UX Designers: Top 10 interview mistakes

While I was interviewing  candidates for an open position of ‘UX Designer (UXD)’ at Synerzip, instead of tricky & typical interview questions; I chose to stick with really basic and interesting questions. I maintained a log of all candidates and their mistakes and  here are top 10 mistakes which I believe, one should never do as a UX Designer.

  1. Plaintext CV.
    So you applied for UX Designer profile and claim that you are passionate and creative !
    Your CV is ticket to your new job. If it looks dull, boring and lengthy; then you have already lost the competition.  If job portal/ recruiter demands plaintext CV, maintain both and save creative one for f2f.

    40% of UK employers would be more inclined to interview those using innovative design or video formats – https://goo.gl/vWv5em

  2. Assume that interviewer knows nothing about technology stack.
    This is the most common assumption UXDs  make during interview. Portfolio, shared links, mentioned skills and even images are verified before calling you for an interview. Not sure about the rest, but I  do ‘inspect’ all resources/ sites/ apps shared by a UXD.
  3. WordPress themes in your portfolio.
    Not a mistake, a blunder. If you think you can customize/ modify a beautiful WP  theme (not limited to) and showcase in your portfolio just because it looks COOL, then you should read point 2 again!
  4. Too much focus on certification.
    Certification is just like cherry on top of your UX profile. If you think creativity and problem solving skills come along with certification, then you are just another victim of that big marketing gimmick.
  5. You think that interviewer is  interested in learning about UX processes & practices.
    If an interviewer asks you about your role as a UX Designer, he is more interested in learning your thought process and how you deal with real world problems.
    Instead of telling what is card sorting, IA,  UX process, practices and methodologies; talk about your role, responsibilities and what “you” do; as a UXD.
  6. What about Usability ?
    This is my all time favourite question. As an interviewer I do expect candidates to share ‘how they defined all action stages and design principles’. But I have seen many edgy faces when the term ‘Usability’ is introduced. Few of them even considered usability a different world. Different world !

    If you think you are an awesome UX Designer who can design phenomenal products without considering their usability, then this image is definitely going to help you a lot in correcting yourself:

  7. What about low learning curve ?
    You love flat, clean and minimal design and we all know what is clean and minimal design.
    How do you transform a cluttered design into clean and minimal ?
    How do you group, show/ hide information while keeping that learning curve as low as possible ?
    Again, interviewer is more interested in your thought process and not theory of UX or less is more style !
  8. You think google/ apple design pattern is religion.
    If your portfolio has strictly followed some religion, be ready to justify it. It is not about you or your preferences, it is all about users, type of application, platform and ‘their‘ convenience.

    Science without religion is lame. Religion without science is blind
    -Albert Einstein

    P.S: Never use material design icons while designing iOS app.

  9. No online portfolio/ blog/ personal website.
    People want to validate your work, your skills and expertise even before reading you CV or calling you. Use www/ dropbox/ drive/ behance/dribbble or any active link that allows them to see who you are and what type of work you do. This will facilitate them alot.

    For UX hiring, I prefer portfolios and links over CV.
    – Aditi Sharma (Technical Recruiter @ Rezoomex)

  10. You are always right !
    Patterns and practices vary from person to person and its almost impossible  to evaluate your hard work in few minutes. Allow them to understand your project, share your views, boundaries, nature/ type of customer, deadlines. Tell your story, listen carefully and admit mistakes.

    If you are right, justify it and stand strong.

 Hiring process varies from organization to organization. Few employers are more interested in your background and not in your skills or passion, few just want your portfolio to win clients, few of them are more inclined towards user research and few expect you to write CSS too. However, these 10, basic points might come handy while designing your own portfolio, hiring someone for your team or while getting ready for a new job interview.

We at Synerzip are looking for talented UXDs too. If you think you are the one, feel free to mail me your supercool CV with portfolio.

First Impression: Adobe Experience Design

Adobe has recently added ‘Experience Design’ to its portfolio, targeting user- experience designers who got drifted away due to lack of prototyping facilities, device central,  plugins,  unfair pricing and resource hungry software products. However, ‘Experience Design’ (Xd) is something which might grab your attention for its simplicity and quick prototyping capabilities which designers were missing in Photoshop and Illustrator since a very long time and had to rely on third party tools (a long list).

This post covers Xd’s first impression, usability and missing features which might help you in identifying strengths and weak areas and if it is the right time to switch back to Adobe.

Start Screen:
 Xd has neat start screen that allows you to create new project or open existing one. It also has iOS and Material UI Kits which might come handy while designing prototypes for targeted platform.

Start Screen Adobe Experience Design

What is missing:

Xd has classified android devices under one generic name “Android mobile”, that too with standard resolution of 640 X 360. Similarly, standard option is available under tablet dropdown where iPad is pre-selected. Ofcourse you can specify custom resolution but wouldn’t it be nice to feature atleast few of the top end phones and tablets ?


workspace  experience design

It is exquisite combination of Sketch and Illustrator. Toolbar options are limited but absolutely precise and easy to handle.  Xd has no concept of layers (its on roadmap though) and even if you are coming straight from Photoshop or Illustrator, you would not complain about layers section as long as your design is not complicated. Moreover, you can use same keyboard shortcuts to group, lock and select tools.

What is missing :

  1. You cannot apply background to artboard. Possible work-around is : create a rectangle equal to size of artboard and use image in it.
  2. One cannot simply change device type  (ex: from iphone 6 to iphone 5s) once they pass start screen.
  3. No visual indication of grouped elements.
  4. ‘Active Artboard’ feature is missing. Command+A (windows user: Ctrl + A) selects everything, it even selects objects which belong to other artboards.
  5. Reusable symbols  are missing. This means you will have to update everything manually.
  6. Blur effect for text, images and shapes. Its a must have, but missing.
  7. CSS export feature is unavailable.


Anchor Points
Xd has handled anchor points pretty well.

anchor points adobe experience design

  1. To change a corner or straight anchor point to curve, you just have to double click it. Similarly, to convert curved anchor point to a corner/ straight one, double click it.
  2. To add a new anchor point, click anywhere on path.
  3. To delete an anchor point, select it and press delete.

Known issues :

  1. You cannot have two curved anchor points in a shape which has exactly 2 anchor points. Its a bug.
  2. You can assign image to a shape but cannot adjust/reposition image within the shape. Duh !

Prototype and Preview Mode:

Under prototype mode, you can link screens just like you do in InVision by creating hotspot.

What is missing:

  1. Segue or transition effects are limited.
  2. Artboards are static. This means no scrolling is available, even if you are in preview mode.
  3. This is iPhone project, but where is iPhone’s bezel in preview mode ?
  4. No fixed panels/ headers/footers.


Xd is no doubt simple and is one of the fastest prototyping tools I have ever interacted with.

It is exciting, simple, interactive but too late in market as half of the generation has already switched to Sketch and other web browser based prototyping tools with virtually zero footprint on computer.
Is the product worth giving a try  or its just another product which Adobe can kill anytime like Device Central ? Will the product survive or is it already dead on arrival ?

Lets wait and watch as Adobe team has promised to come up with monthly updates and if it looks promising I am already in for Xd, provided they finish long list of back-logs on time. Ultimate question is : how many out there are patient enough and ready to switch?

Change Adobe Illustrator 2015 UGLY splash screen, for Mac


Every time I open Adobe Illustrator 2015, I encounter this UGLY splash screen. Yes, its ugly !

I really don’t understand the idea of using such ugly face for splash screen. Anyway, I decided to change it to something good.
Continue reading Change Adobe Illustrator 2015 UGLY splash screen, for Mac

3 step coloring

Flat design, icons and layouts are everywhere.
No wonder flat design has changed the way whole design industry sees the world, but the real question is: Is the world really FLAT?
Google’s Material design is considered as new trend and have already created a lot of buzz. However,  I have seen a number of designers with no motivation to try something new.

No doubt ‘Material Language’  is an outcome of phenomenal physics and a lot of research, but is that a design culture or trend or a common language for all the designers?

Continue reading 3 step coloring