Amlan Sarkar

International Day of Yoga: The impact of Yoga on UX Design

UX Design and Yoga

UX Design is a highly specialized field of creative art. It requires perfect synchronization of various aspects of our body and mind to create a unique UX design. Yoga as a perfect form of exercise helps us to coordinate all these aspects. Regular practice of yoga greatly enriches our body and mind which in turn empowers a person to use his creative instinct to the best of his abilities. The word Yoga is derived from the Sanskrit word ‘Yog’, which in English means yoke, harness, join or union. It is a form of exercise practised in ancient India. The practice of yoga involves the coordination and synchronization of physical, mental and spiritual faculties of a human being. The benefits acquired from a regular practice of yoga are manifold and is not confined to your yoga mat only. Regular practice of yoga ensures that the lessons we learn from it don’t end with the rolling of the mat. These lessons make you a better person both physically, mentally and effectively translates into the highly creative process of UX design.

1. Enhancement of Creativity

By practising yoga we make our body fit enough to engage in any physical work. When our body is responding well, our mind also reciprocates accordingly. When we practice yoga on a regular basis, both our body and mind work in a perfectly synchronized manner. We are repeatedly emphasizing the fact that UX designing is a highly specialized creative process. As we practice yoga the fitness of our body influences our mind to stay in a calm, composed and happy space. Our creativity is induced by the secretion of two hormones from our body. One is Serotonin and the other is Dopamine. The secretion of both these hormones increases with the regular and disciplined practice of yoga. Thus, the extent of our creativity gets a tremendous boost with increased secretion of both these hormones.

2. Working in Perfect Sync

Another aspect of yoga influencing our creativity lies in the meaning of yoga itself. As by the word yoga we mean yoke, join or union, it is this aspect of yoga where mind, body and our spirit join hands together and make perfect coordination to function in total integration. Likewise, a UX designer needs to be in perfect sync with his/her teammates to deliver the best designs.

3. Improvement in Cognitive Abilities

People tend to get stressed, distracted, bored and agitated at times. Practising yoga can be the ultimate solution in such cases. Yoga can help you concentrate better on your work at hand. It also enhances your working memory. Study says that the cognitive functions of our brain which controls our attentiveness and working memory show significant improvement by indulging in the practice of yoga by as little as 20 minutes a day. The positive impact of yoga is thus felt not only on a short term basis, but it also has a long lasting impression over our cognitive abilities.

4. Better Understanding of User Requirements

As we very well know, UX design is all about understanding the specific requirements of the end users. Yoga plays a very important role in this respect as well. Yoga allows us to understand people better. Different people follow different routes to reach a common destination. By practising yoga, we make us adequately conscious about such different perceptions of our end users. Thus, we can comprehensively deduce the specific requirement of a diverse section of our end users and make provision for all such persons in our UX design. This enables us to take care of all such persons with differential needs and expectations.

UX design is basically an activity to serve others. Coordination and synchronization are of utmost importance to serve your users better. Yoga teaches us how to coordinate and synchronize our mind, body, and spirit together. It ensures your design is in perfect alignment with your users. It also helps you to align your work in perfect coordination with your future goal as well.

5. Progress is Perfection

We cannot achieve the perfect pose in yoga routinely. It doesn’t mean we give up. Perfection is not the goal of yoga. Continuity and progression is. If we continue to practice yoga diligently, it will ultimately lead to improvement and growth. Likewise, in UX design we have to strive hard to make a continual progression. Perfection is a time-consuming and elaborate process. It has to be achieved in the course of time, but not at the cost of continual progress. As a UX designer, it is our sacred duty to understand what is and isn’t working for our users and accordingly make necessary changes in the design so as to eliminate the loopholes encountered prior to its modification and improvement. This is progress which is synonymous with the practice of yoga.

Yoga involves meditation. Meditation brings insightful knowledge and wisdom in us. We will be greatly benefited from such insight and wisdom in our regular course of UX design. Our intentions will be reflected in our design and will express the clarity of our goal. If the intention and the future mission is clear, the result will also be worthwhile.

To sum up, the following lines can be conclusively quoted to establish the importance and impact of yoga in UX design: “Quiet the Mind and The Soul Will Speak”.