Photo by Joanna Kosinska on Unsplash

As a design practitioner, I love reflecting on my experiences and learning from them. To that end, I’ve stumbled upon some transformative realizations that have reshaped my approach and led me to remarkable outcomes. In this exploration, I share four pivotal epiphanies that not only influenced my perspective but have significantly contributed to the success of my design endeavors.

1. Usability is a Subset of Experience

In design, usability often takes the spotlight. Yet, a crucial realization dawned on me — usability is just a part of the broader user experience. While it ensures functionality, an outstanding user experience transcends utility. It blends efficiency with emotional connection, aesthetics, and the overall journey, creating a holistic encounter that resonates with users.

2. Experience is always continuous but is engendered by discrete touchpoints

Another game-changer was understanding that user experience isn’t confined to individual touchpoints but unfolds as a continuous narrative across interactions. To craft a seamless journey, we must see beyond isolated moments. Each touchpoint, when viewed as part of a connected flow, contributes harmoniously to the overarching narrative, fostering engagement and satisfaction.

3. Reimagining Interaction Design with First Principles Thinking

The key to enhancing interaction design lies in embracing first principles thinking. Instead of relying solely on incremental adjustments, reimagining interactions from the ground up allows for a more innovative and impactful approach. By questioning assumptions and going back to fundamental principles, designers can break free from conventional constraints and explore novel solutions. This epiphany has been a guiding light, steering my design efforts towards creativity, innovation, and, ultimately, amazing user experiences.

4. Knowing when to break norms and rules

Breaking from convention can be powerful. Knowing when to break design rules allows for innovation and unique solutions. While rules provide structure, challenging them at the right moments opens doors to unexpected and delightful user experiences. Understanding when to break established rules is an art, a skill that hinges on context and the unique demands of a given design scenario. For instance, imagine a website interface adhering strictly to conventional grid layouts. Now, picture breaking away from this norm to introduce an asymmetrical arrangement that not only captivates attention but aligns with the avant-garde theme of the content. In this context, breaking the rule of symmetry becomes a strategic choice, creating a visually striking and contextually fitting design. The key lies in discerning when to defy convention to elevate the overall impact and user experience.

In the ever-evolving landscape of design, these epiphanies have been instrumental in shaping my perspective and fueling successful outcomes. Recognizing usability as a subset of experience, understanding the continuity of experiences across touchpoints, and embracing first principles thinking in interaction design have collectively elevated my approach.

Design Epiphanies That Have Led Me to Successful Outcomes was originally published in UX Planet on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.