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Ok, so you have a software application. There is a logo, some colors, buttons, and maybe even brand guidelines if you’re lucky — why do we need a designer, and what are they going to do? Especially if this application is already being used by my customers, wouldn’t we be wasting time and money by having a designer on the team?

These are common questions we’ve heard from clients, especially when there’s uncertainty. However, a good UX designer will actually save you time and money. We’ll prove it to you.


When opening your product roadmap, there is likely a series of feature requests and enhancements that will be added. A good UX Designer will work with the stakeholders to design wireframes, mockups, and prototypes of the screens to clarify how these screens will look and how users will interact with them. This helps to bridge the gap between stakeholders and developers, answering many of those outstanding questions and diminishing the back and forth during development.

Often there are multiple ways to accomplish a task. Say you are building an application for shipping a package. The UX Designer will likely research how UPS and FedEx do these tasks, look at the client’s competitors, and what industry standards are. The goal will be to make the app intuitive and almost muscle memory for an untrained and naive user to accomplish the task as frictionless as possible. Specific requirements and edge cases for our application are also taken into account. We will add features the product team needs and a variety of flows which will likely show multiple ways the user can accomplish the task.

Wireframing UX Design
Wireframing a UX Design for a mobile app


The design tools such as Figma and AdobeXD allow us to generate interactive clickable prototypes easily, and facilitate conversations with stakeholders and customers to preview new features. With this process, your sales, product and design teams can get feedback from clients before development even starts, ensuring customers are excited about new features. We can even get into pain points on existing features and develop fixes on particular issues. We attach these prototypes or mockups directly to the developers Jira tickets. Working with the developers and software architects we can break these into smaller user stories and help them size the stories during sprint planning so everyone can reference the designs and stay in sync with visual clarity.


As more and more applications are being designed, and the number of screens is growing, you end up with dozens or hundreds of developers touching a single product. As you look at mockups, the typical design could see multiple ways buttons or paragraphs of text are designed, or the way links or headlines are styled.

We’ve seen applications where the mobile app looks like 2-3 different designers have styled it, and web apps where as you go from section to section, it appears that you are traveling through time — one section appears 10 years older from another page and the rest of the app. These applications aren’t staying in sync or effectively using a design system.

A design system helps a team keep this in check. It’s the reference point for the whole application when it comes to icons, fonts, colors, error treatment, etc. We put this in Figma so developers can easily choose what they need and reference at any point during the project.

A good UX Designer or team of designers will create a design system and work with the developers to ensure there is a consistent design and component library so that all of the buttons, form fields,etc. are developed once, then reused to maintain consistency. This helps to rapidly speed up the design and development time and ensure consistency in development. Additionally, this ensures that accessibility concerns with WCAG and 508 compliance can be addressed early in the design process, speeds up the QA process and removes some technical debt.


If we haven’t sold you on the efficiencies gained from the UX process yet, let’s take a look at the numbers. Numerous studies such as this one from Forrester site that ROI from design systems have a 100x return on investment, increasing conversions from customers, and steamlining the work from designers and developers. There are obvious improvements in customer satisfaction, faster design and development, simplified team communication, and reduced time-to-market.


Interested in seeing how UX can work with your process? Schedule a free solutions mapping session and our team of experts will help you get down the right path.

This article was written by Chris Johnson, UI/UX