UX Design & Psychoanalysis

In this post I will address the links and bridges that I see between the discipline of UX Design and Psychoanalysis

Freud would be a great UX Designer
Experience does not happen on the screen, but in the mind.
Illustration by Stefan Zsaitsits

Since childhood I have always been very curious in general;curious to know how things work, to know why there is something rather than simply nothing, how they were created, among other issues. I believe that this is a characteristic of a natural way to human beings, even if some more and others less, the curiosity is somehow intrinsic to all of us.

But over time, as I grew older and became “adult,” the focus of my curiosity changed a bit: it ceased to be material, mechanical, and turned a little more to subjective, abstract things like Mind . One of the key questions of extreme importance and complexity is: how does our mind work? This has always intrigued me a lot …

Our mind, in a sense, “controls” and “manages” all our actions, behaviors, choices, feelings, our body, our emotions, etc .; but we know little about it, that is, we know little of what is our main “motor”, our driving force: our own mind.

Illustration by Daniel Martin Diaz

It is she (the Mind) that guides us in a great part of what we do, that guides us in the choices and decision making, and that consequently also guides us in the use of the interfaces and other products in our day-to-day (interfaces of household appliances , applications, websites, etc).

I realized that knowing myself deeply, I would (in a way) be knowing all other people, for all of us, despite some differences, also have a lot in common. In order to draw relevant things to people, you need to get to know people.

Today it is clear that Psychoanalysis tries to follow this path and answer some of these questions, how the mind and its processes work, because we act in the way we act, because we react in an A form and not in a B way, because we choose this path and not that one , among other issues.

When I met the UX Design discipline, an instant connection happened, like at first sight, because there was a way to unite two things that I really enjoyed reading and studying: Design + People. 
Not only that, but also Philosophy (observe, question) + Art (design, shapes, colors) . In my opinion, UX Design has many similarities with Psychoanalysis.

UX Design (and Psychoanalysis) is about listening to people, observing their behavior, their language, their reactions, their choices, understanding what motivates them, understanding what people need, what their desires are, their frustrations. All this has much in common with Psychoanalysis and can be applied directly to the design process of products, services, applications and interfaces.In addition both have as a method the Listening.

When using an application or navigating an interface, in the background of our conscious actions (entering an area for example) are happening various synapses and unconscious connections that we have no idea and much less control, connections associated with past experiences that directly influence our criteria of choice in the present.

There are many bridges between Psychoanalysis and Design, they are two disciplines that can complement each other and help each other in a unique and productive way.

If we come to this noble reader, we can say that Freud would be a great UX Designer , because he was one of the first people to start listening to other people, to understand their desires, their needs and their frustrations, so that it was possible to identify patterns and design possible changes of course and behavior, consequently life changes.

The same can be applied to the use of applications and interfaces: to observe, to understand, to listen, to identify patterns, so that it is possible to draw changes, to draw something new and to obtain experiences that are more meaningful and easy to use.

(In the next article I will get more deep on the bridges between Psychoanalysis and Ux Design.)