What’s been been most eye-opening throughout my design career is the fact that only about 30% of my job actually involves pushing pixels in a design tool. The other 70% is research, brainstorming, whiteboarding, presenting, explaining, and validation.
I’ve come to realize that most stakeholders aren’t as intimately in touch with the ins and outs of designing a digital product, much less the specific screens required to put one together.
I find this particularly evident whenever I’m tasked with designing a login screen:
“While you’re at it, we’ll need a quick login screen.”
I can’t say I blame people for their flippant request. It’s a login screen…how hard can it be? 🤷🏼♂️ It’s just a couple fields and a big button that says “Log In”.
Well not quite. Here’s a quick list of all the screens I tell stakeholders need to be designed in order to check the box for LOGIN:
- Sign Up (empty)
- Sign Up (filled)
- Sign Up (error)
- Sign Up Confirmation Email
- Welcome Email (optional…but encouraged)
- Login (Empty)
- Login (Filled)
- Login (Error)
- Forgot Password
- Forgot Password Email
- Reset Password (empty)
- Reset Password (filled)
- Reset Password (Error)
- Password Change Confirmation Page
- Password Change Confirmation Email
Now to be fair, it’s really only 4–6 unique page designs, then a bunch of states (empty, filled, but still, that’s a decent amount of work, and certainly something you shouldn’t skip designing.
For a more detailed look at all the different login patterns, Christian Beck wrote a super, probably overly-comprehensive article over here: