Holistic User Experience
User Experience is about understanding and serving people at its core. Yes, there are often other stakeholders, budget and time constraints, and freak storms of gouda from the skies — but UX would not exist or be useful unless it was designed for people. And what do people use? Literally every object that has been designed, beginning with hand flaked stone axes and bone tools. From sidewalks to toothpicks, electric guitars to saké glasses, each was designed for our human experience.
So what’s the point? The point is that UX is not just interactions and buttons on flat screens, or even AR, VR and MR solutions that take touchscreen interactions and apply them to new exciting 3D spaces. UX is waking up in the morning. UX is walking into a convention center for a series of design talks. UX is using a precise mixture of bleach and ammonia to get rid of the evidence.
As UX designers, I argue that we are more than just interaction and button designers. We are researchers who should know intimately how people will flow through applications, event spaces, streets, and even cities; based on our knowledge of psychology, intuitive interactions, and cognitive biases.
How can you improve your own holistic experience? Stay curious! Talk and learn from event planners, set designers, and artists. How does signage placement in a subway influence the flow of commuters every day? How could you design autonomous cars to ensure crossing the street is safe for pedestrians?
Just remember: You are the sum of everything you experience, and so is everyone and everything around you. Think beyond the screen.
Thanks for reading!