Magic inveigles us into a view of the world that is as entertaining as revealing. It is a path to an experience. In that respect, it is like UX Design: all bits of a path that has no name. Here’s a little something on the Tao of UX Design
UX is a name for the path with no name
Magic and UX Design? Seriously? Here’s the deal. I tell everybody that I create and design a User Experience. But what I actually do is design and create a useflow, or usecases, or a user interface, or talk a lot in meetings, or any number of fancy deliverables (yes, talking in meetings, too, can be a deliverable).
The person next to me in the project creates powerpoints, or market insights, or code, or installs a particularly nifty piece of software. So does that mean that the creator of powerpoints is somehow exempt from the creation of the User Experience? Or is it that only when all useflows, and powerpoints, and talking, and coding is done, we get whatever it is that is meant to give users an experience.
User Experience, I have come to realize, is not something you design, it is what magically happens to the User when you – and everybody else on the project – got it right.
Now Magic is a concept that says one thing and does the other: it asserts that the penny in the Magicians hand has appeared behind your ear out of thin air through a manner of magicke far beyond the understanding of your puny mind – rooted in a deep knowledge only attainable to the initiated – while actually it was a slight of hand, a flow of particular movements practiced meticulously and used to give you a particular experience.
So is this slight of hand Magic? No, it is a part that is no less necessary for the result than your suitably impressed audience.
So has the Magician created Magic? No – he has done his part, as has the audience. Both designed it by setting out on a path to create the experience. They called this path magic, and created the experience of a giggle and a tingle down your spine.
User Experience is another name for that path. Those that go to Las Vegas to have coins plucked from behind their ears (and those that are in Las Vegas waiting to do the plucking) together chose to travel down a path called Magic. Those that want to create a User Experience need to find and name their path together with those, that want to travel down that path – even though it will, in most cases, not end in a giggle and a tingle down your spine.
Said the Teacher:
The Tao that can be trodden is not the enduring and unchanging Tao. The name that can be named is not the enduring and unchanging name.
(Conceived of as) having no name, it is the Originator of heaven and earth; (conceived of as) having a name, it is the Mother of all things.