Design Manifesto: U.X.T.F.O.O.E. (UX The F*** Out Of Everything)

During my extended yet unintended hiatus from the tech world, I sought ways to UXTFOOE—to think of the world in terms of user experience, beyond apps, beyond websites, beyond virtual or tactile or sensory.

Over the course of almost three years, some contexts to which I applied UX thinking have included:

  • workflows for freelance digital design production
  • front-of-house operations at a music venue
  • writing (and rejecting the writing of) poetry
  • shopping for groceries
  • gathering and sorting music into playlists for my DJ sets
  • scheduling house chores among roommates
  • babysitting
  • basic decision-making, such as choosing a restaurant

What does it mean to apply UX thinking to one’s general experience of the world? (Mind you, this all took place before I entered the UX Design Immersive at General Assembly, before I experienced any form of structured training in design thinking and simply “gained” knowledge through books and blogs and podcasts and networking coffees with people I now, in hindsight, really need to speak to again. But I digress.)

It means to think strategically, to embrace the present while moving toward the actualization of long-term goals. To create a template for today’s project so I can work on tomorrow’s project faster and more efficiently.

It means finding the most intuitive solutions to seemingly complex problems.

It means to evaluate and iterate dynamically. When I’m playing to a crowd and don’t get the reaction I want, I transition into a track that, based on past responses, would draw a more positive response.

It means empathy based not on internal assumptions, but on the experiences, emotions, and feedback of real people other than ourselves.

Our experiences of the world are shaped by our personal encounters, belief systems, and acquired knowledge. Our experiences are complex, as are the experiences of the individuals we sometimes de-humanize by reducing their identities into the word “user.” When we design products, why not apply the same thinking strategies that we do to other aspects of our lives? And vice versa, really: why not UX the f*** out of everything?

[timeboxed for 15 minutes]