Characteristics of Conscious XD

“Science and technology have amplified the effects of the dysfunction of the human mind in its unawakened state to such a degree that humanity, and probably the planet, would not survive for another hundred years if human consciousness remains unchanged.” – Eckhart Tolle

This post will explain the fundamental shifts necessary in moving from the existing culturally influenced approach around experience design to a more well rounded paradigm.

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This is not about good or bad, right or wrong. Instead, this post suggests that a shift towards including more qualities of conscious experience design would improve the delivery of products and services as a whole. There will be certain circumstances where the methods that are in the “current xd” column still work, and work really well for a business. So, I am not suggesting to stop doing what is working. What I am suggesting is that as a whole, we re-evaluate the motivational cues and products that we are building in order to push society as a whole further along in our advancement potential.


The first shift for those creating (typically digital these days) experiences is moving from the commonly used and understood word of empathy to one of compassion. This means that we do not only resonate with what our users, customers, developers and stakeholders needs are, but that we feel compelled to act on them and find creative ways to move things forward. I have found that often empathy can mean that we still do not get out of the building. We still accept the imaginary bars of what is possible. With compassion, we get past the fear of rejection or complication and extend ourselves to help.

With the new technology of our age, we are able to track every detail of what people do and when. I know as I have spent a lot of time in the online marketing and conversion space in my previous work. However, there is also a need, especially when working in areas that are trying to bring something new to the world, for trust. Sometimes we need to trust in things like: time, experimentation, exploration and non-bottom-line-immediately apparent oriented work. This is hands down what always leads to the largest breakthroughs in the betterment of technology – and humanity.

This one is really a tricky topic. You see, I have read countless “proof” oriented case studies that state that you get exponentially better results with users by limiting what they see, and requesting very little from them. From this theory that we are all very simple, ADD beings and will just do what you say as long as it is very very simple, countless technology assumptions have been “proven” to work. These include landing pages that drive a funnel conversion, the use of the color red, the placement of text just so, and my least favorite, the popup modal that interrupts what you are doing/reading to get an email address from you. The idea with many of these is that the end justifies the means. Sometimes we blow right past obvious and create intrusive experiences in the name of “what works.” We tell ourselves that no matter how yucky the techniques, the common person does not know the difference so you can use them if you have a good cause or need to spread your message. I disagree, much of the time. I think we can come up with cleaner, better ways of getting people’s attention in the attention-less world by speaking to them from the heart. Which leads me to the next one…


While I believe it is very healthy to assess the landscape and trends in a culture, they should only be used as initial inputs to growth and betterment. Comparing should only be used as a means to getting closer to the genuine purpose of your business, which is unique to any other business anyway because of the people and circumstances that make up the business. There is never a need to compare for the sake of being “better than” because then you are operating at the ego-centric level instead of an eco-centric service level for the common good. When we move our energy to authenticity in the way we do business and create products, people respond positively and seek out your business. A healthier way of looking at the world is relational instead of from comparison. In this way we are able to pull from many schools of study and disciplines and work together towards the betterment of common problems instead of putting one against the other for better or worse than comparisons.


 As I’ve stated in my prior posts, we are obsessed with competition and individual achievement. This creates a sense of better than that each individual – and business – feels compelled to achieve. However, if you start with your WHY and it comes from a more genuine place of service and sincerity of solving a problem – and you build all of your business around this – then you will never even have to spend time on comparative or competitive because you are already setting your business apart from the rest by the very nature of your sincerity. While competition, when used sparingly and for very specific, task oriented, short term goals can be useful, it typically serves to de-motivate people. Instead, we should look more towards ways to uniquely express our WHY through our brand, our way of doing business, our culture and values and the way that the business gets expressed in the world.

Author: Ariel Snapp

Ariel Grace Snapp is an Experience Design Strategist and creative professional. Continuously pushing the envelop in the digital channel, she presently leads a creative design team creating stellar user experiences for multimillion dollar enterprise software. She also helps people unlock creativity in order to feel happier, tell better stories and make a larger impact on the world.

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