Understanding User Experience through Interior Design

One very key thing about user experience is that it isn’t limited to digital space. It is in everything we do, every service and product we use. As befits the name, we use things every day, therefore user experience is universal. 

So it isn’t surprising that I get disappointed when I see designers (of all kinds) creating products without the user in mind. Yes, we have to exhibit our creative skills; yes, we need to make things aesthetically pleasing, but what we can’t compromise is the user’s needs (requirements) from our products, websites, spaces, or our brands.

In one program I was watching called ‘Interior Design Dream Maker’ this space was the users home. How important is it to design a space that we live in? How very challenging to get it right, when you are not the person who lives there? Right?

DREAM HOME MAKEOVER – The Hutchinson’s project “after” from episode 3 of DREAM HOME MAKEOVER. CR. Courtesy of NETFLIX/NETFLIX © 2020

On this program I found myself thinking about the user while the designer wasn’t and sort of shouting at the telly. Don’t get me wrong these were amazing make-overs and she is a super talented interior designer who is great at bringing materials and textures together. But when she was putting together these people’s dream homes, I felt like she wasn’t thinking of their everyday usage of her designs.

Let me give you an example from the show, in my UX language; 

User: A larger family consisting of a father, a mother and 6 kids aged between 3-16

Task: Creating a home movie theatre set-up, where the family can get together, chill and watch movies together. 

Solution: A very large (deep) U-shaped sofa, with a leather puff in the middle, placed opposite a big TV screen.

So what is the problem? 

The father of the family is a basketball player so he really loved the large sofa, and there was space big enough for all of the family members. But I noticed there were no side tables, coffee tables, or anything to sort of rest your drink or snacks. So I kept thinking where are they going to put their drinks when they are sitting around this wonderful large sofa? After all the family intends to spend their time as a family here and do movie nights. The family will have drinks and popcorn (at least) while hanging out in here. 

Another issue for me was the light colour of the sofa. This might be manageable with cleaning products I guess, but I personally would go with a darker grey so children can’t mess it up as quickly. 

On the contrary…

Watching Get Organised with the Home Edit was a completely different experience. The duo of Home Edit literally walk in their clients’ (users) shows while they are editing or organising their spaces. They also test them, once they have the idea, they do quick tests. 

And that my friends is what a good user experience is. 

Now, I want you to think about how you feel when you go on a website and can’t find what you need, or going into a store where there is bad signposting or customer service, it is similar to the feeling experienced when you get lost in an unfamiliar surrounding. This is exactly why your website needs to have a good UX design that is centered around the user’s need.

I love UX Design because it allows me to incorporate not only my design and organizational skills but also, my emotional intelligence and a degree of empathy.

If you’re reading this, and it’s making you wonder if your users or  customers feel right at home using your products or services, or, it’s invoking a  desire to make changes to your digital product or website in line with user experience, let’s book a call 🤙🏽


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