Data beats intuition - UXtopian
Design Thinking and Enterprise UX consultants for a changing digital landscape.
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Data beats intuition

It’s not that data beats intuition. It’s more that data beats history repeated, which is often positioned as “intuition.” Listen close, in an office near you the squeak of a dry erase marker is documenting repetition in a black, thick-tipped, felt and unfelt line. We cannot change minds with this sort of thinking. We can only reward ourselves for unnecessary Herculean efforts.

Blaise Pascal, mathematician and philosopher wrestled with logic and intuition mostly notably in Pensees (1670). While Pascal does favor the intuitive he did so with the balance of an analytical intellect. This is to say he references the data, understands the importance of the facts and meshes that information with experience and intuition.

“There are then two types of intellect: the one able to penetrate acutely and deeply into the conclusion of a given premises; and this is the precise intellect [intuition]; the other able to comprehend a great number of premises without confusing them, and this is the mathematical intellect. The one has force and exactness, the other comprehension. – Blaise Pascal”

The last 10 years have so fundamentally changed the way we live: shopping on Amazon, sharing our perfect selves on Facebook, posting messages that expire on Snapchat and going to bed more intimately with screens then our partners. As UX transitions from pre-design to personalization we need to rethink, how we think, digitally. We’ve arrived at a time where not looking at the data is equal to not understanding these new human behaviors.

Try to remember the last time you wondered about something and didn’t acquire Wiki-knowledge. For better or worse we have traded wonderment for resolution and resolution leaves footprints that we can track.

-Ian