes from a user-centric perspective, and I found that I loved it immensely. I’ve been honored that I’ve been able to turn that into a career.
  2. I love that I get to be the advocate for the user. As a UX Engineer, I have a unique perspective in my organization in that my role isn’t always to advocate for the company’s bottom line, but for the user of our products. It leads to interesting challenges and discussions, many of which my coworkers hadn’t considered.
  3. The biggest mistake you can make in UX design is letting opinion drive your designs. UX is a data-driven profession, and our designs - both ones we’re adjuting and ones we’re creating from scratch - should always be driven by data.
  4. The designer is never in charge of the final product. In the end, the client gets the final say - though if it goes against my advice, I will make very certain that my objections are heard and noted. More often than not, if done correctly, my goals of a great user experience align well with corporate objectives, so fortunately this doesn’t happen often.
  5. We have a very set cadance for our User Experience testing that involves running a feedback session with internal stakeholders and another with our testing participants. The internal session allows us to digest and discuss the results of the testing, and to set at least one concrete change we can implement quickly. We then discuss that change as part of the external feedback session to show our customers that we take their feedback seriously and will work to make important, timely changes.
  6. The wonderful UX community! We have such a great group, both here on UXMastery and everywhere else, that keep me inspired to work hard every day.

I hope that helps! Let me know if you have any questions.


Hi Roland,

Here are my responses:

  1. I kind of fell into it by accident. I studied industrial design at university which is product design but for things that get manufactured. About a third of the way through, we started talking about the actual people that use the things we design - that first third was all fine art skills/learning to use the workshop safely - and I fell in love with it. I didn’t know it was called UX- I didn’t really know what it was - just that I loved it. I called it ‘following people around the bus interchange’ which was where I was the happiest. My classmates wanted to design cars and I wanted to understand people. I didn’t really figure that I wanted a career in UX until 3 years into that career (after uni).

  2. It’s fun and I have a lot freedom around which projects I work on - I also work for myself.

  3. Having an ego and being easily impressed by people who do. Care about stuff that actually matters- not what stupid job title you have or where you fit in the office hierarchy. Don’t be the person overheard at a conference exclaiming “Don’t you know who I am?!!” (True story - no I won’t divulge this individual’s name but I can tell you that the pale/male/stale criteria were all met and exceeded). Be impressed by ideas, not titles.

  4. It depends. UX is very much a team sport and no two projects, work environments or teams are ever the same.

  5. Post its on a wall and lots of talking and sharing with people. I absorb it and share its story.

  6. It varies. It’s been known to strike at random moments including: while ordering a pizza, while staring at the ceiling, while thinking in the shower, on the bus, while pretending to listen to my brother complain, while colouring in and much more. I don’t force it. It happens in its own time and in its own way. I was pacing a hotel room in Wellington when the final pieces of my book idea fell into place.

Hope that makes sense!