The UX of Bad Days

Yesterday, someone I know had a bad day.  It is a common occurence.  Everyone has a bad day once in a while.  It colors your whole outlook.  How do these things happen?

Bad days can be triggered by any number of things.  Some are:

  • Physical environment.  If you are too hot, too cold, slept funny, back hurts, too humid making your hair look frizzy, too dry making your skin peel, hair too long, hair too short, itchy, sneezy, coughing, clothes don’t fit.  You get the idea.  Anything that can make your uncomfortable physically can put you emotionally in the Bad Day category.  It will make your aura get brown and yucky.
  • Conflicting interaction.  When you wake up in the morning and imagine in your minds eye a particular thing you want to say or do, you are setting yourself up.  If the interaction happens that way, you hit a homerun.  If not, you are going to be pissed.  If you drive home and really want to watch your favorite TV show, then get there and someone else is watching a different show, you have put yourself in an awkward position.  More than likely you will be “in a bad mood” for the rest of the night.  If you did a good job at work and your boss says you did a BAD job, that conflict will lead to serious repercussions.
  • Self-doubt.  Sometimes people get in a bad mood because they are unhappy with themselves.  This can lead to depression.  I am no psychologist, so I won’t go into detail.  Generally, though, when you feel like you aren’t good at something you can get it in your head and it will create the “bad day”.  This one is generated without external interaction, but can be the most devastating.
  • Defense mechanism.  Maybe someone puts up that negative energy to avoid having to resolve the issues around them.  I have seen this happen before.  The bad day isn’t really a bad day.  It is a way to establish the conversation.  It is a way of controlling the world around you.  I think Jared does this sometimes.

Anyway, this isn’t meant to discourage or depress.  Really, I just wanted to think about bad days.  Everyone has the right to a bad day.  I think forgiveness and forgetfulnesses are virtues in this arena.

A good UX Architect thinks about the world around them.  How do people feel?  Why do they feel that way?  How can the design of things cause/prevent these feelings?   UX Architects are supposed to create good days.

Each day, I wake up in the morning and clap my hands together and say, “TODAY, is going to be a great day!”

One Reply to “The UX of Bad Days”

  1. One other thing I thought of that has an impact – events affecting loved ones. Last week my son busted his head open and we had to take him to get stitches. It didn’t make me pissed, but it negatively affected my mood for sure.

    Your comments about UX architects creating good days really hit home, that is part of the reason I chose the profession I’m in. I can make some one’s (hopefully lots of some ones) day better. I think the second and third things you list are the most controllable from a web developer’s perspective. If I make a site or application that doesn’t suck, it will behave how people expect it to behave and not cause conflicting interaction. Additionally, if my site/app releases people’s self doubt (so they don’t say things to themselves like “Should I really click this link?”) they are going to feel better about themselves and be happier.

    I love what we do – we make people happy. And that’s exactly why it hurts so bad if some one has a bad experience with something I’ve created.

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