10 Things User Experience Design Taught Me About Life

May 13, 2012

Picture of colorful tree.
  1. Empathy goes a long way. What motivators, challenges or pressures are the people around you experiencing? Nothing is done in a vacuum. Stay aware of how your actions might impact others.
  2. Before anything else, define what success is to you. Otherwise you’ll have no idea if you’re headed towards it or in the opposite direction.
  3. Don’t sweat getting off course; it’s natural to stray now and then. As long as you regularly check in to correct a path that’s not headed in the right direction, it’s not a big deal.
  4. Figure out your most important goals and use them to guide daily decisions.
  5. Life, like design, is full of trade-offs. There will always be difficult decisions. Maybe you can have it all, but probably not all at the same time. Prioritize wisely.
  6. Iterate constantly. Being too attached to your current way of thinking is a rut in the making. Identify what works and what doesn’t and be prepared to scrap something and start over. Be open to new approaches and possibilities.
  7. How well something works is important, but never underestimate how much a visually pleasing space can impact mood and emotions. Clear out clutter and let the sun shine in.
  8. People often express needs as solutions. Taking the time to identify the underlying need first always pays off by providing both a better understanding and a better solution.
  9. Get comfortable rejecting the status quo. Think things through and ask “why?”
  10. Perfection is elusive. Find and befriend your good enough“.

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