Design and Observations

Since, I started learning more about design and UX, I see everything from a critical and analytic perspective. As if I am trying to shed light on issues that are going unnoticed, or just trying to understand how people interact with things around them.


I have been spending a lot of time at train stations - BART and Caltrain stations. My commute between home and school has been especially long, giving me enough time and the right environment to observe people. It may sound a bit creepy, but I promise I am not staring at people. A few weeks back, I noticed a guy trying to disconnect his phone - he tried disconnecting multiple times as he wasn’t sure if the phone actually got disconnected. This brief observation, got me thinking about the problem he might be facing - not getting feedback from the system. I went a step ahead in my head to design solutions for this situation. I imagined ways to provide tactile feedback when we take actions on the phone. As I was running these scenarios in my head, I realized that I had never noticed these details earlier.

There are many incidents like these in my daily routine where I had spent time to understand the interactions. I feel this is the sensitization process of design. Talking to my husband, he went through a similar transition where his observation and empathy increased as he studied design. 

Lately, I also feel that I am developing a taste for art and architecture - and San Francisco is a great place to explore that. Even as a kid, I liked to paint, but as I grew up, it became less and less important in my daily life. I focused more on learning business than nurturing my interests in art. Now, I can spend that time appreciating the art or analyzing an architecture without going through a guilt trip. Afterall, it is related to my job as a designer! Recently, I have been spending time in museums or walking down historical streets of San Francisco appreciating the taste of the creators.

If you are a budding designer, you will notice your education opens you up to the way you look at the world. I am sure you would start noticing things you ignored before and things that would often make you think of doing it better. If you are already seeing those changes in you, let me know about what those are. Has your taste for music or art changed? Or did you start focusing on details that you never did? For me, it feels like I have put on a new lens that makes me see the world better, and I am loving it.