My perception of User Experience design

June 22, 2015

“When I am in my painting, I’m not aware of what I’m doing. It is only after a sort of ‘get acquainted’ period that I see what I have been about. I try to let it come through. It is only when I lose contact with the painting that the result is a mess. Otherwise, there is pure harmony, an easy give and take, and the painting comes out well.”
– Jackson Pollock, Drip Painting artist

That is some kind of trance. You, enter a zone and then let your acts flow. Not letting them controlled by the conscious mind, but driven by its subconscious self – that is why it doesn’t look random. It might or might not have any physical semblance to the material world, but surely has deeper and greater meaning. A meaning that stems out of your inner thoughts.

Some time back, while I was looking at a painting of Jackson Pollock, a thought occurred to me – has User Experience Design any similarities to how he perceives art? A quick answer was a ‘no’. Probably, driven by a feeling that I would be ‘consciously’ analysing every single datum to create an experience that ‘works for the user’ – it felt like ‘I am’ very much attached to the happenings.

But, a closer look into the same fact gave me a new perspective. Just like Jackson Pollock does, a UX designer has to transcend himself into the world of a user and then let his thoughts flow. He feels, expects and imagines like a user does – while completely keeping his own choices out of the loop. Only after he comes out of the user’s world, he would be using his intellect to give shape to all his recordings.

Very much in-line with what Pollock said about his paintings. It is only when a UX Designer loses contact with the user, the result is a mess. Otherwise, it is pure harmony.

So, does it mean that UX design is a form of art? Well, I would let you decide for yourself. For me, it is transcendence. A journey full of amazing turns and twists.


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