“We can’t design experiences. Experiences are reactions to the things we design.” Amen.

A very interesting and quite long reading about perspectives of digital design, homogeneity and patterns in a designing a user experience. There are a few quotations from it, something that grabbed my attention and resonate with my recent thoughts. You might find there something for you as well.

Everything looks the same. “Design is a chaotic field to be in as the world becomes more integrated into “The Matrix.” There’s a higher demand for better designed interfaces, but that doesn’t necessarily put designers in a more favourable position. Design decisions are scrutinized by an army of managers, marketers, UX researchers, business analysts, and even clients with an arsenal of metrics and analytics. I’m not sure design has ever been evaluated and so clearly tied to the success or failure of business.”
Take a minute and look at these Squarespace templates:


“I believe there’s an opportunity for those of us who are willing to stick our necks out. Nothing makes a drop of colour brighter than when it’s set against a wall of grey.”

Robots are robots, and human are human.
“Data lies to us. It makes us believe we know what a person is going through when they use our products. The truth is that it has no insight into physical mental or physical ability, emotional state, environmental conditions, socioeconomic status, or any other human factor outside of their ability to click on the right coloured box in the right order. We can’t trust the data. And those who do will always be stuck chasing a robotic approach to human connection.”

Go and observe your users with your heart. “When we stop chasing our tails and acknowledge that we’ll never truly understand what’s going on in everyone else’s minds, we can begin to look at the web and human connection from a fresh lens. Instead of fruitlessly trying to engineer happy experiences for the everyman, we can fold ourselves into our content and listen to its heartbeat. We can let the content give design her voice.”

Your designs will not speak the same way with any person. And it’s ok. “Ask yourself, who would you rather connect with: People who try to please you? Or people who stand by their own unique personality? Who do you respect more? Our content and our products deserve the same respect.”

One example of design that digital could try to learn from is editorial design. But “it’s easy to apply the visual techniques of editorial design the to screen, but to simply translate them across mediums is a fool’s errand. Doing so ignores the root causes of why magazine aesthetics were formed in the first place. It disregards how much they were shaped by editorial history, production methods, and physical properties. Editorial design is really about connecting the content to the medium. We’ve never been good at connecting content to our medium. Hell, we barely understood the medium of the web.”

“Design is at the service of content, and the designer, as a facilitator of communication, collaborates with the editor to create a product that may be used in a changing media society. In it design becomes planning and storytelling, the media become distribution and conversation, authors become value generators and a reason for connecting people.”

Give your content more responsibility. “We should treat content development with the same respect that we have for design and engineering. Stop putting the responsibility of writing solely in the hands of the intern, social marketing expert, or worst of all, the client. Your clients sure as shit don’t want to write content—they just don’t want to think they’re paying extra for it…. As web applications became more sophisticated and interactive, we quickly learned the weaknesses of purely aesthetics-driven design. We began to focus on “user experience design” to make up for poorly thought-out superficial design processes. But instead of empowering our designers, we divided them into a number of sub-disciplines – UX design and UI design, for example.”

” …an editorial designer should take as much interest in the content of a publication as the editor, because designing a magazine is unquestionably an extension of editing it. Both roles are creative ones that are rooted in and play part of a creative process, and how they function together will nearly always determine the success or failure of an editorial publication.”

“Designing better systems and treating our content with respect are two wonderful ideals to strive for, but they can’t happen without institutional change. If we want to design with more expression and variation, we need to change how we work together, build design teams, and forge our tools.


One thought on ““We can’t design experiences. Experiences are reactions to the things we design.” Amen.

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