For better or worse, work as UX means to be in touch with user feelings. We need to understand the emotion behind every step of our user journey to provide an incredible experience.
To recognize and manage each feeling is not enough to empathize and have some emotional intelligence but also we need knowledge. That’s why many professionals from other areas like psychology or sociology end up becoming successful UX professionals.
Regardless of that, you can do an amazing work without having a specialization. Keep in mind:
Feelings don’t have a single language, they’re universal.
It is obvious that we all have experiences and stories to tell but:
How do they influence in our designs?
And more importantly:
How could we use them in a way that does not separate us from the reality of our users?
Well, as you know,
“Virtue is the happy medium between two extremes”
Separate your experiences from your user’s and use it to your advantage
The most you live, the closer you will get to your users. Having gone through many experiences and have learned from them will make you understand other people in a better way.
Let me give you a silly example:
Think about the last time you argued with [someone here] and the unforeseen circumstances you had to deal or the conversations you had to have to finally fix it.
Imagine now that you’re designing an app driven by AI which detects and advice you in order to have a successful conversation for both sides.
In early stages of the project like research, interviews… you can take advantage of your experiences with your users detecting the feeling involved in the process and managing it properly.
By understanding your user feelings and sharing your experiences with them will build trust and it will bring you even closer to them than before.
Feelings are a tool, not a lead
It is hard to recognize and act in order to your feelings or your user’s, but as UXers we have to deal with that every day.
As I said, use your experiences and feelings to build bridges between you and your users, but don’t get lost in your feelings over other’s. This is all about to create experiences for your users, not for you.
Don’t let feelings dominate you, but hear what they have to tell you.
Let data guide you
Although feelings are a great tool to take into account and they will make easier your work. We never should mistake and take for granted what we feel as a global feeling.
We should trust in empirical methods and data. Only data will make us build a sustainable, scalable and consistent solution.