Balance validation with design principles
User testing is an extremely valuable way of acquiring knowledge-- but it should not be the only source of truth. We should balance an ear for our users with trust in a design perspective aligned to a core set of product principles.
Offer strong opinions, loosely held
Always have a design recommendation. But hold this recommendation loosely, leaving space for new knowledge, alternate perspectives, and misproven assumptions.
Go with the literal solution
The most obvious solution is often the correct one. We consistently notice that users expect to edit content in tactile, contextual, and highly literal ways. Unique, clever interactions are often not the answer. Simple, boring, and straightforward solutions are.
Set proactive vision over reactive hacks
Take a step back from playing with the pixels and make sure you clearly understand the high-level problems you're solving. Setting aside time to learn deeply about the problem space and collaborate with stakeholders to socialize a product vision will go a long way in rooting every subsequent workstream in a strong thesis.