Marcus Aurelius was right  

With Design Thinking and Service Design being hailed as novel methods by which to design a glorious future world, it is worthwhile to notice that the basic principles of User Experience design are not new. Just look at the words of the Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius, written in ca. 170-180 AD:

“Make for thyself a definition or description of the thing, so as to see distinctly what kind of a thing it is in its substance, in its nudity, in its complete entirety, and tell thyself its proper name, and the names of the things of which it has been compounded, and into which it will be resolved.

For nothing is so productive as to be able to examine methodically and truly every object, and always to look at things so as to see at the same time what kind of use everything performs in it, and what value everything has with reference to the whole, and what with reference to man.“

The Emperor is right: to be able to design a consistent User Experience, one must be able to handle to entire system being designed as a whole, with intuitively interconnected parts – always keeping in mind the end-users.

Nothing new under the Sun, indeed.



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