Cutesy animations and custom transitions are nice, but know that you are designing them mostly for someone’s ego (your own and/or your client’s), not for the success of the business.

Fancy details may earn you hundreds of Dribbble “likes” and the admiration of your peers – but they are mere indulgences unless they improve your users’ life in a meaningful way or move the needle for your startup.

Obsess over the details if that’s what makes you proud of your app, but know that you could instead be working on things that have a better chance of having a measurable impact.

UX is about impact

Good product design is making sure your product delivers on what users expect it to do for them — creating something they couldn’t before, getting something done more effectively, fill time with an engrossing game while waiting for the subway. Good products get their users’ jobs done, without begging for attention to “the UX”.

UX design at startups means treating new features as hypotheses (“will this feature increase retention without sacrificing adoption?”). UX design at startups means weighing the scope of a feature against its release date (“limited scope, but release and learn from actionable data faster? or build the ‘awesome edition’, but release later?”).

The value of your work lies in the impact on your users’ lives and the metrics that matter for your business. Figure out which metrics matter most, and measure your progress as a product designer according to these metrics — and not your Dribbble likes.

This is one of my lessons learned during the past year of working with ride-sharing startup flinc.