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Explaining UX to Non-Designers

For non-designers attributes of designs are colours, shapes, sketches, drawing, crafts, patterns etc. In short, its something that looks great visually. But UX is something that goes beyond this. It’s more about the impression left in users mind after interacting with the product. This impression can be positive, negative or neutral.

“What is UX” is the question you get from parents, relatives, friends, non-designer colleagues etc. To explain them in context, I use to take their interaction with phone as an example but again the same perception of visual factor dominated over experiential factor. This phone example wasn’t working for me atleast so switched to a daily used non-technical product “Coin”. Narrating my typical conversation below that I have with any non-designers nowadays …

Me — Hello Uncle, How are you
Uncle — I’m doing good. You say …
Uncle — and by the way what are you doing nowadays ?
Me — Working as UX Designer
Uncle — What is UX?
Me — User Experience is the full form. Responsible for ensuring that user is left with positive impression after interacting with the product.
Uncle — (puzzled expressions on uncle’s face)
Me — Let me give you a non-technical example
Me — See this (preview in mobile) … Which one is looking good?


Uncle — right one (new design) …
Me — Now another example. Just imagine that there are 2 boxes with mix set of 1 and 2 rupees coin. First box contain the old denomination coins and second box contain the new one. You are now given the task of separating 1 and 2 rupees coin. Which box you will choose?


Uncle — One with old coins.
Me — Why
Uncle — Easy to identify and counting will finish quickly
Me — so it means new coins look good but doesn’t work good …
Uncle — yeah … and infact, majority of the time, in the 1st attempt I fail to take out right coin from my wallet.
Me — same problem here …
Me — One final question … Did you ever say this thing to yourself ?? … “ I am unable to recall whether I gave autodriver 1 or 2 rupee? Uff my weak memory !!! … 🙁 “
Uncle — hmm … yeah
Me — Does it happen in case of 1 and 5 rupee coin as well ?


(5 rupee coin differ in thickness, material type and has line patterns on the side edge.)

Uncle — nope … never
Me — So it means your memory is not weak but the design is weak because it made you feel inefficient for no fault of yours.
Uncle — hmm …
Me — I hope you got my point about UX. As an UX Designer, I am trying to design products which not only looks good but also works good in user environment.
Uncle — UX sounds interesting …
Me — :)

Coin example has worked for me extremely well. In case any of you try it, please post your response below …

Published in UX


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