Component titles of the tool being designeded - how should I know?


I’m new to UX in the commercial kind. Recently started working for a startup on the design of their tool. The tool is pretty complicated and as much as I am trying to understand every bit of it, I sometimes can’t. A prototype of it has been created some time ago, and I am working off this prototype. Sometimes re-creating stuff, sometimes re-designing, or adding or taking stuff away. Nevertheless, recently I started getting questions like “Why is this thing called X, not Y”, “should this thing be named Z?, are you sure this is the correct naming?”, or “what is this thing doing”. And basically, I’m like… how should I know, dude? I’m working off your project!! You tell me. But now I’m wondering if… maybe I should know this thing? Or if not… how should I handle these kinds of questions? To be honest, I’m pretty annoyed with my boss as he wants to stay informed about every little thing. It came to the situation that he gets notified about every change in the project, update, commit, whatever and comments on thah, even when he knows that something is not the final design (today, he looked through the project, decided that a title of a table is not necessary, put the comment on Zeplin and did not forget to add the same comment to EVERY instance of this title). Help me please :slight_smile:

Hey there,
How frustrating. It sounds like you need to sit down and talk to your boss before your frustration starts affecting your work. I’d put some of these concerns out on the table and talk them through.



I know! It’s very frustrating and that’s why I stopped trusting my judgement on this. I feel lost and I basically don’t know what the arguments should be here… am I supposed to find out how to name every simple component of the tool, or is this sometething that should beprovided? What I think is it’s the potential users who should have the most say in this. What do you think?

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All the questions could be an opportunity for you to prove yourself proactive and go above and beyond the job description. Maybe, create a survey, poll or thread to invite discussion and/or opinion where everyone can share what they think something should be called. No matter the past, if you are a lead on the project - it is best to own the cow. If you are not, you can refer to the leader.

For the boss - if you are new it is not unusual for him to be nitpicking as he has not had enough time to trust you. Of course, there should be a limit to micromanaging. Maybe he is expecting you to do things in a certain way and trying to teach you. See if you can find a pattern to his comments and try to guess the general lesson. Then ask him if your assumption is correct.

And that’s just my 2 cents :slight_smile:

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I work at a startup with 5 people in total, the two founders (bosses) are based outside of our country. I’ve already talked with other coworkers about these names and they basically couldn’t care less… they’re developers. They think I am to know. I get the idea that my bosses also think that they hired me to know. And I think they hired me to find out but yet, I don’t have the resources to find out. The project is highly confidential, and very specific. So I can’t really do the hallway testing which I could actually afford. I guess I just wanted to give vent to my frustration as theire is literally no-one that I could talk to as I am new to UX I need guidance sometimes.

I see. It seems like you signed up to something more than you bargained for. Take it as a challenge and do your best. :slight_smile:

I’m taking it as a challenge. And I’m crazy happy about this kind of challenge, but this is so exhausting me. Especially because I accepted the offer with the lower salary than I initially requested because they said that after some time we can talk about a raise and I thought “Oh, ok, I don’t have commercial experience yet. They don’t know my skills. That’s a fair deal”. My 3 month trail period is up next week. They forgot about the raise. Obviously! And this level of salary is weary on me, I had to resign from different kinds of things I was used to. I moved to another city. And even though I know these are my personal problems, not work problems, it just gnaws at me with double force.

Great. I would suggest anyone to hang on to a job at least a year unless detrimental circumstance is faced. But do talk to your boss about that promised salary increase and also explain your assessment of the situation and job description soon. Just my thoughts.

Dealing with the Picky

If I get someone who’s constantly nitpicking decisions, a great way to handle that is a response similar to the following:

“You know, that’s a good point. I wasn’t thinking along those lines when I made the design because of [insert justification for your reasoning]. I’m confident that I’m taking the right approach, but if you’d like we can do some testing with our users to see what they like best.”

Ultimately, we are a user-driven profession. We should have the mindset of letting the user guide our design and development at all times, but the above response is confident enough and provides enough justification that you’ll either get one of two responses from the overly-picky in your group:

1.) "Eh, nevermind. It’s not that big of a piece anyway."
2.) “Okay, let’s do that. Let me know what the outcome is.”

Probably 8 times out of 10, you’ll hear the first.

Handling the Overall Situation

I’m behind @HAWK and @quantumcloud. You and your boss need to talk.

You’re still early in your position here, and there’s still time to set expectations. That goes for both your boss and for you. If you set the precedent now that it’s okay for them to forget their promises, second guess, micro-manage, and nitpick your work, you’ll be going through that for as long as you’re there.

Life’s too short to live that kind of work hell.

You were hired for your knowledge and expertise. Experience means squat. If you can do the work, you deserve the pay - and the respect - that come with your job title. Stand up for yourself and ask for what’s yours. You won’t get it any other way.

That doesn’t mean the conversation needs to be adversarial. Be polite, remind your boss of your skills and his/her promise. Be respectful, but direct.

I agree with QC that, in most situations, it’s best to try and stick with a job for at least a year. I’m not going to say that you should straight-up quit, but I am going to say that there are much better jobs out there in your future.


dougcollins… I simply love you. Thank you. You have no idea what these words mean to me, and what kind of support it is to me. Thank you again.

So my boss and I talked. It wasn’t an easy conversation, I feel flat out right now. Anyway, I had to use several arguments to back up why he should give me the raise I asked for. Unfortunately, I had to resort to the final argument “I will get this money for this kind of job somewhere else”. But it worked!

When it comes to nit-picking. This is not going to end. But at least I managed to convince him that one instance of a certain comment is enough. It doesn’t have to be on every freaking screen.

dougcollins… The advice on how to handle the uneasy questions is great. English is not my first language, my boss is from the US, so I’m definitely gonna use your words when this situation arises.

Thank you all for your advice and help today. I really wish there was somebody at the company to talk to, but Iam really, really grateful for this forum.


Thank you so much! You have no idea what these words mean to me as well.

This absolutely made my day! I couldn’t be more proud of you for standing up for what you’re worth. Great work - you’ve definitely earned your place.

I’m always happy to help! If I can do anything else for you, I hope you’ll let me know.

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Boom! Good on you. I’m still concerned about your work environment and the longevity, but I’m really rapt that you’ve come this far.


Very glad to hear that one of the big concerns have been worked out!


I’m concerned about this too, but all of you made a very valid point. I’m intending to stay here for a year at least, provided nothing disastrous happpens.

But what is it exactly that you’re concerned about?

I mean, I know that the work environment is not the ideal one. But on the other hand, there are soome aspects of this work that I wouldn’t be able to have in any toher place, like freedom for creativity, small family-like team, amd the the level of responsibility is both a blessing and a curse.

Thank you all again for your invaluable support!


What appears from the outside to be a lack of support and pretty poor communication from your boss.


To put it bluntly, your boss sounds like a bit of a jerk. However, I like that you’re focusing on the positives, and I know you’ll be strong enough to stand up to the criticism and second-guessing.