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How to Stay Organized as a UX Designer?

organized Jan 18, 2023

Organized. A word that creates anxiety for some and excitement for others, but is required for any type of career you may enter especially UX design. Being a UX designer requires strong organizational skills due to the multiple deadlines and projects you’ll be responsible for. Many people struggle with staying organized and aren’t sure how to end the cycle of disorganization. Nevertheless, organizational skills are something that can be taught and you have come to the right place. 

In this installment of the Guac, we will provide you with some tips on staying organized as a UX designer so that you can move forward with confidence!

 

Tips on How to Stay Organized as a UX Designer? 

 

Establish a routine

One of the best things you can do as a UX designer is to establish a routine early on in your career. Establishing a routine will help you to remain organized and on task as you work on multiple projects. Also, asking ‘what is your approach as a designer’ is commonly asked in interview questions and can leave new UX designers feeling panicked. A routine should be consistent yet flexible due to the different projects you may have to work on. Some helpful tips on establishing a routine may include:

  • Creating a design strategy that covers you from the beginning to the end of a project which will create a more fluid approach. Your strategy should be tailored to you and can include as many steps as you like. Remember, a good design strategy includes being aware of what steps you can skip or need to be completed right away. Your design strategy will help you when you are or prevent you from being stuck. Again, each job and project is different and your design strategy should be tailored accordingly so tweak as you go. Your end goal is to successfully complete your project on time and be of good quality. 
  • Schedule breaks within your workday so that you can rest and recharge. Working tirelessly without breaks is counterproductive, and will actually cause you to be less productive due to stress and burnout. Research continues to show that taking breaks leads to better health and improved quality of work.
  • Schedule your day in blocks of time so that you can have a general idea of how your day will go. Creating blocks of time will help your day flow more smoothly and provide structure in the midst of busyness. Try not to schedule too many difficult tasks for one day and space them out. Take your scheduling a step further by creating a schedule for the week or even month. 
  • Use virtual or paper planners to keep track of meetings, project deadlines, appointments, etc. Some UX designers may prefer one method or the other while others use both types of planners to stay organized and on track. Planners are great for UX designers because you will feel at ease knowing you haven’t forgotten any important deadlines!   

 

Use online tools

Online tools are another great resource for helping UX designers to stay organized and successfully complete their projects. There are several at your disposal for free that will allow you to successfully complete your tasks and design great products. Try asking your coworkers or others in the field what tools they use to stay organized. See Avocademy’s other article on online tools to see our top 5 recommendations for online tools. 

  

Make to-do lists

Whether it is on a pad of paper or through an app, making a to-do list can help you to prioritize tasks and deadlines efficiently. Having a visual reminder of what needs to be accomplished is helpful along with the satisfaction of completing a task. As humans, we get pretty busy and we can’t always remember everything that needs to get done in a day. Your to-do list might include triaging your priorities (i.e. listing your tasks in order of importance) or delegating work to others (interns can be quite useful here). Asking for help is a sign of strength and can help you develop a better rapport with your coworkers too.

  

Avoid multitasking

It is a common misconception that we are great multitaskers in our day-to-day lives. The truth is we aren’t. We actually perform worse and make more mistakes when we are trying to multitask. For example, texting while driving. We all know someone, maybe ourselves, who has tried this and whose driving was impaired. Scheduling blocks of time comes into play here because you have designated slots for tasks, and don’t have to worry about trying to do two things at once. 

  

Keep a clean workspace

It’s hard to stay organized in a messy workspace due to the clutter and distractions. If your desk is messy, you might have trouble finding papers or lose important post-it notes. Having a clean workspace can lend to increased organization and less overall stress. Try using a desk organizer or storage containers if you need extra room, you’ll be thankful you did. 

 

Set up guidelines for labeling/structuring folders

Another helpful tip is to keep your folder clean and up to date by setting up simple guidelines for labeling and structuring your folders. Labeling and structuring your folders will allow you and your team to find information quickly and easily without any confusion. Decide as a team how you will label folders so that you can avoid errors and can be on the same page. Some UX designers label their folders using the date and time, use lowercase letters for easy scanning, use uppercase letters for acronyms only, or group designs by sections and elements. 

Want to know a cool fact? About 90% of our UX design graduates are landing remote jobs after completing our Avocademy programs. Staying organized has assisted many of our graduates to stay productive as they work as remote UX designers.                                                                                     

 

See, staying organized doesn’t seem so scary now right? It takes time and practice to develop one’s organizational skills but it’s worth the effort you put in. There are plenty of tools at your disposal that will help you improve in no time. Being an organized UX designer will benefit not only you and your work but those around you as well. Just be aware of your habits and make the commitment to continue working on them.



Ready to Get Started? Schedule a Free UX Mentorship Session!

At Avocademy, we help students decide if UX design is right for them. Schedule a call with us to start your UX career journey today.  

 

Author:

Meggen is an SEO content writer who loves hiking, drinking coffee, and traveling. She loves her avocados on toast with egg and bacon. 

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