UX Design Was Precisely Defined Back in the XVII Century

Some consider UX / UI Design a new phenomenon in digital applications. Why?

Applied to superficial forms – app interfaces, websites, clickthrough, etc., – this may seem right. I argue that UX design is nothing new, and while the form changes with technological progress, the essence of creating intentional experience has remained the same for hundreds of years. 

If digital interface is a form of “language,” UX design is essentially eloquent communication. 

From this point of view, Blaize Pascal’s writing on eloquence can provide the most precise definition of quality UX design: 

“[Eloquence] is an art of saying things in such a way that those to whom we speak may listen to them without pain and with pleasure; that they feel themselves interested, so that self-love leads them more willingly to reflection upon it. 

It consists, then, in a correspondence which we seek to establish between the head and the heart of those to whom we speak, on the one hand, and, on the other, between the thoughts and the expressions which we employ. 

This assumes that we have studied well the heart of man so as to know all its powers and, then, to find the just proportions of the discourse which we wish to adapt to them. 

We must put ourselves in the place of those who are to hear us, and make trial on our own heart of the turn which we give to our discourse in order to see whether one is made for the other, and whether we can assure ourselves that the hearer will be, as it were, forced to surrender. 

We ought to restrict ourselves, so far as possible, to the simple and natural, and not to magnify that which is little, or belittle that which is great. 

It is not enough that a thing be beautiful; it must be suitable to the subject, and there must be in it nothing of excess or defect.”

The fundamentals of UX design were well defined back in the 17th century. They existed way longer. So according Lindy effect theory UX as a discipline will be thriving for many more centuries.

We only need to follow the fundamentals, improve upon them and use technology to serve them, not compromise them. What do you think?

Share this: