I used to think it was just me, but it turns out tons of UX pros suffer from the same affliction: we can’t help mentally redesigning everything around us. And you know what? It’s not really an affliction, it’s a gift. It’s what makes us awesome at our jobs. We see the world in a completely different way. We view the world with the mentality that everything around us can be improved, and we are able to visualize those phantom improvements. We want to fix all of the things. It’s actually pretty awesome when you think about it. We see what no one else can see: the potential for a better world.
I was on vacation with my daughter when I walked into the hotel bathroom and exclaimed, “This shower head design is horrible!” My daughter called from the other room without missing a beat, “Mom, we’re on vacation, stop analyzing the usability of the bathroom fixtures so we can go to the pool.”
Seriously though, worst shower head design ever. I took pictures to prove it. haha
So the next time you’re sitting in a restaurant explaining to your significant other why the font choices for the menu are terrible, or staring in disgust at the kerning in your child’s holiday play flyer, or you’re explaining to a miscellaneous stranger at the bus stop why the bench should be turned at a 45 degree angle so that passersby won’t bang their kneecaps on it; know that you’re not alone. There are many others who, like you, can’t help wanting to make the world around them a better place, one experience at a time.