Can a shy person become a good UX designer? | by | Jan, 2023

Image by JJ Jordan

UX designers work with many different people daily. Meeting and collaboration sessions are an essential part of the design routine. As a result, many people believe that only an extrovert can become a good UX designer. But does it mean that your chances of becoming a UX designer are minimal if you’re a shy person? Absolutely not.

In this article, we will see what skills shy people have that help them become exceptional designers.

Design is all about communication. When we create a product, we communicate specific ideas to our users using visual and functional language. The principle applies to the product design process. That’s why a good designer is a good communicator. But communication doesn’t always mean speaking; active listening is equally important.

7 key active listening skills. Image: ccl

Active listening can help better understand how other people do their work and what needs they have. When communicating with others, shy people give the other person their full attention and ask follow-up questions to understand the subject of a conversation better.

Many shy people have a high sense of sensitivity. They are sensitive to words, events, and experiences. This skill comes in handy in product design because UX designers must build a strong sense of empathy to be able to create human-first products.

You need to empathize with people who will use your product because it helps identify and address the pain points that users have when interacting with your design. And it is much easier to develop empathy when you’re naturally highly sensitive to this word.

Think of high sensitivity as a gift that allows you to become a strong designer.

A sense of empathy will be helpful not only when you design a new product but also when you collaborate with your teammates. UX designers should empathize with other designers, developers, and stakeholders when they build a new product. It will help them see the design from different perspectives and better understand the goals others want to achieve.

Many shy people are naturally very curious about the world and have great attention to detail. It can be a significant advantage when they build a product because the design is in the details.

Design is in the details.

When shy people focus on the problem they’re solving, they typically try to evaluate the system holistically.

When it comes to brainstorming sessions, a shy person will never be the loudest voice in the room. A shy person will never be dominant in meetings because they naturally fear interrupting another person in their flow. And it can be a problem sometimes. For example, some people might consider such behavior as a lack of motivation or interest in ideation.

Design is a team sport. And UX designers shouldn’t work solo.

But it doesn’t mean the shy person won’t contribute to the design process. Quite the opposite, instead of sharing the first thing that comes to their mind, shy people might take time to think and come up with a very thoughtful question or design proposition.

Taking a time to review an idea during the brainstorming session. Image by Anthony Da Cruz.

It is vital to organize the session properly so that the loudest voice doesn’t become a dominant voice and everyone on a team has a chance to share their thoughts. When a brainstorming session is organized correctly, the session has time for talking and time for thinking.

Yes. The skills and abilities that a person brings to the job are more important than their personality type. Of course, it doesn’t mean that shy person shouldn’t improve their interpersonal skills. It is better to define the areas where you need to improve your skills (areas that directly impact your productivity) and work hard to make it happen.

Invest in building good relationships with your teammates because they will impact on results of your work. Building good relationships takes time and effort, and it’s normal to feel uncomfortable or nervous at first.

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