Amlan Sarkar

5 things my mother taught me about UX design

As a user experience designer, we try to build customised design solutions to cater to the specific requirements of the users. The concept is similar to what our mom used to provide us to enjoy the best life experience throughout the journey of our life. While creating a UX design, we generally follow a regular pattern, the tested and tried one. Research, analysis, information architecture, evolving ideas are followed by interaction design, sketches and prototypes, interface design and testing. We follow these set patterns to create the best user experience for our users. All these thought processes and follow-up actions are actually ingrained inside us by our mother. Mother creates the best ever user experience for her beloved children through her natural instincts.

Identifying The Basic Needs of Your Child (users)

The very strong and powerful bond between a mother and her progeny work as a catalyst in creating the best possible user experience for the offspring of a mother. Every day, a mother has to identify the immediate requirement of her child and act accordingly. A hungry child will throw away any toys offered to him until his appetite is satiated. On the contrary, a child having his cravings well taken care of will gleefully accept any toys offered to him.

Likewise, in UX design, our first task is to identify the primary needs of the user. Failure in identifying the basic requirements of the end user will ultimately make him behave like a disgruntled child. Hence, the first and foremost job of the UX designers is to figure out the primary needs of the users while creating a design.

Time is the Essence

Understanding a child needs time. Relationship between a mother and her children matures over time. At times, a child can be a very difficult subject to understand. With his different peculiar antics, it is not an easy matter to decipher the exact requirements of a child. A mother carefully observes her child for months before being able to successfully decode the exact cause and meaning of the various expressions of the child.

The same analogy applies to UX designing as well. Collecting and analyzing a set of data is a tedious and time-consuming process. However, it is essential to create an effective design. Until and unless we understand the specific requirements of our users, it would not at all be possible to reach our users and provide them with any semblance of satisfactory user experience. Upon collecting and analyzing all the data gathered for the purpose, thorough and scrupulous planning has to be made to create a satisfactory user experience for our visitors.

All these require time. With time we can learn more about our users’ specific necessities and implement them accordingly.

Grow Together

Mother — children relationship evolve together after initial years of building a passionate bond between them. In case of a relationship between the user and the user experience provider, a similar approach will do a world of good to both the concerned parties. After having interacted frequently with your products/services, your user will be less vulnerable to outside forces and will not be distracted easily.

Let Users Explore, Learn And Try

Mother is the most important person in our life. While we grow up, it is the mother who with her inexhaustible source of love, affection and insightful knowledge of life, always makes provision for the best possible user experience one can get. During our difficult times, we can always turn to our mom for some timely advice. However, at times, we have to manage it all on our own.

For example, when we start riding a bicycle, our mother will always be at the back holding on to our cycles so that we don’t fall. However, after a short period of time, she decides to let us go on our own. She never pesters us by giving directions continuously. She teaches us the techniques of balancing the bicycle and her work is done. A mother will thereafter only intervene when she feels that her child is about to fall or is in distress.

The same applies to the relationship between a UX designer and the end user. When we create a design for a user for the first time, we try to be as elaborate as possible. We try to explain all the nitty-gritty of the design to the user in detail. However, many a time, too much information can be as disconcerting as too little. Hence, we need to give our users a free hand and let them explore on their own. Guide them as and when they need you.

Take Care of Your Users in Distress

After evolving together, the next step is to take care of your users. A mother tries every trick up her sleeves to comfort her crying child. Similarly, it is imperative that UX designers also help their users in distress. A mother provides a very sympathetic hearing to the problems of her child. Lend a patient and open ear to the problems of your users. Don’t leave them in a lurch. Try your best to make them comfortable. A mother will cuddle her child to comfort him. The last but not least, a mother tries to distract the mind of her child when he is visibly upset or in pain. A similar approach is necessary in case of our users as well. They have to be made comfortable. We can adopt the technique of humorous interaction with our users to divert their mind from the problems at hand.

To sum up it can be asserted that it is really heartening to realize the fact that how as a UX designer we can draw so much inspiration from our mother in our day-to-day life. Somebody rightly observed that the mother is a walking miracle.