I wrote a book about UI / UX Design, but the philosophies come from martial arts and Taoism! Freebies inside


#1

Hey everyone. I hope you don’t mind but I have a book to share, a book I wrote myself called the Tao of Design and User Experience: The Best Experience is No Experience. All the books you can currently find in the world about design introduces design principles. However, mine takes a completely new angle, as the principles I introduce come from Taoism and my passion for martial arts. Because these principles are higher than design, it is capable of cultivating your understanding to a new level.

This is my form, and way of thinking which I wish to introduce to the world.

There are 4 main principles that I introduce, and a master thesis. I can give you examples of how they relate to martial arts, and how they intersect with design.

Formlessness - To have no form so you can assume all forms. In martial arts there are different styles of fighting, each style has its strength and weakness. If you put a wrestler against a boxer, the wrestler is going to avoid getting punched and try to go for a takedown. The boxer is going to stay on his feet and avoid takedown. Whoever is able to exploit the other opponents weakness is the one that is going to win.

Well, how do we apply this in design? I can give some examples.

skeuomorphic design and flat design each have their strengths and weaknessess, thus, no style is the best style. You must realize that the best style is a combination of the strengths of different styles, and discards of the weaknessess. Styles may also evolve.

I think often there is a notion that there is an “Android” way of interaction vs a “iOS” way of interaction. But I believe that this way of thinking is a crystallization. We are looking at it the wrong way, that there is a distinction between an Android user and an iOS user, but I believe that we should be looking at the users as human beings. We only have 2 hands and 10 fingers, and we all hold the phone in similar way regardless of what phone it is. This means it is possible for us to aim for a solution that does not necesarily cling to an Android form, or an iOS form, but one expression that is formless.

Dynamism - All things are in motion, whether you see it or not. All martial art styles must evolve. Combat is dynamic and constantly changing, but always relating. The art evolves everyday, so you must evolve with it.

Design evolves everyday. Your style of expression must evolve. The way you design, and do things must constantly be in motion. The practice of design lives through us as human beings, just like all forms of art, and each of us are unique, so we are not bounded by any set of ‘doctrines’ to advance it.

One idea that came to my mind recently (after my book) was this: paper prototyping. I wonder who actually still uses this process? It is a traditional way of prototyping, but I believe this method is either dying or already dead, if not, there must be a new definition for it. It was widely used in 1990s when we didn’t have a lot of prototyping tools that we have today. Nowadays we have software that will allow us to draw boxes, copy them 10 times, and delete them 10 times in 10 seconds as opposed to drawing it out on paper, and cutting, redrawing. Instead of simulating the prototypes with our hands we can simply put them in invision and define a flow much more quickly. We can also send these prototypes to clients halfway across the world as opposed to sitting down beside them. There are much more efficient ways of achieving a low fidelity prototype that are much more favourable. I know that paper method is a still being passed down as part of a ‘traditional process’ which may be misleading because it may cause an amateur designer to try to cling too closely to a design process that is not fit for needs of today. This is to help you guys realize that processes, and methods must evolve. Traditionalists only try to preserve the form, without realization that it is obsolete. This also goes for a lot of martial arts instructors as well.

I think my post is going to be too long so i’m going to shorten it

Expression - Learn to express yourself, not just copy and pasting or following ‘trends’

Simplicity and Directness - Follow a straight line to the objective. Don’t beat around the bush with fancy interactions if it doesn’t get the job done.

The Best Experience is No Experience - Designing an experience is not about making it ‘pleasurable’, ‘meaningful’ or ‘delightful’ I believe the best experience is to have no experience, yet without experience, you can have all experiences.

my book is available on https://www.amazon.com/Tao-Design-User-Experience-Best/dp/1542784808
www.taodesignux.com ( I explain no ux principle in this video)

Now I’m not asking you guys to buy it (unless you really want to), but I’m open to giving the ebook version away (10 copies), in exchange for positive review (unless you really dislike it) I only wish to spread my philosophy in design, and this is a good stepping stone.

Thanks for reading.

Andrew


Book club?
#2

Hey @andrew_ou9 – I’ve moved your post into a topic of its own so it doesn’t get lost in the Book Club topic.


#3

thanks for that


#4

I really agree with your following points:

“Expression - Learn to express yourself, not just copy and pasting or following ‘trends’”

YES! True innovation and originality is so hard to find anywhere in tech anymore, and it’s sad because tech really should be the one industry from which it permeates everything. But a lot of people are too concerned with “rocking the boat” vs being wholly and originally true to themselves and their ideas and vision. I mean it’s hard in a workplace to be totally original because you have to work within the structure of the job, but there is still a lot of room for original / creative thinking. The pursuit and cultivation of originality should be a top priority for all creatives, across all disciplines. We don’t look at innovation as a skill that can and should be cultivated - this is also a mistake.

“I believe the best experience is to have no experience, yet without experience, you can have all experiences.”

100% true, although the best experience should be simple joy or happiness. Not a ‘joyful interaction’ but just the feeling of joy in and of itself. As you said, the best experiences are no experiences - but I’d add in the element of emotion. Because to spontaneously make a user feel joy and to have the interaction be totally seamless, well that’s the good stuff!


#5

100% true, although the best experience should be simple joy or happiness. Not a ‘joyful interaction’ but just the feeling of joy in and of itself. As you said, the best experiences are no experiences - but I’d add in the element of emotion. Because to spontaneously make a user feel joy and to have the interaction be totally seamless, well that’s the good stuff!

Ah yes, the element of emotion. My take on that is that the highest form of user experience is no experience, the lower forms are an actual experience. When it comes to say, the experience of driving, some people like it, some don’t. You have Tesla who comes along and decides to give you the choice of eliminating the driving experience entirely with self driving vehicles. Now the experience of driving will no longer be driving, it could be all experiences, like napping, eating, or playing games, whatever you make of it. It can also be driving if you wish. This is the highest form of UX that exists so we have something to aim at. If we can’t achieve it, we can certainly pivot to lower forms of what is attainable, so if you have no choice but to drive, you can then incorporate elements of emotional design so that the user has a positive experience when interacting with the vehicle


#6

as a fellow martial artist and UX designer I love this.


#7

I’m currently designing my portfolio site, woudl I be able to use a quote or two from your book.