It’s a designers’ world, we are just living in it!
This might sound a little exaggerated but is true for the digital world.
Life is about experiences and even in the world outside of our screens, most of the experiences are designed consciously or subconsciously by some human.
Be it the outfits we wear, books we read, the vehicle we travel by, the traffic system, the billboards we see, the markets, the cubicle most of us spend our weekdays in, or anything in the man-made ecosystem. They are all designed.
The ultimate aim of the design is to make things and systems efficient, but sometimes it fails in doing so.
We get stuck in traffic for hours, our chairs just don't feel right or they make that quirky noise, our left shoe bites our feet, our workplace sucks our energy instead of boosting it.
While there are a lot of other factors also at play, how our day goes by often depends a lot on these 'tiny but not so tiny' experiences. They shape our moods and productivity or at least affect them (unless we are super internally driven human beings :p).
To be precise, our day-to-day experiences are shaped by goods and services we consume, and systems we interact with or are part of. All these goods, services, and systems are designed at some level by someone.
Good designs make our life easy and the bad ones complicate it, but they always do have their impact whether we notice it or not.
Things get more intricate in the digital world as every single thing we can think about in it is man-made. And with the time passing on we are spending more and more time with gadgets for everything be it for work, education, entertainment, social interactions, art creation, or even fitness.
With getting immersed further in the digital realm, we see that people are also becoming more vulnerable and reactive to it.
Our sense of achievement after a workout depends more on the numbers we see on our fitness band rather than how our bodies feel. A single social media notification can make or break one's mood. Pulling on a headphone in a crowded place takes us to our own isolation. These are just a few examples.
The line between virtuality and reality is getting thinner. So the digital designers are getting more and more power to shape the experiences we are talking about. Design essentially works around human psychology to craft best-fitting solutions.
When designers ignore their audience's context and psychology what we get are inefficient solutions fail to find the balance between functionality and aesthetics.
We encounter both - good designs and bad designs, every day!
That's why some digital products feel very smooth, they don't require excessive guesswork, don't overwhelm us with choices, and give us the best possible way to do what we want to. While some other products confuse and overwhelm us. We feel frustrated not knowing where to click to do what.
This way designers empower or limit us in the digital world. They control our experiences and behaviours, thereby impact the lives we live in the digital world. That's why this title!
This all being said, it is now the responsibility of us designers to make conscious efforts to make the digital world a better place.
We need to empower the users, make them feel in control, make their experiences enjoyable, declutter their screens and give them space to breathe just like nature gave us a beautiful, calm sky above our heads.
Going an extra step to give some elements that make them 'WOW' isn't a bad idea either, remember seeing a rainbow?
Let’s kick dullness and frustration out of the digital world ✌️