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Design Insights

A ‘Selfless’ design approach

By March 30, 2020May 4th, 2021No Comments

The biggest disappointment for a user experience designer is for his/her product to be useless. Oftentimes, UX designers, especially those with visual design background, put all their efforts trying to make a product look pretty and aesthetically appealing that they forget about making it usable. This, for me, is a ‘selfish’ design approach. A ‘selfless’ or a ‘user-centric’ design approach, on the other hand, is one that views the problem from the users perspective and creating solutions that is tailored to their needs. Successful UX designers utilize this approach as the gold standard for design.

There are a number of principles to create a ‘selfless’ user experience. Website conception begins with a rhetoric situation – a circumstance that drives the designer to create something that will address the situation. It can be a necessity, a call for action, or a problem. A rhetorical situation is consist of three components: a purpose, the audience, and the context. To start a design, you must first establish the type of users you want the product for, identify the main purpose of the product, and decide the context of the information you will present.

All these components are incorporated in a scientific method of research. A ‘selfless’ design is unique among other design approaches as it is focuses on solutions that are based on evidences through extensive data gathering and investigation. The best method to carry this out is by immersing with the potential users, conducting interviews along the process, and obtaining their inputs and insights.

Ultimately, it is a learning process. The designer opens himself to any possibilities and learns from them, apply them to the actual product creation, puts them out for testing and feedback, and again, learning from them. The process repeats itself over and over until an intuitive, usable product is molded to perfection. The designer then hands it to the users to utilise, and then the process repeats itself over.

The idea that every design project is an experiment makes the process more interesting. There is no guarantee of success, so the designer should always be prepared for failure. And unlike any process, failure is an integral element to make the product more successful. A ‘selfless’ design uses mistakes as catalysts for improvement. It is an inevitable part of the process, and a powerful tool to achieve perfection.