Imposter Syndrome Conundrum

I am working in a new startup as the only designer working on the UI & UX of the product, marketing material and brand identity development, so there is a fair amount of weight on my shoulders… whenever I have review/feedback sessions, I feel like I am just disappointing the people I work with and failing at my job…

Does anyone else experience this? What do you do to deal with these feelings of inadequacy?

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Hi Zoran,

I’m sorry to hear that, it depends on your experience though, just make sure the working culture you’re in is manageable and respectful.

the question is who get disappointed in the view/feedback sessions ? senior designers ? stakeholders ?
sometimes, u just go with the flow and don’t fight too much about it, the truth is sometimes the big boss don’t want to hear about the users neither care which is really disappointed however, you cant save the sinking ship alone, it takes a whole team.

try do your best and try to understand their need.


Mind sharing some of these examples that have made you feel inadequate from those review/feedback sessions?

Keep in mind that you have one job: Make the company money.

Work is not a social event, and feelings should be the last thing to prevent you from growing. Feedback can come in all forms from fluffy to sledgehammer brutal, and if you feel your design work is not good enough, you may need to ask yourself well why not. Keep in mind you may have spectacular work, but the reviewers may have impossible expectations. That is when your convincing and logical skills need to kick in to prove why your work is expected to generate revenue.

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Hello Zoran,

I would like to also share my current experience with a new start-up as the only UX/UI designer. First, I am sorry that you are overwhelmed! I believe my problem is slightly different, I am completely underwhelmed. I am a bit disappointed because I believed I would be learning so much, but I have not had any opportunity to exercise my skills. The start-up I work with only has 4 members(including me). The CEO is basically the product manager, and they have not really given me anything to work with. I am afraid they are going to cut me loose, but it doesn’t seem fair because they haven’t even previewed the “product” with me so I can even make a heuristic evaluation/audit. They just keep telling me to think about how to solve an “uploading” problem, but I haven’t even seen the problem in action.

I have read a number of articles about startups and they are all different across the board, but the constant issue is that they tend to be terrible to build a career in. I do feel your concerns

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Try to be honest with your colleagues. Trusted colleagues you can rely on are essential.

Hi Zoran,
I am also the only UX/UI Designer in the startup that I work so I know what you mean. I have to say that in my experience and understanding, being the only designer in a company that is not “design-oriented” can be difficult and requires a lot of patience and coolness. My main topics that I find difficult to cope with is

  • People usually think that you are just making just “pretty” so they don’t think design is a basic core of the process
  • Developers tend to say no on things that are too time consuming to implement, mainly because they don’t understand the importance of the new changes
  • Usually people have their own aesthetic and might sometimes give too much feedback or suggestions, making it difficult to maintain boundaries.

I hope that this gives you another perspective, and I have to say that being aware of these makes it easier to manage them. Let me know if you have any other topics that you can share in order to understand your point of view more clearly.