Parenting and UX Design

Photo credit: Laura lulu Taylor

“I came to parenting the way most of us do — knowing nothing and trying to learn everything.”

— Mayim Bialik

Being a parent is like on a never ending journey of learning. I’m still amazed by those new tips that I picked up from time to time even after 9 years. It could be picking priority and not trying to fix everything in one go; remembering to empathise with your children; or what children say and want could be completely different.

I find that there are a lot of similarities between parenthood and UX design. Here are a few most interesting ones that I want to share.

1. What kids say is not always what they mean — same goes for our users.

We have to guess what babies want til they are around 12-months-old or even older. The guess work is based on observing (babies’ behaviour), researching (parenting literacy) and testing (what ways work).

Although in UX design most users are adults and we listen to what they say, we can’t solely rely on their words to understand what they mean and want.

Being a parent has made me more empathetic and curious when understanding users’ need in order to achieve more efficient design.

2. Kids don’t always know what they want — and neither do our users.

Photo credit: Saulo Mohana

It’s suprising that how similary children and users can be. A lot of times, they are headstrong about what they want, but it could turn out to be something completely different.

This is why research is so crucial in UX. It’s not that proven best practices and design skills are useless, but there is a part of our users that will always find a way to crush our assumptions. Which is good, because it’s a way for us to learn behaviors, pain points and requirements we didn’t think about yet.

3. It can be tough, but we never regret it.

Photo credit: Liane Metzler

As every parent will tell you that the journey of parenthood is certainly challenging. However, every time when I’m seeing kids’ smile, those little trophies they bring from school, or how mature they are becoming day after day, happiness overwhelms me.

There are big or small bumps and hicups in every UX project. There are days when I would think “ why am I doing this!?”. The sense of achievement at the end of the road would always be rewarding.