Designs which are solving problems are always adorable
UX design, although is similar to traditional design in a lot of ways, is still a young emerging field. It’s an amalgamation of a lot of things that have come before it. Imagine the older days of computing. There were people whose job was to think about human factors while using machines to do the computation. The hardware was huge and complex with a lot of buttons to remember and operate.
People who were designing the first operating systems were coming from research backgrounds with expertise in human factors. They were trying to understand humans and machines together, to design the most viable human-computer interface. For instance, drag and move; that looks so simple in retrospect now, wouldn’t have existed if some designer wouldn’t have thought how to make things simple for users. Without design thinking, we might all have to train our minds to be like computers, to operate a computer. That sounds quite a lot of work, and wouldn’t have allowed the enormous information and communication technology to be developed at such a large scale.
Later, in the journey of technological advancements, came onboard graphic designers. Visual artists have great insight into human psychology. They brought this knowledge in graphic design and have been evolving with time since then. Natural selection works here too; the collective consciousness of users decide what design should sustain and what should perish. A successful designer will do all the possible iterations to ensure he/she is getting the right one for the users. This iterative process is not just limited to the visual aspect, but the overall design of a product. Technology becomes usable and convenient for a common user because of design thinking.
UX Design is an iterative process
Although, there are selective people who make the design decisions, the products that we see are naturally selected. It’s the users who collectively decide, after a lot of trials and errors, what would stay on the screens. When designers sit with a problem to design a solution, it’s never a eureka moment. It’s more about a gradual stimulus of ideas from a lot of quantifiable data, and non-quantifiable observations; and from logically and empathetically analysing every aspect of the possible solution. And certainly, feedback from users helps the design evolve into something that might not have been imagined initially. Thus, design thinking is using multiple iterations for a single refined idea.
Iterations and stand-up comedians: The hard part of being a stand-up comedian is not writing a joke, but to write it again and again until it works. It is an iterative process and involves a lot of work. The comedian tells the same joke in different clubs taking feedback (mostly in the form of waves of laughter and applauses and other forms of emotional reactions), and then reworking to improve it until it gets perfected for the big show (mostly, a show that will go on the internet).
Designing a digital product is somehow similar. There are plenty of areas in a product where designers try out something for a limited audience, and get back data to understand how that audience has used a certain feature, how easy and intuitive was the feature for them. UX Design always existed but the term was never heard until Don Norman defined it.
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