By Mary Li  

One of the best and worst things about being a UX (User Experience) designer is that it is a constant thing. I don’t really leave work and take off the UX hat and call it a day – it’s more like a bizarre mental disorder that makes me want to tweak everything around me. I’ve heard engineers and scientists share in this. It’s the worst in that it’s kind of exhausting and makes me annoyed with poorly designed things, which is a lot of things. It’s the best in that it means the things surrounding me have a habit of becoming pretty fun.

Take, for example, my refrigerator:

ux_fridge001

It’s not a bad refrigerator this way by any stretch – it keeps things cold or frozen, has plenty of space, and the water/ice dispenser even works! That’s a new one for me! But just because it meets basic expected functionality doesn’t mean it can’t be awesome. When I see the fridge this way, it doesn’t make me want to use it. It doesn’t draw me to it. So of course, that had to be fixed:

ux_fridge002

Now, that fridge makes me smile every single morning, and makes people who come to my house instantly want my fridge. Also, I increased its functionality by making it a whiteboard, which is a nice addition on top of it being nicer to look at. This is a pretty good example of what UX design means to me: making things not just functional, but irresistibly usable.