• Sridhar Rajendran

Day 8 — Crafting stories

Updated: Aug 23, 2018

Learning how to write case studies

Image credit: Pexels

Once my arsenal was ready, the next step was to tell the story of how I arrived at a particular solution. Behance and Dribble are equivalent of Vogue for UX designers. The latter a tad more so for the exclusivity approach. I spent a lot of hours going through these portfolio sites and it resulted in:

  • Feeling like a total ape. I now totally understand body image issues experienced by 13-year-olds, who spend hours looking at air-brushed, paper-thin, size zero models.

  • There is no way I can create such gorgeous designs. I need to borrow Hermione’s time turner and un-tell everyone I am no longer a designer.

  • And where the hell is the story??? I totally love these gorgeous shots but what was the rationale behind it

Stuck between feeling inadequate and not finding what I wanted to, I turned to Medium. I regularly read tech-related articles on Medium. I find it to be a reliable destination for quality content. I decided to search for design related articles and woo-hoo! Am in Narnia, baby.

There are many well-written case studies with painstakingly detailed information each step, the rationale for choosing a particular color, the testing. I devoured these articles and de-constructed how to write a proper case study. After seeing the work in progress shots of each project, I no longer felt inadequate.

Nobody becomes Picasso in a day. Though quite obvious, it took me several Medium articles to accept it. Plus not all UX designers created high-fidelity mockups aka impossibly beautiful designs. A UX designer’s primary goal is create the product’s architecture and design the interactions. While knowing graphic design is good, it wasn’t mandatory. Plus there were many UI kits(free and paid) for each design tool to simplify the process. Why re-invent the wheel?

Also I came across several articles that condemned the ‘dribbilization of design’. The term widely refers to creating beautiful mockups with no research or rationale. Or doing a re-design of popular sites such as Facebook merely by tweaking some colors and fonts. I do not want to criticise the hours of effort put in by designers to become popular on sites like Dribble. But design for vanity’s sake never solved any problem.

Before embarking on creating a design from scratch, I decided to identify problems in apps that I use and figure out better ways to solve them. I published my first case study on uxdesign.cc and felt elated at the positive comments and feedback for improvement. Buoyed by this success, I continued to work on couple of more case studies and bugged all my friend’s to test my prototypes ☺