How Small Changes Can Have Big Impacts In Design

Path Unbound
4 min readJun 10, 2021


The answers to solving inefficiency with design doesn’t need to be drastic

Written by Gyeongwon Kwak, social media content writer at Path Unbound. Edited by Stella Guan, Founder & CEO of Path Unbound.

Every designer at some point in their lives has probably heard the saying that designers “make things look pretty.” However, design is more than just visuals — it’s about problem solving, storytelling and creativity.

Jason Tremblay, a UX/UI and product designer, and Stella Guan, the founder and CEO of Path Unbound, discussed how Tremblay eliminated his own job by solving service design problems and the importance of storytelling for designers.

How He Eliminated His Own Jobs, With Efficiency

Tremblay wasn’t always a UX designer.

He worked at a small company as an HR assistant when he noticed that it took way too long to sort out paperwork to compile employee payroll information.

He decided to go digital and built a uniform form used by everyone in the company.

With one click of his mouse, he turned one week’s worth of work into 5 minute’s worth.

He did the same thing with other systems in the company by providing digital solutions to the company’s problems.

In fact, he was so effective that a larger part of his job became obsolete, which is why he said he eliminated his own jobs multiple times in the past.

When the COVID-19 pandemic began, Tremblay realized that he’s been doing user experience all along and decided to attend some UX bootcamps to pursue UX design.

Why Designers Need to be Good Storytellers

While going through Tremblay’s portfolio, Guan noticed that he used a comic strip to tell a story about a user using a bike app to fix their problems. Within these 6 frames, Tremblay demonstrated some elements of a great story — a call to adventure, some conflict, a guide (which is the app!), resolution and a triumphant return home.

When asked about the importance of storytelling for designers, Tremblay responded that storytelling can be used to not only understand users on a deeper level but it can also allow designers to defend their design decisions and help them incorporate all of their skills for businesses.

If designers can’t articulate what they’re trying to do or show the employer what they’re fully capable of, all of their other skills become useless.

Storytelling is just as important for designers as hard skills.

Storytelling is just as important for designers as hard skills.

Some advice Tremblay has for designers — who are a bit hesitant on showing their personalities online — is for them to learn how to talk with others about design, especially non-designers. It’s important for designers to be able to take feedback and have constructive conversations about their work with others in and out of the workplace.

Designers have to know how to talk about design with designers AND non-designers.

Designers have to know how to talk about design with designers AND non-designers.

As morbid as it sounds, Tremblay also recommends designers to read obituaries to realize that their time is valuable and limited, and that the world deserves to know about their talents as a designer.

How Small Changes Can Have Big Impacts

One of Tremblay’s projects, Corona Lost & Found, is an online archive of stories relating to the COVID-19 pandemic. He believes that it’s important to have records of times when we were uncertain about our future.

He created this project with hopes of keeping people in touch with things they found during the pandemic. It currently has hundreds of stories from all around the world where anyone can share their stories about things they lost or found during these difficult times.

Another way Tremblay made a small change was when he worked at a bagel shop and noticed how slow information would travel from the customer at the counter to the line cooks handling the order. He didn’t have a digital solution — he simply stood closer to the counter so that he can start prepping the order faster.

Designers should look for solutions to inefficiencies at every opportunity.

Designers should look for solutions to inefficiencies at every opportunity.

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