Q&A with UX Designer and Engineer, Kelsey Raczak: Design Advice for New Entrepreneurs


Published: | Updated: | By Aimee Thompson

1. What should someone first consider before beginning the design process on their website?

Before you begin designing your website, ask yourself a couple questions. Who are you designing for? What is the purpose of this website or the problem you’re trying solve? The answer to these questions plays a crucial role in the direction of your design.


Standing in a field, asking all the questions🙋🙋‍♂️

 

2. What resources do you recommend for first-time designers?

Books are always a great resource. Two of my favorites are ‘Don’t Make Me Think’ by Steve Krug and ‘Hooked’ by Nir Eyal. Also, Google. It seems obvious, but it is often overlooked and undervalued in regards to education. When used correctly, the importance of a search engine that connects you to infinite knowledge and the works of some of the most brilliant minds out there cannot be overstated.


Reading all the books 📚


3. What are some easy-to-avoid web design mistakes you see most often from those just starting out?  What steps can be taken to avoid them?

A common mistake that I’ve come across is overcomplicating the design. I often see designs that have too many distractions, a jarring color palette, inconsistent typography, or using the page as a word dump. Keep it simple. Determine the minimum number of content necessary for your end user to achieve his or her goal. Use a color palette that is easy on the eyes. Apply these colors not out of randomness but rather to create contrast and balance with other elements on the page. Stick to one or two font styles and keep the application of those styles consistent. If you find your website to be content-heavy, try breaking the content up into smaller, more digestible chunks, each with a header. This will improve the overall readability of your website and provide a more pleasant experience.


Keeping it simple 🖌

 

4. What considerations should be taken when determining layout and how best to incorporate brand in the overall design?

 When determining a layout you need to first consider the information hierarchy in the message you are delivering to your audience. Your message should trickle down the website by level of importance. After all, you’re telling the story of your business. Don’t put chapter two before chapter one. Once you have the architecture of your information, incorporate your brand by using your brand’s color palette and typography. Use those colors and fonts consistently throughout your website. Be sure to also add your logo. In addition, the tone of your content should reflect your brand’s voice. For example, is your brand playful, serious, or a mixture of the two? etc.


Lookin’ sharp 😎

 

5. Inspiration plays a key role in the design process, do you have any go-to sites, physical locations, activities, etc. that you’d recommend for finding and maintaining inspiration?

It’s important to be connected with the design community to maintain inspiration and growth. I frequent design platforms like Dribbble, Awwwards and Behance. I also use Muzli by InVision to serve me up-to-date articles that cover a broad range of design topics. As for locations and activities that I draw inspiration from, it’s good to get the blood flowing whenever I am feeling blocked. I also like to spend time out in nature. It’s hard not to be inspired by the beautiful design that surrounds us.


Taking in all the natural inspiration on this mountaintop 🗻



6. What tools would you recommend for those creating their eCommerce site with a limited budget?

I would recommend looking at platforms such as Shopify. If your website lives on a different platform or you had it custom built, POWr also offers an eCommerce plugin with four different plan levels starting from free for you to choose from.


Tools assembled 🛠

7. Are there any design myths/ misconceptions that you find discourage new entrepreneurs from believing they can create an attractive site even if they aren’t a professional designer?

Design is not always about making something look good. The success of a design is measured by its usability. You don’t have to be an artist to create a usable website.


We did it! Our site is functional! 💃🕺



8. Creating a website for the first time can be stressful, what advice do you have for mitigating this and cultivating a more pleasant experience?

Be patient with yourself and the website. There will be a certain degree of uncertainty and insecurity. That is perfectly fine. Design is an iterative process. It will never be perfect. You should expect that and embrace it.


Being patient through the design process 😶


9. It’s often said that we learn more from our mistakes than our successes, have you found this to be accurate of your own experience? Can you share an example?

 

Absolutely. Oftentimes in design we identify problems and make educated guesses based on a subset of data to determine potential solutions. If the proposed solution is successful, we high-five and put a tick in the win column. But how much did we really learn? Just because a solution was successful doesn’t mean that the other solutions would have been unsuccessful. Had the proposed solution failed, we would have been forced to investigate further. To dissect each individual piece of the workflow to see where we went wrong. How many incorrect assumptions were made? Are we looking at this through the right lens? If you know what doesn’t work, you are far better equipped to find what does.


Problem solving like a BOSS 😏



10. What encouragement would you like to offer beginning entrepreneurs?

There’s a considerable amount to learn about building a successful business and ensuring it continues to grow. The good news is that you are not alone! The questions and uncertainties you may have are not exclusive to you. Hence the many tools out there, such as POWr, specifically designed to help you and your business grow online. You need only reach out and grab them.


You got this, now go kick ass 💪


Kelsey is an UX Designer and Engineer at POWr. When she isn’t exercising her super power (saving users from the depths of bad design), she can be found eating pasta while enthusiastically rolling in blue paint and offering free hugs to onlookers.