#76 Online businesses are trying to capitalize on every niche opportunity [draft]

Recently I was testing various online products and plugins such as Webflow (website builder), Spline (online 3D authoring tool), Model Viewer (3D model viewer for web browsers) and 3D Viewer (WordPress plugin), to name a few.

It’s actually great to have all these just at the tip of your finger. Just Google something that you are looking for, and boom, most of the features that you can think of are already available in some ways. Isn’t that great?

Sure…, but the problem is that whichever cool product you find, you will end up discovering that you have to pay in order to get something meaningful out of it. Yes, I understand. It’s still generous that they all offer free versions. But all of their business models are carefully crafted so that if you are serious about accomplishing something solid, you have to upgrade to the paid version. It’s annoying.

Below is an example of Model Viewer, a WordPress plugin rendering glTF 3D model exported from another service called Spline. Model Viewer actually worked great, but Spline did not let me export materials which includes colors) in their free version. That’s why all the cubes are in white.

I was also playing around with Webflow, and tried embedding Spline scene in a page. I may still need to check more if I did everything correctly. But my Spline scene never loaded in my Webflow page. Instead, my Webflow page seemed to be rendering Spline’s dummy scene. I have a feeling that the free version of Webflow does not let you embed your Spline scene…

#75 Why I switched from Apple Magic Mouse to Logitech MX Master 3

I switched to Logitech MX Master 3 from Apple Magic Mouse. Apple Magic Mouse has a beautiful hardware design. The problem is, it’s too beautiful at the expense of various things…

Problem 1: Magic Mouse is too symmetrical, while Logitech MX Master 3 has only one way to hold

Magic Mouse is beautifully created as a perfect symmetry. Because of that, there’s no way I can feel which way is the right orientation to hold without seeing it. I’ve experienced a few times where I was reaching out to my Magic Mouse without looking at it, and ended up grabbing it in a wrong orientation. When I did that, I couldn’t tell just from my grip. Because the shape was completely symmetrical when holding it the wrong way.

So I started clicking. That’s when I realized that I could not click. There weren’t any buttons to click underneath my fingers. At first I did not understand what was happening. It took me several seconds to finally realize that I grabbed my mouse in a wrong orientation.

This will never happen with Logitech MX Master 3. The form factor dictates the orientation of the mouse and how to hold it.

I can grab my MX Master 3 in a correct orientation without even looking at it. It’s impossible for me to grab it in a wrong orientation simply because it does not allow me to do so. 

Problem 2: Magic Mouse is too thin, while Logitech MX Master 3 fits extremely well to my hand

Another ergonomic problem of Apple Magic Mouse is its height. It’s just too thin, too low for my palm to comfortably sit on top of it when using it. This forces my hand to take a strained position. I have to lower my palm while grabbing and moving my mouse.

Compared to Magic Mouse, Logitech MX Master 3 is much taller when placed on a desk. The height makes my palm comfortably sit on top of it without having to strain my hand. It works really well, and fits extremely comfortable on my hand.

Problem 3: Advanced interactions are great, but Magic Mouse is not optimized for those

Apple incorporated a lot of advanced touch interactions into their trackpad and Magic mouse. These interactions include 2 finger swipe, 3 finger swipe, pinch-zoom, 2 finger tap and so on.

But the surface of Magic Mouse is not optimized for these more complex interactions as its a small area and the surface is curved.

These advanced interactions actually work much better on a trackpad. Because it has a larger flat surface for fingers to perform these complex interactions much more comfortably.

And while I really like seamless swipe scroll on a trackpad or Magic Mouse, sometimes I prefer scroll wheel to scroll.  MX Master 3’s scroll wheel works great in this case so that I don’t need to worry about accidental, unintentional horizontal slide while scrolling vertically.

Another thing is the horizontal scroll wheel. While I don’t use it often, it works very well especially for switching tabs in google Chrome.


With all these considered, my conclusion is that there are quite a few things that make Logitech MX Master 3 a better mouse overall. And the biggest reason comes from its excellent ergonomics, which allows me to use it for a relatively long time without strains on my hand. 

However, Magic Mouse has quite a few innovative, great features that MX Master 3 or no other mice have, and you don’t need to give up on those.

You can easily incorporate those via trackpad on your left hand, while you still use MX Master 3 as your primary mouse on your right hand.

As I described in my previous video, I use both trackpad and a mouse simultaneously and I love it.

One of the reasons why this setup works great for me might be because of the fact that I’m originally left-handed. As a result, I might have a better control and coordination on my left hand compared to a typical right-handed person.

Check out YouTube version too.

Also check out my previous article, #74 Mouse + trackpad two hand interaction – surprisingly efficient.

#74 Mouse + trackpad two hand interaction – surprisingly efficient

Author being surprised when he found out using a mouse and a trackpad simultaneously works really well

Mouse + trackpad two hand interaction – how it started

When I used to work in an office, I used to have my laptop connected to a desktop PC monitor with a wired keyboard and a mouse. Back in the day, everything was wired, so a desk was quite a mess with all these devices and wires. And I hated it.

Because of this, when I started to work primarily at home, I wanted to minimize the device setups. For the past few years I loved the clean setup of my desk. Just a laptop, that’s it, and I loved it!

But as my vision got weaker, and my neck and back started to hurt due to leaning forward for long hours, I started to feel that my 15 inch MacBook retina display was too small. So I purchased a 27 inch PC monitor, a wireless keyboard and a mouse. I felt like I was in a heaven! I expected this though as I used to do it before. Nothing special.

However, what I did not expect was how I ended up using my MacBook’s trackpad on my left hand, while I hold a mouse on my right hand. Now I’ve been doing this two-hand interaction, and I love it! Why?  Let me explain.

Coincidentally I started using a trackpad on my left hand

Without any thoughts, I put my MacBook on the left side of my monitor. This setup allowed me to conveniently reach the trackpad with my left hand, so I did.

The reason why I did this naturally was because over the past several years, I got used to and became heavily dependent on trackpad-unique features such as 2 finger swipe , 3 finger swipe, flick, pinch zoom and two-finger tap.

Especially, 2 finger swipe within the current app, 3 finger swipe to switch between desktops, and pinch zoom are the ones that I have become so used to doing on my MacBook trackpad.

As I started playing around on a trackpad with my left hand, I realized that this two hand operation is really efficient and productive.

Because this way, I can have my left hand dedicated for swiping between multiple desktops, dragging the stage within an application, and pinch zoom in and out. All of these left-hand interactions are more about “navigating on a desktop”, while my right hand is fully focused on selecting, clicking, drawing objects.

Before, I used to do all these interactions with my right hand using a trackpad. This caused too much overuse of my right hand. But using my left hand for navigating on a screen while clicking and selecting on my right hand reduced my right hand’s overload. I really felt that I can work much faster this way. To me, this was an eye-opening experience.

Mouse + trackpad two hand interaction – unintentional synergy

I’m especially interested in the fact that a trackpad and a mouse are initially designed as separate alternative input devices. These are not designed to be used simultaneously. But I found out that both work together surprisingly well.

If you haven’t tried this and you have a similar set up like me, try it! You’ll be amazed!

I’m really curious if any of you have experienced this or not. If you have, I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Check out YouTube version too.

#73 Launching UX Resource Map Next [94 page free ebook]

Author's image with a title and thumbnails of the ebook pages

I just launched UX Resource Map Next, and I’m really excited to share this news with you. This is a 94 page free ebook to help aspiring to-be UX designers finding their ways to become UX designers by providing UX resource landscape.

The previous version: UX Resource Map

The previous version called UX Resource Map has been available for the past few years, and very popular.

UX Resource Map was a 41 page ebook that covered an overall UX resource landscape including college courses, bootcamps, online courses, books and blogs.

It also covered UX designer’s journey, how people have become UX designers through what kind of career path. It also included what are the traits of great UX designers.

While UX Resource Map already had so much valuable information on UX resource landscape, the new UX Resource Map Next is a major upgrade to the previous version.

In addition to all the content from UX Resource Map, I added several new content.

Let’s take a closer look at what’s newly added here.

What’s new in UX Resource Map Next

UX designers traits are now its own section with 12 pages, explaining each trait more in-depth.

The next section, “UX does not exist in a vacuum” is a completely new section dedicated for stressing the importance of collaborating with PM and engineers to be successful as a UX designer working in a product team.

This section is based on a Medium article that I published previously with a title called, “UX/PM/engineer collaboration – a critical factor for a product’s success”. I consider this as one of the most important things that anyone who wants to become a UX designer should understand.

The last section, “Looking into the future” is a completely new write up, where I share my high-level perspective on how relevant a UX designer as a profession is going to be in the near future given where technology is headed. 

This section also talks about concrete, pragmatic skills. This includes how to start your own project. UX process vs. creativity. Design systems. Roles and responsibilities of UX designers. UX designers’ roles as evangelists.

Download now

Reading through this ebook will definitely evoke a lot of thoughts and excitements in you.

It should give you a much clear idea on how to move forward. It should also give you what action you should take next to start pursuing your exciting career to become a UX designer!

The link to download UX Resource Map Next is this.

There’s so much in here that I cannot explain in this short article.

This is something that you should download. Take time and read through carefully at your own pace.

Which is why I made this as a free ebook. Anyone who wants to become a UX designer and eager to learn can download and own it.

So, happy downloading, and good luck with your career!

Also, check out YouTube version.

Below is a previous article on the previous version: UX Resource Map.

#16 UX Resource Map: a holistic perspective on UX resources to help aspiring to-be-UX designers

#72 Online transaction – when things fall through a crack

Here is my recent story.

Bank called me for a suspicious online transaction

I ordered something online from a merchant that I don’t usually use. Then I got a call from my bank saying that they detected an online transaction that was suspicious.

This was actually my own purchase, not a fraud so I told the bank person.

But she said because they thought that it was a fraud and blocked the transaction, I had to place the same order again to the merchant.

So I placed the same order again at the merchant’s online store following the bank’s advice.

After placing my second order and a few minutes later, I received two emails from the merchant saying “your item has shipped”.

Apparently, my first order was not blocked. It went through against what the bank staff told me.

Canceling one of two orders

Now I had to contact the merchant, and explain the situation to cancel my first order.

The merchant customer support responded back to me that they put a cancel request to my first order, but there was no guarantee that their request went through.

After my order arrived, I checked the tracking for both of my orders. On FedEx tracking site, it showed that my first order that I canceled was pending. It’s a good sign that their cancellation might have worked.

Duplicated charges, then refund posted

But when I checked my bank credit card statement, it had charges for both orders.

So I called the bank and explained the situation.

The bank staff was friendly, and said that they could see the refund was coming from that merchant, which was not processed yet. The banker suggested that I check my account a few days later to see if the refund was posted or not.

When I checked my account a few days later, the refund was still not posted.

After about a week from when I contacted my bank, the refund from the merchant finally appeared on my bank credit card account.

This should have been the end of everything.

But it wasn’t.

An online transaction resulted in 5 items total

Because my initial report to the bank about the duplicated charge was considered as a dispute, the bank also credited back the same amount.

This resulted in having a duplicated “refunds”, one from the merchant, the other from the bank. Now, there was a total of 4 items:

  • The initial charge from the merchant
  • The second charge from the merchant
  • A refund from the merchant
  • A refund from the bank based on the “dispute”

Because above 4 items canceled out transactions to zero, the bank added the 5th item, which was to subtract the same amount from my account, so that only a single amount was charged to my credit card after all these pluses and minuses.

Closer look at the problem

At the end of the day, it all worked out.

But it took quite some time, I had to keep checking my account for several weeks, and I had to make several phone calls and emails to confirm all these.

Maybe I was too anxious.

I’m still wondering if there was a better way to handle the situation.

What exactly did the bank block?

Was the blocking towards that particular transaction, or the merchant?

Was the blocking towards that particular transaction, or towards the merchant?

Since the transaction did go through after the bank unblocked it, I have a feeing that the block was against the merchant instead of the transaction. If the block was against this particular transaction, it should not have gone through.

Now, this is still my assumption, so I could be wrong.

Service to service integration in online transaction

Fixing this kind of systemic flaw should also reduce customer support efforts on banks, credit card companies and merchants side significantly too. 

But who owns this type of issue could fall into a grey zone somewhere in between.

I hope that more and more UX designers get involved in solving this type of service to service integration problems moving forward which might fall through cracks otherwise.

Check out YouTube version too.

Other articles around service top service integration:

#39 Amazon’s customer service chat experience part 2

#71 Shredder scissors: interesting idea with issues

So here’s a pair of shredder scissors. The one that I have has 5 pairs of blades.

Cutting narrow papers with shredder scissors

First, I’m cutting narrow papers that are narrower than the blades of the scissors.

Because the stack of papers are narrower than the blade, I was able to cut those in one shot.

Still, to complete a single cut, I had to use both of my hands.

This might be because a paper with a postcard thickness was included.

As I kept cutting papers, some of the shredded pieces got stuck between the blades.

So here is the summary of when cutting narrow papers:

  • It works OK if papers are narrower than the blade
  • Requires both hands when it gets stiff, such as when you stack more papers, or when you have thick papers

Cutting wide papers with shredder scissors

Let’s move on to wider papers. Here are some stack of US letter papers. This is more typical use case.

When the papers are wider than the blade, I cannot cut through in one shot. I have to continue moving the scissors forward.

Because 5 pairs of blades are biting the papers in 5 positions simultaneously, when I move forward with my second cut, I started to feel a resistance. 

Here is the summary of cutting wide papers:

  • Cutting wider papers require moving forward with multiple cuts, which introduces a few problems
  • Papers get wrinkled, making it harder to continue cutting forward
  • Shredded pieces get stuck between blades 


Based on my assessment, shredder scissors works for a small amount of narrow papers.

However, when it comes to shredding stacks of papers of all sizes, I have to say that a typical electric shredder machine still gives me a much easier, stress-free experience, even though it’s bulky, takes up space, and needs to be plugged in to a power outlet.

Shredder scissors spark curiosity and creativity

But in spite of some usability issues, shredder scissors attracts me.

It sparks curiosity and creativity, despite some issues.

Would it work better if it’s a cutter instead of scissors?

What about a cutter attached to a cutting board base that fixes the position of stacked papers?

Are there any middle ground between shredder scissors and a shredder machine?

Apparently, there is a decent market for this niche product category.

Amazon gave me 277 results.

Looking at physical products gives you fresh insights.

It’s a great exercise for a UX designer to have a closer look at a physical product, find some issues, and try to come up with some solutions that may address those issues.

Check out YouTube version too.

Other articles on physical products:

#70 Annoying bluetooth switching: am I doing something wrong?

There’s this annoying bluetooth switching problem that I encounter all the time between my phone, my wife’s phone and our car audio.

1 – When I am on a phone talking to someone in my room, all of the sudden my phone’s audio gets routed to a car audio when my wife starts an engine of our car in a garage.

2 – When I start the engine of the car in the garage, the car audio immediately connects to my wife’s phone and starts playing her music, instead of connecting to my phone.

Why do I experience these problems?

My use case seems nothing special, but it caused an undesirable outcome.

To be precise, I should say technology still worked as intended.

It’s my use case that was outside the scope of the supported use case.

So what is the supported use case then?

The supported use case is based on a single person using a bluetooth headset. The bluetooth headset, a phone A and a phone B all belong to this one person.

Within a bluetooth specification, there’s a feature called “Bluetooth multipoint”.

This allows a bluetooth device such as a bluetooth headset to simultaneously connect to two source devices.

I can listen to music from my phone A and still receive notifications or business calls from my phone B.

The bluetooth headset, the phone A, and the phone B all belong to this one person. The use case is centered around a bluetooth headset.

In contrast my use case is based on two people sharing the bluetooth car audio from their phones. 

The bluetooth car audio is not always on, it turns on and off.

I wish the car audio was smart enough to connect to a phone inside the car, rather than a phone further away behind the wall inside the house.

Even if the car audio has a proximity sensor built in to detect the distance to the phones, it gets tricky.

What if both my wife and myself are in the car with our phones at the same time? 

At that point, the decision factor is no longer about the proximity of a phone to the car audio.

It’s all about human context and intention.

To solve this, it may need a voice prompt asking users “which device would you like to connect to the car audio?”.

Context is one of 3 elements that make up a user experience.

A product, a user, and a context are those three elements.

This example once again reinforces the importance of context in user experience.

It’s so critical for a user experience designer to consider a context when she designs a user experience.

Check out YouTube version too.

#69 Just following a UX process does not make a great design

Design is inherently subjective.

UX process tries to bring in objectivity to what’s inherently subjective.

But even after going through a user research and understanding core user needs, how to craft that experience is completely up to a UX designer to decide. 

Throughout the design process, a designer makes hundreds of micro decisions for all these details to compose the design.

A typical UX process of coming up with a concept, validating it with a user, then iterating based on the feedback is good in general. But it has a tendency to drive designs toward something that people are already familiar with.

On one side, it’s good because there’s no surprises.  Everything looks familiar to most people. This means they can navigate products without any problems.  That’s great!

From the other side of the coin though, things get boring. Everything looks the same. There’s no uniqueness to any of the products out there.

I personally think it’s extremely important for design to carry some sort of character, or a playfulness, or a uniqueness. Obviously, a product needs a baseline usability that does not confuse the user to begin with.

Classic Macintosh bomb icon is one of such examples.

Even in a very depressing, frustrating moment when a computer system crashes, the bomb icon brings in a sense of humor to ease the frustration.

At the time, this made a stark difference from Windows blue screen.

Pinch zoom interaction on mobile devices have become something we are all familiar with by now.

From a strict usability point of view, it does not give any visual queue that you can do the pinch zoom on a screen.

But once you know it, it’s natural, intuitive and pleasing interaction.

Striking the right balance between a baseline usability and some additional touch that sparks user’s excitement, delight and joy, is what makes great designs great.

Following a UX process still remains as a foundation of what a UX designer does.

But things tend to go towards something very dry and boring, if you don’t work on that “additional touch”.

I’d strongly advocate for adding such “additional touch”.

Initially coming up with that “additional touch” often starts by a very small number of individuals with creative minds. It doesn’t always have to come from designers.

A lot of times, this “additional touch” is viewed outside of MVP from priority perspective.

But I think it makes a huge difference.

Check out YouTube version too.

#56 Useful, usable, delightful

#68 How I moved my LLC from California to Arizona

Here’s my user journey with 11 steps.

Let’s take a closer look one by one.

Step 1: Initial research

When I initially researched about LLC move in the internet, I found various information. It gave me 3 options:

  • Option 1 – Transfer an LLC from one state to another for a permanent move 
  • Option 2 – Keep an old LLC and register in a new state as a foreign entity
  • Option 3 – Dissolve an old LLC and create a new one for a fresh start

I went with option 1.

I also found out that this is called “domestication”.

Step 2: Identified responsible organizations in both CA and AZ

I knew that California side was California Secretary of State.

Arizona side was called Arizona Corporation Commission.

Step 3: Contacted both organizations over the phone, and identified required documents and steps

I called California Secretary of State and asked requirements on California side if there’s anything that I had to do to “move out” my LLC from California. It turned out that there’s nothing except dissolving my LLC once it’s domesticated in a new state.

Then I called Arizona Corporation Commission and asked requirements to “move in” my LLC to Arizona. They said that I had to submit “Statement of domestication” form. But it turned out that I also had to submit Article of organization.

After researching on both states, it turned out that there’s no linkage between two states.

So here are the full requirements that I needed to submit to Arizona Corporation Commission in order to transfer my California LLC.

  • File a Statement of domestication
  • File Articles of organization with Member structure attachment and Statutory Agent Acceptance form
  • Pay a total of $100 filing fee by check
  • Send everything via traditional mail to Arizona Corporation Commission

Step 4. Subscribed to an agent service

In order to file articles of organization in Arizona, I had to get a new agent in Arizona.

After some research, I subscribed to an agent service called ZenBusiness, and had them sign Statutory Agent Acceptance form.

Their cost was $99 per year, and they are quite responsive.

Step 5. Subscribed to a UPS mailbox

In order to protect my privacy, I subscribed to UPS mailbox as an address for my home office-based LLC.

UPS mailbox service fee varies based on region. In my case in AZ, it was $252 annually plus a setup fee $15 which totaled $262 for the first year. In California, the same service was $599.

Step 6: Submitted my LLC filing to Arizona Corporation Commission

Here’s AZ Statement of Domestication form. It’s a 2 page form.

On page 1, 

1 domestication entity name, I entered my LLC name.

1.1 domesticating entity jurisdiction of organization: I entered California.

1.2 For domestication entity type, I entered LLC.

1.3 domesticating entity original date of incorporation/organization: I entered the date I filed my LLC in California.

2.1 domesticated entity jurisdiction of organization: I entered Arizona.

2.2 domesticated entity type: I checkmarked “Arizona LLC”

On page 2, at the bottom, I entered entity name, which is my LLC name,

Signed with a date, printed my name and title.

As for the title, I made a mistake by typing it initially as “Founder”. Which was the reason my initial filing got rejected. This had to be “Member” instead as written in member structure attachment of Articles of organization.

Here’s Articles of organization. It’s a 2 page form.

On page 1,

1. Entity type: I selected Limited liability company.

2. Entity name: I entered my LLC name.

3.  I left it blank as my LLC was not professional limited liability company.

4. Statutory agent for service of process

4.1 I entered statutory agent name, address that I got from Zen Business.

4.2 I checkmarked as the mailing address of statutory agent is the same as physical address.

5. Principal address

5.1 I selected No, as the Arizona principal address for my business is different from the address of the statutory agent.

5.2 I entered my principal address for my business, which is my UPS mailbox address.

7. I checkmarked as my LLC is member-managed LLC.

At the bottom of the form, I signed with a date, and entered my printed name.

Here’s Member structure attachment.

1. Entity name: I entered my LLC name.

2. Members:  I entered my name with my business address.

Here’s Statutory Agent Acceptance form.

This is the form that has to be signed by your agent.

I sent this form to Zen Business, had them fill out and sign, then send it back to me. This was pretty quick turnaround with a day or two.

Cover sheet

This is just a minor detail, but Arizona Corporation Commission also asked me to attach this cover sheet per document.

In my case, because I had to file statement of domestication and articles of organization, I attached a cover sheet for each document.

7. My filing got rejected

As I mentioned earlier, I put “Founder” initially for my title instead of “Member” and my filing got rejected. This had to be “Member”, as described in Member structure attachment of Articles of organization.  All the LLC owners are called “Members”.

8. Resubmitted my LLC filing

I corrected my mistake, and resubmitted my filing.

9. My filing got accepted


10. Notified agent about the acceptance

Once my filing was accepted by Arizona Corporation Commission, I notified Zen Business, so that they were able to close a loop on their end as my agent.

11. Dissolved my CA LLC

This was a simple online process, and it was very quick.

Learnings along the way

Looking back, the whole process is totally manageable to handle by myself.

And I’m glad that I did not hire someone else to do this for me for a fee.

But there are a few things that I learned from my experience.

  • The good thing about LLC in Arizona compared to California is that you don’t have to pay for LLC annual tax of $800 like in California. For a small business, this is a huge saving by itself.
  • EIN (Employer Identification Number) that I obtained from IRS was nothing to do with my LLC move.
  • There was no single online system that handled LLC move from one state to another
  • Things I did on each state were totally disconnected with each other
  • Forms in Arizona were paper-based, and the filing was via a traditional mail

I wish if there were a single inter-state online system that allowed me to simply select my old CA LLC, then select a state that I’d like to move my LLC into, and complete everything online. Ideally with online chat support as well so that I can ask questions along the way.

But that might be a tough ask as each state operates independently in the U.S.

Check out YouTube version too.

#67 Why is user journey important?

A user journey is one of methodologies / tools and techniques in a UX design process.

Basically you put yourself in user’s shoes, think through and write down the steps you would go through focusing on a high-level journey of a user.

Let me give you an example.

Here’s a user journey that I wrote down based on my experience when I participated in a food packing volunteer work previously.

  1. Signed up as a team of 5 people prior to the date
  2. Showed up on that day and checked in on-site
  3. Received a cap, stored personal items in a locker
  4. Got an introduction presentation of the non-profit organization
  5. Got an instruction on how to enter the site and what to do
  6. Each team was called one after another 
  7. When called, washed hands thoroughly
  8. Moved to an assigned station
  9. Got on-site instruction
  10. Started packing food with music
  11. Count down started and stopped at 2 hour mark
  12. Did a clean up based on the instruction
  13. Left the station, disposed gloves and cap
  14. Watched a closing presentation with results

Once you format these numbered steps into a diagram like this, it’s called a user journey map.

A user journey could also be written as a story that consists of a few paragraphs.

I decided to participate in a volunteer work to contribute to my local community. So I looked for nearby volunteer opportunities, and found one that is close by with dates that work for my schedule.

It turned out that this volunteer work required 5 people to form a team and participate, so I signed up as a team of 5 people prior to the date.

When the scheduled date arrived, I showed up at the specified location, and checked in on-site. After checking in, and entering the building, I received a cap, and stored my personal items in a locker.

Once the majority of the participant checked in, we saw an introductory presentation of the non-profit organization who was organizing this event. The presentation covered an instruction on how to enter the site and what to do.

After the presentation, we were instructed to wash our hands thoroughly, then were guided to an assigned station.

At the station, there was an on-site instruction which covered details on how to split tasks within the team members. 

Once the on-site instruction was finished, the music started and we started packing food.

The food packing work continued for about 2 hour straight. During all that time, we were focusing on trying to do our given tasks efficiently. As we repeated the same task again and again, we got better at it, and started to enjoy the rythm of it with the music.

The session went a lot faster than expected. Right before the 2 hour mark, the staff member started counting down. As the staff counted zero, we stopped the food packing work.

We did the cleaning of our station based on the given instruction.

Once the cleaning was done, we left the station, and disposed gloves and caps to a trashcan.

Lastly, we watched the closing presentation.

The organizer showed us how many food packages we packed collectively during this 2 hour session.

They also showed us how much impact those food packages will make.

This closing presentation informed us the actual result of our work in an understandable way.  

As a result, I had a very satisfying volunteer work experience for this 2 hour. It was pleasant.

As I was translating my journey map steps into sentences and paragraphs, I ended up adding more information in terms of how I felt, how it transitioned from one step to another and so on.

As you can see, user journey can be described in different ways.

Steps make it easy to grasp an overall flow because it’s like bullet points with shorter descriptions. Steps can easily be visualized into a user journey map format. This is great for clear and logical thinking. From here, you could easily see how a specific step could be broken down into more granular levels such as task flows and wireframe flows.

On the other hand, paragraphs make it a good story with some richer nuances such as emotional ups and downs of a user. You can get a similar  feeling to when watching a movie or reading a novel. 

As a UX designer, it’s important to be empathetic to a user.

This sentence and paragraph style of a user journey makes it easier to relate to a user in an empathetic way.

But it’s a bit longer, and it’s harder to visually see the overall flow.

Whichever method you end up choosing, the most important point is that, a user journey allows you and other audience to “live through” a user’s experience. It allows you to feel what it’s like to be a user and go through that specific journey. It allows its audience to be empathetic to a user.

In doing so, a user journey especially in a text format, allows you to remain at a high-level focusing on the core journey and the core values, so that you don’t get distracted by all the UI details.

This will greatly benefit you when you design the actual user experience of that journey in form of wireframes and prototypes later on.

Check out YouTube version too.

#53 User experience of a food packing volunteer work