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The Best 5 Design Hacks Every Product Designer Needs

Design. Small word for such a BIG job.

You gotta stay on top of user data, brand goals, and feature launches, all while making sure what’s working keeps working.

It’s not a job for the feint of heart.

But lucky for you, we’ve got five quick hacks you can start using today to make design life a little easier.

1. Get Faster Usability Insights

In the brave new world of UX, data-driven design is everything. But sending out surveys, interpreting results and hosting meeting after meeting to make sense of it all is just way too much work.

So we love usability testing tools that do the grunt work for you.

There are some truly awesome tools to choose from but our fave right now is Hotjar. It lets you take live recordings of visits to your site (up to 300 with the free version!) and uses heat maps for easy, accurate visualization. You can put polls and surveys right on your site and analyze your user data all in one place.

2. Skip the Style Guide

We don’t have to tell you how important it is to have fonts and colors that look powerfully rad together.

But blending fonts and selecting the perfect color palette is an extremely nuanced art and ain’t nobody got time to craft a comprehensive style guide.

That’s why we’re diggin’ on style guide tools like Stylify Me and Web Colour Data. Just pop in your url and you can quickly identify your favorite font and color combos (and skip the advanced courses in color psychology).

3. Use Shortcuts Everywhere

You’re probably already using shortcuts on the regular, but have you really exploited the full array of function hacks available to you?

Here’s one you might not have heard of. This awesome Github shortcut hack comes from product marketer and User Snap scribe, Thomas Peham.

Just press ‘?’ from anywhere in Github and you’ll immediately get a list of shortcuts that work on that page.

Here are a few of Thomas’s faves:

“s” for focusing on the search bar“gc” for switching to your code“gd” for switching to your dashboard“gi” for going to your issues

Productivity is all about small actions that yield HUGE results so try these out and see if they don’t just change your game.

(Can you even imagine life before Ctrl + V?)

4. Demo Your UI for Faster Feedback

Use screen recordings and GIFs to demo bits and pieces of UI that are still in the works, then invite your teams to take a look via group chat.

When you use visuals to skip right over the lengthy emails and time-draining meetings, you’ll see some serious speed in your feedback loops.

Pro tip: Use a before and after recording of Github pulls showing off your new and improved user-facing changes. This makes it super easy for designers and product managers to give you a quick thumbs up. (Plus, everyone loves a good makeover story.)

5. Ramp Up Your Bug Reporting

Not every bug calls for immediate action, but when the time does come, context is everything.

Which is why we call for a multi-pronged approach to fixing those bugs and making sure that everyone both internally and externally get the support they need to rectify the issue fast.

By creating a video explanation or GIF you can quickly record what’s happening on your screen and share that with a customer or team. Second, we rely on annotation to highlight the issue and convey that message quickly, while cutting down on lengthy explanations and meetings. This allows us to resolve bugs 300% faster.

Because CloudApp integrates with JIRA, Zendesk and Slack, you can easily take a cue from our friends at Cloud Elements and create support ticket “highlights” and add screenshots and GIFs to those tickets, to help you easily track your bug reporting progress. This makes it easier for the team to see the trail of what changes had been made and what still needs to be resolved.

No more miscommunication, lost support tickets, or lengthy resolutions. Everyone from customer support to engineers get on the same page immediately – without losing track of the progress.

So there you have it, five awesome design hacks you can start using right now..

Which ones do you use already? Did we miss any biggies? Let us know below.

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