Let’s review to see the similarities.
Starting with Alchemy
(I am not a historian)
Alchemy is a philosophical and proto-scientific tradition practiced throughout Europe, Africa, and Asia from the 9–12 century. Alcemeusrs practiced chrysopoeia which aimed to purify, mature and perfect certain objects turning common materials (base metals like lead)into gold.
The myth associated with King Midas touch may have impacted why Alchemy had such a following on early science as gold was a valued commodity.
Alchemy is generally split into 2 examinations:
- Exoteric: the knowledge that is outside, and independent from, a person’s experience and can be ascertained by anyone practical applications.
2. Esoteric: a scholarly term for a wide range of loosely related ideas and movements which have developed within Western society dealing with spiritual aspects.
Alchemist also created Elixirs / Potions / and Juices & universal solvent (Alkahest: a universal solvent) in the hope they could produce gold from any element.
Comparing with Design Thinking
(I am a Sr. UX/UI Designer)
UX/Design thinking is a philosophical and proto-scientific tradition practiced throughout America, Europe, Africa, and Asia in the 21–22nd Century. It aimed to purify, mature, and perfect certain objects turning common materials like aluminum, plastic, and glass into valuable commodities through a process known as Design Thinking (Product Design). The myth associated with Start-Up company evaluations and hockey stick growth may have had an impact on why UX had such a passionate following.
UX / Design Thinkers also created wireframes, user flows, and prototypes all in the promise of creating the “perfect” product. As UX became well known and frequently talked about in popular culture due to the attributed success behind the pursuits of certain companies, UX started to become widely recognized.
UX strived for the perfection of the technological interface and was thought to permit or result from the experiential magnum opus and, in the design-centric circles and interaction tradition, the achievement of “intuitive interface” (regardless of learnability).
UX sometimes referred to as “product design” is generally split into two primary examinations.
1. User Experience / UX: the knowledge that is human-centered and directed towards a person’s experience and can be ascertained by anyone.
2. User Interface/UI: a scholarly term for a wide range of visual related ideas and movements which have developed within technological advances such as touch screens and material based design elements.
UX/UI’ers also created User Personas / Prototypes / and User Tests all in the hope their solutions would produce gold for their clients and for themselves.
Although Alchemy and UX/UI Design have some similarities in their dedication and fervor in their communities it definitely is not the “golden touch”. UX/UI is hard work that when done correctly still will not be able to save every company or product where it is deployed. However, the dedication and continuing depth of knowledge the practitioners of the trade continue to share even with religious dedication will without a doubt make for a world with better experiences and maybe even produce some gold.