The Beauty of Observing

If you're a UI UX Designer, UX Researcher, or mainly involve in UX, this is one important habit you must have :


Some people find it creepy that you observe strangers, people, animals, or whatever that is.

But let me tell you this, 1 observation can take you to so further away.

Some questions you might have when you start to observe :

1. What is there to observe?

2. What if I get caught?

3. I find this creepy, are you sure I am not being creepy?

4. What do I get after observing?

5. Can I just read books/watch videos instead of observing?

You're in luck cause I'm gonna answer all of that with my experience as a creepy UI UX Designer (duuh)

So I love observing and if you know me, I started my background as a graphic designer. UI UX and graphic designer is not so different, fyi. When I was learning how to draw, my teacher keep emphasizing on OBSERVE. She keeps saying that you must observe. Observe the vase, the bottle, the human. I kept looking but I have no idea what to look, where to look, what can I get out of it.

Here's the thing. All of us who don't usually observe will start by having this confusion.

This is perfectly normal.

Whenever you start to do something out of your comfort zone you will feel confused and unsure what to do, or even if what you're doing is even worth it at all?

Let's answer those questions one by one.

1. What is there to observe?

You don't necessarily have any goal what to observe. The most important thing is that you pay attention. At first, you won't notice a thing. Sooner, the more you do it, you'll start to notice little things. You'll finally get it.

2.What if I get caught? 😨

I am a super shy person and I usually don't talk to strangers. There were times that I just look away, or smile, or maybe just frozen, not knowing what to do! Whatever it is, you do what's comfortable to you because observing is not a crime ok? I'd recommend talking to the people that caught you observing, but not everyone is comfortable with it, so you do you!

3. I find this creepy, are you sure I am not being creepy?

What matters is your intention. So long that you have good intention (like making awesome product that people love!) then there is absolutely NO reason for you to find it creepy. 😊

4. What do I get after observing? 🤔

I'd love not to spoil, but to motivate, let me share some benefits I got.

I got to learn culture faster, it matters the most when creating products because I can adjust it to the user to create relevancy. I learn behaviour pattern much faster, I learn what's trending, what people like what people does not like. Indirectly this all will affect into the product/experience making.

5. Can I just read books/watch videos instead of observing? 👀

I think you have to do both.

You observe yourself and watch video or read book. The reason why I wouldn't recommend reading books only is because books are written in another person's perspective, so does a video, the shots and footages are selected and being pasted together in a way to convey THEIR message. So I'd recommend doing both!

I have been observing people these past 3 years and I have to say, I love that I can notice the shift in people's behaviour and mind even the slight one. It actually makes me adapt much better in terms of my design.

Does this writing makes you want to start observing?

Let me know in the comments below 😀

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