I recently had a self reflective moment where I said, “I want to go about UX design a little differently next year” and this is why. I was creating a false sense of meaning behind individual experiences.

I was obsessed with learning about experience design, any experience that was possible to make. I didn’t even care why it was happening to the person. Sometimes, there didn’t even have to be an event. I could just back chain the making, design, or action of an object, and in my mind, it would be the most significant important experience ever right then and there. I was so focused on the thrill of discovery that I forgot what was important in experience design, the outcome.

These small, short, insignificant events of individuals were not the grand, mind melting phenomena I had made them out to be. I was so focused on what was happening in their sub conscious decisions that I didn’t actually think about their perception of what was really the outcome. One problem with back chaining events is that you see operations and activities that aren’t really present in the full perception of your user and these things can distract from the bigger picture.

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I think it’s okay to isolate these moments and build them up to something more than they appear to be on the surface. After all, what’s the point of recording process if we don’t look at it at one point or another along the way. But what we also do a lot of times, is build the process backwards (back chain) as a means to understand and even decide where we went wrong. In doing so, small objects or events become large complicated webs of parts, processes, and reactions.

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Even though I was building this false sense of reality, of what was really happening to a person during an event, it was based on what is already happening. For example, how can you be certain it’s raining just because the ground is wet? You can’t because you need a better understanding of the events that led to the ground getting wet before you can be sure it was due to rain. This is no different than interaction design, UX design, UI, web design, and marketing alike. So while I think it’s important to continue “making a big deal” out of one person’s insignificant daily event, here are two thoughts to begin my new basis for designing and research.

  • Small daily events are not as vast and expanded as I’ve made them up to be lately. This issue was a direct result of passion and an urge to quickly understand UX and interaction design.
  • Many experiences are individually based. And because of perception and how it is influenced, any created without a deep understanding of the ACD and UCD principles behind the user is not necessarily a good basis for research or understanding of the subject.