These are the 3 biggest mistakes I’ve seen young UX designers make when entering their first design role.

1. Everything needs to be PERFECT

If there is one thing I’ve learned as my time as a UX designer is that there are always trade-offs in your design. It could be anything from SEO needs more copy or the legal team says there has to be a disclaimer for this or the powers that be don’t like the icon you created…or any other reason that could cause you to make some compromises in your design. This is normal and happens in every company.

I know it’s frustrating to have to go back and make updates when something gets added unexpectedly. But it happens. If you’ve ever heard the statement: Done is better than perfect, that is exactly the sentiment I’m getting after. Getting a job into the user’s hands is more valuable to your design then spending hours guessing which direction is best.

I would rather get a design in front of users or into an A/B test to get feedback then to try to iterate by myself for hours on end. The nice thing about UX design is that it’s never perfect and as a young designer you should embrace that and let the user help you iterate to something closer to perfection.

2. We must follow every step of the UX process

This is a common misconception of the UX process and it’s also one of the biggest differences between a new designer and a veteran designer. People that have been doing UX design for multiple years know what steps to do and when they should do them. They also know when specific steps in the UX process won’t help them figure out the user’s needs or solve the problem.

My recommendation for new designers is to evaluate if the step you’re about to do is actually helping or if you’re just going through the motions to “complete” the project/process. In most cases, eliminating some steps that aren’t producing actionable results leads to a more efficient working process and gets you to the outcome you would have arrived at anyway.

3. Not building relationships

Building relationships with other departments in the company is a valuable asset to have when you’re a UX designer. Understanding who to go to for specific asks can change the way you approach projects. It helps you understand who the business stakeholders should be for a project which in turn makes you more engaged in the business.

I have a feeling that young designers are timid, lack confidence, and haven’t built up the muscle to quickly build relationships with new people. Learning these things makes a big difference in how you are perceived. You should have confidence in your ability and understand that everyone deals with imposter syndrome a bit when entering a new role.

If you’ve never heard of imposter syndrome: It is that feeling you get when you feel like you’re not qualified, when you don’t have the experience, or when you’re in a position you feel you shouldn’t be in. Most designers feel it during their career and I found that it was greatest when I was in a new position. For example, I felt it creeping in when I was a young designer in a new role. I’m battling it today because I recently had a new boss start. Those are times when you feel like you’re being evaluated and judged about your work. You should realize (and I have to remind myself) that you were put in this position for a reason.

Remind yourself what those reasons were and why the company valued you enough to put you there. It’s not easy to get through, but I’ve found that chatting with someone that’s gone through the same situation is helpful.