#62 Photoshop Rich Tooltips – Cool but annoying

A screenshot of Photoshop Rich Tooltips appearing in Photoshop on top of the author's artwork.

I recently noticed that Photoshop added “Rich Tooltips”.

Rich Tooltips are tooltips that visually explain features in animated fashions.

When I mouse-over onto one of tools in a toolbar, I can exactly see how that tool actually works. The animations are done nicely, and it certainly explains about the feature very well.

A screenshot of Photoshop with Rich Tooltips showing how a zoom tool works.

Photoshop Rich Tooltips problem

The problem is, it takes up a lot of space to fit an animation within a tooltip window.

As a result, it covers up my artwork that I’m working on every time I switches a tool in the toolbar. From a pencil to an eraser to a magic wand for example.

Not only it covers up my artwork, it covers up my artwork for a considerable amount of time. This is because playing an animation takes time to finish.

Even after the animation completes, a Rich tooltip does not go away.

Altogether, it starts to get in the way of my work!

An illustration showing Rich Tooltips is getting in the way of the author trying to work on his artwork in Photoshop.

And because it was enabled by default, I had to go to Preferences > Tools, and hunt it down proactively to actually turn it off.

A screenshot of Photoshop > Preferences > Tools showing how to turn off Rich Tooltips.

Is Photoshop Rich Tooltips for proficient or novice customers?

I can totally see that this is super helpful feature especially for someone who is completely new to Photoshop.

But to me who has been using Photoshop for quite some time, it’s quite annoying to see this all of the sudden blocking my artwork.

It’s a disappointment to see such a well respected company like Adobe does something like this. I had to say this new feature annoyed me as I tried to do my daily work.

AN illustration of the author looking at Adobe as a well-respected company.

I do use Photoshop to do basic image editing almost on a daily basis. And I’m pretty comfortable with it.

If this was done in Photoshop Elements, the lighter version, it makes perfect sense as it’s targeting more casual users.

An illustration of the author looking at a combination of Photoshop Elements and Rich Tooltips.

But the full version Photoshop was meant for professional photographers and designers.

An illustration of an icon of Photoshop full version and its core users, who are professionals.

There are many professionals who’s been using Photoshop for more than several years like myself. I’d expect that Adobe treats such customer with more appropriate care.

An illustration showing the author on a couch expressing that Adobe should treat proficient users with more appropriate care.

What Adobe should have done when introducing Rich Tooltips

At least, Adobe should enable an ability to close or disable Rich Tooltips right away directly from Rich Tooltips, instead of forcing a user to go to Preferences.

An illustration of Photoshop Rich Tooltips with "Disable" button within itself for easy access to disable it.

Or at the minimum, Adobe should include a quick link within Rich Tooltips that takes me directly to the exact preferences screen where I can disable it.

An illustration of Photoshop Rich Tooltips with "settings (preferences > tools)" button that takes you straight to settings page so that you can turn it off easily.

Is this too much to ask?

An illustration of the author saying "Too much to ask?".

Interesting case study

This is actually an interesting case study to think about how to target different customer personas when launching a new feature.

An illustration of the author pointing out that this is an interesting case study of "how to target different personas when launching a new feature.

In case of Photoshop, at the minimum Adobe should have two broad customer personas:

  1. Proficient
  2. Novice
An illustration depicting the minimum two customer personas, proficient and novice.

There are many Adobe Creative Cloud customers who’s been paying for their subscriptions for several years. And some of these customers have been constantly updating Photoshop too.

For such customers, Adobe should not have introduced Rich Tooltips in a way that made them feel annoying.

An illustration questioning introducing Rich Tooltips to proficient users, especially for people who's been Adobe CC customers, paying for years, and having been always updating Photoshop.

Check out YouTube version too!

#61 Nike customer support – delight and frustration

An image of the author's damaged soccer cleats with a title and illustrations of stick figures experiencing delight and frustration.

Nike customer support – I experienced a delight and frustration through communicating with them. Let me start with my delightful experience.


Nike fully refunded me for a badly damaged soccer cleats as a result of a normal use.

An illustration showing a Nike customer support giving the author a refund voucher, the author getting excited.

When I reported my damaged soccer cleats, their customer support chat person kindly walked me through the return process. Then she sent me a UPS shipping label, so that I can put my cleats in a box and drop it to a nearby UPS store.

An illustration showing Nike customer support chat person kindly walking the author through the return process, including emailing a UPS return label.

When Nike received my cleats, they examined the damage, and gave me a refund in form of a voucher, admitting that the damage was due to a product’s defect, or a design flaw.

Nike customer support who received the author's soccer cleats examining it.

This is great and I truly respect their attitude and professionalism in terms of taking pride in producing a quality product, and care for their customers.

The author showing respect to Nike's professionalism and care for customers.

This is a delightful experience as a customer. No questions.

Frustrating part

Now let’s move on to the frustrating part.

When I reported the damage of my soccer cleats, I had a new address because I moved since I purchased the cleats.

This caused a problem in their system because my old address was tied to my initial order that I placed when I was still in my old address.

For this reason, Nike initially sent me the refund voucher to my old address.

Illustrative diagram showing that Nike  customer support initially sent me the refund voucher to my old address.

So I contacted Nike via a customer support chat again.

The author contacted Nike customer support again, and explained what happened.

After a few back and forth conversation, she said that she had to escalate this to an Elite team. She also told me that I should be getting an email from the Elite team in a couple of days.

Nike customer support chat person escalating the case to the elite team.

A few days later, I did receive an email from Nike saying that the voucher was successfully shipped to my new address.

The author receiving an email from Nike customer support elite team saying that the refund voucher was shipped to my new address.

At the end of the day, everything worked fine.

But to get there, it took a few days to finally get a confirmation that the problem was solved.

A diagram showing that it took a few days for the Nike customer support  to solve this incident.

What went wrong? – building blocks

Let’s look at all the building blocks.

My original order record contained my old address.

A diagram showing that my original order record was attached to my old address.

Therefore, the return was triggered from this original order, which had my old address associated with. As a result, Nike’s system automatically pulled my old address and shipped a voucher to my old address.

A diagram showing that the return was triggered from my initial order tied to my old address, therefore Nike customer support initially shipped the refund voucher to the author's old address.

But here are the things.

For this particular return, I already shipped my damaged cleats using UPS return label provided by Nike. The return label did have my new address with my name as a sender.

An illustration of the author dropping the returning product at UPS, with a return label provided by Nike customer support with the new address.

In my online account profile section, I already updated my address to a new one several months ago.

An illustration showing that the author updated his address on his Nike.com online account several months ago.

As a result, Nike already had my correct new address in two places.

Technically, this means Nike already had all the information about my latest address. It was just the matter of pulling the right address for this return.

An illustration showing Nike customer support wondering which address to choose, the author's old address or the new address. The author getting frustrated observing it.

It does not make sense that their return process had my new address for creating a return label, but used my old address for shipping a voucher.

An illustration showing that Nike customer support is using the author's new address for creating a return label, while using the author's old address for shipping he voucher.

Case study – system design flaw

It’s kind of frustrating as a customer. But it also makes an interesting case study of a system design, especially how to accommodate error cases.

An illustration of the author pointing out that this is an interesting case study of system design, considering various error cases.

And I can see that Nike staff tried their best to support me throughout the process which I respect.

An illustration showing that Nike customer support staffs tried their best throughout the process, and the author is showing respect to that.

But still, the fact that it did not work without an escalation suggests a system design flaw. Whenever such flaw surfaces, both customers and the company’s staff members suffer.

An illustration of a  system design flaw depicted as a monster stomping on a customer and staff members.

As UX designers, whenever we design a system, we want to be able to cover various error cases to prevent something like this to happen.

An illustration of a UX designer thinking through system design with various error cases.

Check out YouTube version too!

Also, here are other customer support articles.

#60 Selecting time – learnings from Material Design time picker

So here is Material Design time picker. (below right)

Screenshots of Material Design time picker and date picker.

It’s typically paired with a date picker, which is a calendar-based (above left). The date picker works very well. But it’s the time picker that has problems.

Here’s how it works.

  1. You first pick an hour.
  2. As soon as you are done, the UI jumps to show minutes.
  3. You pick minutes, then you are done.

Here are the problems.

  • Circular analog clock representation is visually interesting, but does not work well, especially because hour and minute are separated.
A visual showing Material Design timer picker separates hour and minute.
  • An automatic transition from hour to minute feels forced, and you get confused especially at the first time.
An illustration showing that there's an automatic transition as soon as an hour is selected in Material Design timer picker.
  • As a result, it does not fully represent a clock with a long and short needles anymore that it initially took a queue from.
An illustration showing that a guy and a clock thinking that Material Design time picker is "clock-ish".
  • When you switch between hour and minute by clicking the number, “a clock needle” animates from 9 hour to 29 minute, but this animation does not mean anything.
An illustration showing that there's an animated effects when Material Design time picker shows selected hour and transitions to show a minute.

It could have been better if hour and minute are both represented simultaneously in the “clock”, so that it resembles how a real analog clock will look like on that time.

A prototype of Material Design time picker with a slight adjustment where hour and minute are shown simultaneously.

When you compare this to iOS calendar time input UI, I have to say iOS is much better. It allows a user to swipe up/down hour/min, or use 10-key to enter hour and minute altogether.

A screenshot of iOS time picker with a scroll wheel control.
iOS time picker with 10-key input.

Now, Material Design also has a different mobile time picker that you can directly type in, which is better than clock-like version.

A screenshot of Material Design time picker mobile, that allows a user to type in hour and minute.

So what is the lesson from these?

Entering time is such a basic, common things to do in various products and services.

  • The experience should be as straightforward and crystal-clear as possible.
  • The UI should use a metaphor that people are already familiar with.
  • It should not confuse a user. 

From this perspective, using a calendar for selecting a date is perfect. We are all used to using a calendar.

An illustration and a caption showing a calendar is something that people are familiar with.

But for time, it would be best if hour and minute are not too separated.

And for faster input, direct typing would probably be the fastest and easiest.

I think a scroll wheel for hour and minute separately is fine too. An hour only has 1-12, or 1-24, and minute only has 0-59, which is manageable.

An illustrative diagram of how hour and minute scroll wheel work.

Someone mentioned that Material Design time picker with a circular design is very “designery”.

An illustration showing a woman making a remark about Material Design time picker as "designery".

It’s an interesting remark.

I think it’s fair to say that many designers tend to get attracted to a circle as one of the most beautiful geometric shapes.

Analog clock is a manifestation of that as a symbolic representation of time.

An illustration of an analog clock shown as a symbolic representation of time, compared to digital clocks.

While it makes perfect sense to make time picker using an analog clock metaphor because it’s about time, ironically the result feels wonky.

This illustrates an interesting aspect of user experience. How you feel is what ultimately matters, rather than the pure logic that brought you to your design solution in the first place.

An illustration and a caption saying "how you feel is what ultimately matters, rather than the pure logic that brought you to your design solution in the first place.

I respect the designer who created this, that she or he, or the team had a courage to try this type of design.

But at the end of the day, this is not the most intuitive, easy to use design, even though it may look interesting and unique on its surface.

Check out YouTube version too!

#59 Auto-save UX

Illustration showing how auto-save is working in the cloud, and that command + S is no longer needed to manually save files.

Auto-save is definitely a cool, very convenient feature.

But at the same time, it gets tricky.

Sometimes, you are not exactly sure when the auto-save actually happened.

Gmail, Google Docs, Medium, Figma all have auto-save features.

Google Drive,Gmail and Medium do fairly good jobs showing a subtle icon that changes from Saving… to Saved, then just an icon on a header.

Interesting thing is, both enable auto-save while you are making changes to your document or an article, but settings don’t have auto-save, and use Save buttons instead.

On the other hand, Figma does not show any message when it’s auto-saving.

But it does show a message when an auto-save did not occur for some reason such as when you are disconnected from the internet.

It’s kind of an opposite approach, with a stance that it’s always saving, and it only lets a user know when it’s not.

Since we are “always connected” to the internet, this Figma’s approach is quite aligned to today’s world.

But it does make me feel a bit nervous when I have to work offline on the airplane, or when I lose the internet connection.

According to Figma, all those unsaved changes are stored in a web browser cache.

Ever since I started using Figma, auto-save worked great for the most part.

Now I’m free from keyboard shortcut a thousand times a day that I used to do.

But at the same time, having my master files only in the cloud makes me feel nervous.

Sometimes I feel like I want to make a local “backup” of my important files just to be safe.

I can actually do this by saving a Figma file as .fig file on to my desktop.

But the problem is, this downloaded Figma file will never have a full feature when I am offline.

On the contrary, Google takes good care of this aspect.

I can download a Google Doc file as a Word file.

I can download Google Sheet file as an Excel file, and downloaded files work perfectly fine on my computer without the internet connection.

While auto-save is super convenient and removed a pain point of having to manually save files all the time , it introduced a new prerequisite: the internet connection.

Now, I’m more than ever dependent on the internet connection!

And that makes me wonder if it’s a good thing or not.

As UX designers, we create new experiences.

When we do, we need to be mindful about how we balance things that users are already familiar with vs. something new.

What are pros and cons for both old experience vs new experience you are about to introduce to the world?

Changing something that users are already so used to doing may often bring up a lot of frustrations and push backs.

Check out YouTube version too!

#58 Are we too obsessed with metrics?

We live in a world where many things have realtime analytics already put in place. I’m not against any of these. In fact, I love these. I can gather a lot of insights out of these metrics. But we have to be careful about being too much caught up in metrics, or start chasing metrics too much.

I do bodyweight trainings regularly.

Bodyweight training is exercise such as pushups and pull-ups, primarily using your own body weight instead of using gym machines.

When I do pushups for example, I set a goal such as 

“Do 10 pushups as one set, do 3 sets with 30 second intervals between sets.”

My actual record on the first day might be:

  • Set 1: 10
  • Set 2: 9
  • Set 3: 8

On the second day, I might get:

  • Set 1: 10
  • Set 2: 10
  • Set 3: 10

On its surface, I did better the 2nd day with 100% completion rate.

Or is it?

To answer this question accurately, I need to dig deeper, and ask these qualitative questions.

  • Did I do each rep with a correct form?
  • Did I do each rep without using a momentum?
  • Did I do each rep with enough range of motion?
  • Did I do each rep with focusing on a target muscle to do the primary work?

If my answer is no to these questions, my second day’s metric becomes meaningless.

If I achieved those numbers by using momentums for example, that means I only did a very easy incomplete version of pushups.

I did not give my muscle enough stress that a proper pushups is supposed to provide.

I am completely missing out of great benefits that I could have gotten if I did it right.

Metrics are powerful and easy to compare. But metrics could be deceiving too.

A lot of times, we tend to get caught up in metrics.

And because of the nature of metrics being so simple and easy to compare, we sometimes start chasing just metrics.

When “just chasing metrics” becomes a primary goal, that’s where I need to ask myself, what is the most important thing that I want to achieve.

In the previous bodyweight training example, achieving 10 reps per set by itself does not mean anything, if each rep is done improperly.

Goals are set to be something that I aim towards when performing the exercise.

But the focus should always be maintaining my posture, form and do each move as correct as possible so that it puts the stress to the targeted muscle as much as possible.

It does not matter if I end up only being able to do 7 or 8 reps as a result of focusing on quality of each rep.

Actually that is way better than just achieving 10 reps by using momentums every time.

Overtime, I slowly realized the reality that being too obsessed with metrics is meaningless.

To me, this is quite an eye-opening, interesting realization.

I think this applies to not only training, but also many things.

Metrics are mere indicators.

It gives me what to aim towards.

It helps me stay focused.

It helps me see my progress, patterns and trends overtime.

Nothing more. Nothing less.

The most important thing is always quality, not quantity.

With that said, I will always aim towards some sort of quantitative metrics in order to improve and grow towards a quality I want to achieve, like the body weight training example.

To do so, most likely I will end up accumulating quantity to improve my quality too.

All these will help me constantly improve and grow to a better version of myself.

And that’s what matters.

Check out YouTube version too!

#57 Being empathetic – one of great UX designer’s traits

The author with a hand-drawn title illustrations

One of critical traits to be a great UX designer is being empathetic to a user.

But this trait, translates to how you behave in your day to day life as a good citizen too.

Let me give you an example.

I drop my kid to a school in the morning. Typically, that means you are in the line of cars in front of the school waiting to reach the dropping zone.

Once you reach to the dropping zone, that’s where you can stop your car, drop your kid, then move on.

This simple process gets tricky when you have many busy parents dropping their kids, each car with a different pace.

The school gives parents a general procedure in terms of how to do this efficiently so that it doesn’t cause a traffic jam.

But that requires everyone conforming to that procedure.

Obviously, everyone wants their own kid to be on time.

Probably every parent have busy schedule so that they want to get the job done as soon as possible so she/he can go to the next scheduled event.

And the thing about the official dropping zone is that if you drive all the way to the front edge, its further away from the school entrance.

Naturally, most people don’t want to scooch over all the way to the front, because that make their kids having to walk a longer distance which could result in tardy.

As a result, parents start dropping kids before reaching the dropping zone.

This leaves the actual dropping zone empty and wide open, causing all the cars behind having to wait until these “flying” cars to open up their spaces.

Some drivers get frustrated with this, and sometimes pass by these cars to get to the wide open dropping zone in front of them.

Other drivers may start dropping their kids way before the dropping zone.

Observing this as one of parents, it reminds me of one of great UX designer’s traits “being empathetic”.

In this context, being empathetic translates to being empathetic to other parents after you.

When I think about this from a UX designer’s perspective, it’s an interesting UX problem.

There are various factors that come into play.

  • In the morning, everyone is busy
  • Many people tend to arrive at school right before the bell rings
  • Most people want to park their cars closest to the school gate
  • Once you drop your kid, your mind is filled with your next schedule, so that you don’t care about people behind you

As a human beings, it’s probably impossible to remove your own ego completely.

But still, if everyone becomes slightly more compassionate to others, the situation would improve dramatically.

And I’m glad to see some improvements over time.

When this happens, I feel great.

This kind of impression is something that we as a UX designer wants to leave to our users when they use a product that we design.

Check out YouTube version too.

Also check out #40 Twelve traits of a great UX designer.

Here’s my Medium article version on 12 traits of a great UX designer.

#56 Useful, usable, delightful

Illustrated title of useful, usable, delightful

It’s been decades since the UX has become a mainstream, and essential part of product development.

But even as of today, many people seem to have limited views of what UX is.

Some people might think UX is just making things pretty. Other people might think UX is about making wireframes. Other people might think UX is just about usability, and use the term usability and UX interchangeably. 

All those are part of UX.

The field of UX is pretty broad.

One of simple ways to help people understand the UX better is to visualize UX layers in concentric circles like below. Useful, usable, delightful (or desirable). This shows 3 most important, fundamental values of UX.


This is the most fundamental and important part of a product or a service. A product needs to be useful. A product needs to provide a value that solves a user’s particular problem. In reality this might not be something a UX designer is part of in defining. By the time a UX designer is brought in, this might be already defined by a PM (product manager).


This is the next most important aspect of UX. The product experience should be easy to use. Rather, it should be as easy and clear as possible. This is where usability comes in to play. In many cases, this is where a UX designer typically focuses on the most, by creating wireframes, UX flows, prototypes, and conducting user tests.

But that’s not all.


The most outer layer is being delightful, or desirable. Ideally, a product should not only be useful and easy to use, but also delightful to use. This is where things like pleasing visual design and smooth animation come in to play.

But making things fancy and pretty is just one aspect of being delightful.

The most valuable “delight” is achieved, when everything works flawlessly without a user even noticing it, because everything works so intuitively.

This includes the clarity of the overall UX flow without any confusions.

Information organization.

A clear feedback through effective micro-interactions that constantly give you visual feedback on actions that you take.

Clear messages that give you confidence and a peace of mind throughout the process.

And so on.

The next time you see someone in your team who seems to have a limited understanding of UX, explaining about these 3 layers might help that person further understand the value of UX.

Check out YouTube version too.

Previous articles on delightful.

#9 Delight from Office Depot LIFT & PRESS envelope

#29 Delightful OOBE from a boring home product

#55 Annoying micro-interaction

A stick figure person annoyed by a micro-interaction

I recently came across an annoying micro-interaction.

Here’s a screenshot of that UI, which is a webinar shopping cart.

Let’s take a look at the interaction.

As you can see, clicking on the teal button selected that option, indicated by a checkbox being checked, and an item added to a shopping cart.

Clicking on the yellow button selected that option indicated by a checkbox being checked, and the second item in the shopping cart was removed.

But here are problems…

Problem 1: “Checkbox-like” icon used in a button gives a user a false impression that’s where you click to select the checkbox.

Problem 2: A button provides a proper visual feedback when anywhere other than the checkmark icon is clicked, but it doesn’t when the checkmark icon is clicked.

Problem 3: When I clicked the checkbox in the teal button twice, it did not turn to a checked status either, but I realized that the item actually got added twice to the shopping cart.

So how can we design this experience better?

I created 3 improved designs.

Improved design A: A proper checkbox with expected behaviors

This one uses a real checkbox that you can check or uncheck. Checking the checkbox adds the item to the shopping cart. Unchecking the checkbox removes the item from the shopping cart. The beauty of this design is that you don’t need “No thanks” button, which makes things simpler.

Improved design B: Radio buttons

This is old-school. Using a pair of radio buttons for two options makes it crystal clear that you can only choose one option.

Improved design C: This is closest to the original design.

Here, checkmark icons are used on buttons without looking like actual checkmarks.

None of these look fancy, but it works without confusions.

Visual design can be fancy and look cool, but that’s not the most important point. 

The most important thing is to make things as easy and clear as possible for a user, so that a user can use it and complete a task with confidence.

Designers may be attempted to create cool fancy visuals.

And there’s nothing wrong with that, as long as it does not defeat the whole purpose of making things easier and clearer.for a user.

Check out YouTube version too.

Check out relevant article #51 When UI conventions are used the wrong way.

#54 Autopay setup nightmare

A character shocked with how the site handled autopay setup.

I recently tried to setup an auto-pay for one of my insurances.

Here’s “My Payments” screen. Under “Payment Preferences” there are two options, “Make it easy” and “I will log in and pay”.

The first option “Make it easy” has a description that says “Pay my bill automatically each time it is due”, so this is the option that I want to select in order to set up an autopay.

So I selected this option.

As soon as I selected this option by clicking the radio button, additional options appeared underneath. 

After selecting my options, I clicked “CONTINUE” button.

After “Please wait…” message….., it took me to the next screen “Review your Order”.

This screen showed my billing address and credit card information in editable text input fields.

After entering and checking the information, I clicked “Finish” button.

The screen displayed a message “Payment Information Updated Your payment information has been successfully updated.” with my credit card information.

Although it looked like autopay setup was completed, I wasn’t 100% sure because the message on the screen did not say anything about autopay.

After I went to another page and came back to My Payments page, I was shocked to see that “Make it easy” option was not selected! The second option: “I will log in and pay” was still selected, as if nothing happened.

When I clicked the notification icon on the top right on a titlebar, I couldn’t get any information about whether the autopay was set successfully or not.

At this point, I don’t have any confirmation that the autopay was setup successfully or not.

I was annoyed and frustrated, because I spent a few minutes and went through the whole process to setup an autopay, only to find out at the end that it wasn’t set up.

I tried this process a few times, thinking that I might have missed something along the way. But it never worked.

So how can we design this experience better?

This is what I think it should be.

1. Message

After going through the whole process, instead of “Payment information updated” which is vague, it should show a clear message that says something like: “Autopay setup completed”.

In addition, the next payment date should clearly show the exact date, such as March 1st, 2021” instead of “1st of the Month”. 

2. Payment Preferences selection

Payment preferences should show that “Make it easy” is selected, with “Save changes” button disabled.  

3. Notification

A notification message should be clear without duplications between the main text and the sub text. Instead of a vague message “Change of Payment Information Notification…”, it should say “Autopay setup completed successfully.”

A clear feedback gives a user a confidence and a peace of mind. If it doesn’t, it gives a user a very bad experience.

To make feedback clear, typically it’s better for messages to be specific rather than generic.

But lot of times, engineers tend to want to make these messages to be generic so that they can minimize the number of different messages.

This is where a UX designer needs to advocate a user, and make sure that a product user experience does not cause any confusions or frustrations to its users.

Check out YouTube version too!

Here are other articles related to feedback of a service or a product.

#8 Amazon customer support chat: good and bad

#39 Amazon’s customer service chat experience part 2

#53 User experience of a food packing volunteer work

Author in front of a blurred image of a volunteer session result presentation screen

I recently had a chance to experience a food packing volunteer work at one of non-profit organizations. It was actually a really good user experience. In case of a volunteer work, it’s very similar to a service design for an amusement park such as Disneyland.

There are a few points that I can think of that made this a great experience.

OK, let’s take a closer look at one by one.

1 – Very well organized

Here is the user journey that I went through.

  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

As you can see, the entire journey was very well designed and organized.

Everything was clearly explained by the staff, so I understood what I was supposed to do through an every step of the way.

2 – Fun

Food packing process was laid in a game-like, teamwork setup.

5 people made up one team.

Each person was responsible for a different task.

The 1st person scooped soy and rice, and poured those into a funnel.

The second person scooped vegetable and vitamin powder, and poured those into the funnel.

The third person opened up a plastic food package, and placed it right underneath the funnel to receive ingredients.

The forth person weighed the package with filled ingredients.

The fifth person sealed the package and put it in a box.

As I got used to the task and the flow, the background music was playing loud, and I actually felt that the entire environment was filled with full of positive energy. 

In such an environment, I started wanting to improve my performance and compete with other teams.

The entire journey and the overall experience were designed almost as an amusement park experience where I could truly immerse myself and enjoy the activity.

I did this non-stop for 2 hours.

It was like a fun game. It was like a workout.

Once I was done, I felt good with a sense of accomplishment.

And I actually felt a lot shorter than 2 hour.

3 – A clear result

Once the work was done, I was able to see the concrete result of the session I participated in.

During the closing presentation by the host, we were presented…

  • the number of boxes packed
  • the number of meals (bags) packed
  • how many kids are fed for a year
  • how much it costs in total

To be able to immediately see how much impact we were able to generate with our labors was very satisfying because I could feel that I contributed to the world in a very tangible way.

At the end, I felt that I wanted to come back again.

There are a lot of things that we can learn from this as UX designers.

Obviously the non-profit organization who organized this had a clear motivation and intention, wanting to have all the volunteers come back again to do more volunteer works for them.

They wanted their “customers” to come back.

They wanted to convert their “first time customers” into “returning customers”.

That’s why they worked hard to make sure that every step of their customer journey was a fun, easy to understand, delightful experience.

And this is exactly what we want for our customers to feel whenever they use products or services that we are designing, right?

Check out YouTube version too!