A couple of months ago I wrote a post entitled Reason #3 Why UX Designers are like Therapists. As usual, I shared the post through Twitter and Facebook. One of my best friends, whom I lived with while in Texas, commented… half joking, mostly serious with this quote “because you’re always trying to analyse those around you! ‘why do you like this site?’ ‘why do the security questions/pictures make you feel secure?’ ‘where’s the place you would look for X? how about Y?’ the list goes on and on… the trials and tribulations of being your roommate and trying to use websites!”
Of course, her comments inspired reason number 4. As a UX Designer, I’m constantly studying those around me. Whether they are using something I designed or not (mostly not), I’m always looking to see how they are using it and always questioning how their experience can be better.
Having been friends with a therapist for a long time, I realized that we have the same methods of informal discovery. He wants to learn about people and thus is constantly asking about their thinking and feeling patterns. I, in comparison, want to learn about the experience of using a product, website, application and thus am constantly asking about those thought and feeling patterns.
Maybe, as designers, we take it too far some times, but, we just can’t help it right?! I just NEED to know why something invoked a response in the user. It’s important for me to understand how everything is connected just like therapists and their needs to know about how we think and feel. Perhaps though I could calm down a little… after all I think I drove my friend over the edge when she said “hi. my name’s cristina and i’ve lived with a design-aholic”… I can’t deny that I have a problem, but if you’re a UXer I’m sure you have the same disease :-).